Angkor KIDS International​

Siem Reap, Cambodia

About This School
Angkor KIDS International is a school that focuses on teaching English, currently other subjects are learned in a different school.  This school was founded, in May 2014, to allow the children in the surrounding 4 villages’ access to education of the English language.​

This school is currently in a building that is rented, and becoming too small for the number of students in attendance.  In addition, the owners of this building want to sell it and are asking them to move out.
LuAna's Bookshelf has partnered with Unbound Halls of Ivy, in an effort to raise money to buy land and build a new school.
Without English these children may not have a future that would include college or university.  Along with Unbound Halls of Ivy, we will be bringing Montessori style learning to this school, and including all other subjects like math, science, etc., but taught in English.

Another main focus for this school is
educating the teachers, their English is poor.  I felt it was very difficult to communicate with them and therefore, what are the students learning?  The issue faced is that there is not enough money coming in to hire adequate teachers.  Alongside relocating the school, we will also use the money raised to obtain the supplies needed for a Montessori school, and properly educate the teachers in the English language. 


My Story
I have never been so attacked in my life!  I created ​​​​​Bo-bo’s Escape at this school over the Christmas holidays, during that visit we had a baby powder fight. With my friends and I being the ‘barang’, a nickname they give to white tourists, the children attacked us relentlessly! I ate so much, my eyes and ears were filled with the white powder; and when they did clear, I could see that no one else looked near as bad off as we did. Tickle fights broke out and before I knew it I was under attack by several kids at one time. There was no chance for me!

​​After the battle, San, the secretary of the school and who has become a dear friend, offered that we go get our hair washed at the salon. Since the home we were staying in offered no more than bucket washing, it sounded like a great idea. This ended up being one of the best decisions of my life!  For $1 USD I had a 20 minute scalp massage of a life time and came out with dry, clean, beautiful hair. I felt like a million bucks!

Baby Powder Fight!

​My friends came to visit me from Canada, ​​​​​they are involved with raising money for the relocation of this school. San wanted to have us stay with her in her home, but it was small, one room with the bed, kitchen and living room all in one space, which she shared with her husband and 2 small children; she had us put up in her neighbour’s house. Although the neighbour’s house was larger, it too was what we at home would feel to be too small for hosting 4 strangers. The house had stairs leading up to a second floor; this is where the 3 children usually sleep, during our stay this is where we slept. For the week and a half that we were there, the 3 children so generously gave up their space and slept together on the cold, hard ceramic floor downstairs. We had to walk past them to visit the bathroom, which contained an eastern style squat toilet and a bucket of water with a scoop for showering.
  
We ​​​​slept under bug nets on thin cotton stuffed mattresses. At night if we left the light on in the room, we would get large bugs flying around. All of our bags were stored in a tent in an attempt to keep the bugs out of them. One night we even saw a large lizard walking across the top of the wall. We needed to be very careful of our food and dishes because in Cambodia they have very large red ants that come in armies. One morning, I noticed a long stream of those large red ants marching across the front of the deck and swarming in one area. When I looked closer I realized that they were killing and eating a large bug!  On another occasion, I was hanging my laundry on the line that ran from a tree to a fence, I realized that the tree was covered in red ants and some were crossing the line. I had no choice but to hang my clothes. ​

I have to say, the most shocking part of these ants was when we were walking in the market with San. She stopped and reached down into a white bag and scooped up what looked like a cobweb of something all stuck together. It was large dead red ants!  They were there as a cooking ingredient you could buy. I have to admit... I did try them. But only because my friends made me!

​​
Cambodian Market Walk​
One morning, we ​​​woke up at about 4 am to music blaring! Literally, blaring! This went on for several days. I asked the owner of the house why the music was playing at that hour, and so loud! It would start at 4 am and continue on until 11 pm. It turns out that they play music like this when there is a funeral or a wedding. On this particular occasion there was both happening, a wedding in the South and a funeral in the North! Double whammy! This music went on for about 3 or 4 days.​​
The following weekend, on Christmas Eve, we actually got to attend a ​​Cambodian wedding!​​
​​Meeting these children in this school and spending time with them was a very ​​​​large eye opener for me. Less than 40 years ago, Cambodia went through one of the world’s worst genocides, right up there with the holocaust.  What I witnessed in that school, and out in the streets, I believe is a direct result of this.  All over the world I witness children play fighting and having fun, this school was no different. But what I did notice was the force they used behind that play fighting, it was so rough I felt the need to stop it on several occasion, or look away. I feel much love and attention is needed in this beautiful country. 

On the other side of the coin, the ​​​​​​​​children here are so passionate; the work that they put into these drawings is something to be mentioned.  When we finished a class some of them didn`t want to give me their drawings, they wanted to make sure they were finished and it was perfect before I saw it. In my experiences in other countries, at the end of a class the children hand in the drawings whether or not they were finished. In this school they were so proud of what they were giving me that sometimes I had to wait until the next day to receive it.

Together, we are proud to present to you, Bo-bo`s Escape!​
Heidi-Marie xoxo