Questions to answer:
- What has been the most challenging part of the journey for you so far?
Alison: I enjoyed almost every activity that we participated in. The past few days have been amazing. However, the challenging parts were when the weather turned bad and some of our activities had to stop and we had to change our plans. However, it taught us how to be more prepared, come up with backup plans, to think fast and act quickly.
Alosia: The language barrier between the children & us . Being able to get the children’s fullest attention as some students don’t understand what we’re saying so they wouldn’t pay attention to us unless we demonstrate everything out .
Amelia: The most challenging part is the distance between here and home . i always depend on my mom for things . the most challenging part is also the children being really rough by pushing each other while playing games as we don’t want kids to get hurt while having fun and we will feel bad if they get hurt while playing games. The other thing that is challenging is also the food . I never eat veggies but now i rethink about it sometimes we have to eat it as we have no choice . so ya . miss u ma
Atira: The most challenging part of the journey for me so far was the pavement work . It was because my group had to start the foundation for the pavement work and it was really a tiring work . When I started doing the work , it was really hot and i was perspiring . I really pushed myself throughout the day and even though I almost give up , I managed to help my group mates with their help of encouragement. It was really a challenge as I have never done this type of work before and honestly, I’m glad I did it.
Ayent: The most challenging part of the journey was the weather that cause some of the activity that we plan to be destructed.The weather have also cause some of our emotions to affect what we want to do.
Cheah Bin: I think that the most challenging part will be interacting and teaching the children. The age group of the children is very young and most of the things that we have planned is too difficult if them. Also, because of the language barrier our instructions are not translated to them. The teacher is unable to be there for us all the time so we really have to demonstrate it for them. Also, because of the hot weather everyone was not very focus.
Ee Star: The most challenging part of the journey for me is the heat. The heat in Phnom Penh is barely bearable as it is about 35 degree Celsius. Our team persevered through the heat and we manage to fulfill our goals and manage yo make the kids feel happy.
Farish: As for me, i think the challenging part is when we needed to bring the potable water up and about. Whenever we go for our lunch and dinner, or even when we go to the T-House. The potable water container was also rather heavy. However, we had to no other choice as the portable water was our only source of water.
Fathir: One challenging part of the journey is trying to work together. Some people have different ways of working and when trying to cooperate these differences divide us.
Gi Gi: Being in the hot sun doing the pavement project . This project need us to have a lot of physical work plus we have to do it in the blazing hot sun . We all were sweating a lot and we felt very tired . But we overcome the challenge with our teamwork and caring for each other e.g. by reminding each other to drink water and take breaks or help one and other by taking turns.
Iman: The challenging part of the journey so far was to attract the children attention. As the children we have is the younger age group which they have shorter attention spent and most of them get distracted easily. The second challenging part of the journey is the weather. In Singapore the weather is still gloomy and there is still wind. In the other hand in Cambodia the weather is scorching hot which not many of us are use to it and comfortable. The third challenging part of the journey is tot wake up with no phone to check the time. The struggle is that there is no alarm clock when we always depend on our phone to check for our time and to wake up.
Jerome: I feel that the most challenging part so far was communicating with the children. Our instructions were not very clear and most of them were just listening to us but none of them knows what to do when the activity start. Therefore, language is definitely a barrier
Jia Xuan: The most challenging part of the journey so far is homesick. I have never been in a so faraway place and for so long without my family. I usually think of them at night because its the time I am free and my mind is not busy. And of course, there are also a few challenges that occurred at the dumpsite like language barriers and stuff.
Keng Guan: I actually find the whole OSL rather easy? But to answer the above mentioned question of the most challenging part of the journey, I feel that the team should communicate more in English. We, as a group, have proven to be a efficient team;) but for example during the meals in between lessons, A few of us talked in our mother tongue instead of English. Therefore, the rest who don’t understand the language felt ostracized and left out:( That makes our meal sessions rather quiet as only a few of us are talking.
Louis: The language barrier between us and the kids/people there. Sometimes when we are trying to explain the games to them its really hard as we cant seem to communicate well with them and only use actions to present to them what we are trying to tell/teach them. We need the teachers there to assist us in explaining the games to them to ensure they know what is going on and make them fully participate while knowing the rules or the games clearly.I hope I can bond and get closer to them by communicating with them with a language we both know 😦 It is hard to communicate with the guy there when we r building/doing the pavement work.
Noel: The most challenging part of the journey for me so far is communicating well with the Cambodian children as I do not understand their language well. Another challenge faced was the unbearable heat. Teams doing the pavement work have to stand in the hot sun and finish their tasks with a lot of water breaks in between their work.
Rita: The most challenging part of the journey was the weather. We don’t know when is the next time it will rain. When it doesn’t rain , it’s very sunny and is very hot to work. Despite all these , we overcame it as a group and did what we can !
Stefany: The most challenging part of the journey is probably having to work under such a hot weather. It is not easy to be doing things such as digging, building a wall and transferring rocks.Even playing with the kids and teaching the kids is not easy due to the heat. However, knowing that many people have to do this daily makes me want to put in even more effort to somehow show my appreciation for those people who have to work so hard in this condition on a daily basis to make a living. For the remaining days (and even when we go back to Singapore), i will have perserverance and endure the heat to carry out my tasks well.
Stela: its probably having the kids attention as the children attention spent is really short and we had the brain storm to make the activity more fun and engaging for them .but overall i think the most important thing was that the children have fun
Teng Shi: The most challenging part is the language barrier. Sometimes we have to explain the games and the task to the kids but there is a language barrier which Is hard for us to proceed the task. In order to let them understand I will either use hand signs , body language , or even ask the teacher to translate for us ( the teacher is usually busy ) . so for the past few days we have really tried our very best and explain the task to them and hope they understand. And in the end they roughly understand what we are trying to do which is actually quite good👍🏻👍🏻
Teng Yong: The most challenging part of the journey was the weather that cause some of the activity that we plan to be destructed.The weather have also cause some of our emotions to affect what we want to do.
Wen Xian: It is having both the mental and physical strength to do our task of the day. We have to have the mental strength to continue to doing stuff even under the scorching hot sun and having the positivity to continue to encourage each other and pressing on. We are also required to have the physical strength to mix the cement, carry the sand/cement mixture to build the barrier outside the T-house and basically needed a lot of energy to carry the stuff and maximising the efficiency between the team
Win: I think the most challenging part is that the things we do are very tiring. This causes us to be very tired throughout the day.I feel like the hours of sleep we get is not enough.I also get motion sickness which did not help as I cannot really sleep on the rides to and fro from the dumpsite and the eating area.
Alison: I think when our group stepped up and decided to lead both groups, initiative was shown and it was run pretty smoothly. We should be more prepared for sudden change of events and transit from one activity to another better.
Alosia: During the pavement work , we were all given roles . I feel that I did well shoveling and mixing the sand & cement together. I feel that our group can improve on talking more to each other.
Amelia: I think I did well in pushing myself as i have never pushed myself this far before and i have never worked in this kind of heat and environment. i would wanna improve on communication with my roommate and team . i would like to push myself further and see what i can do beyond self
Atira: I believe I did very well in helping my group mates in the pavement work. Honestly speaking, I’m very proud of myself to push through until the end despite how hot the weather was . Tomorrow, I personally want to improve on the communication among my group mates. Some of us can be very awkward with one another but I believe tomorrow when we doing the activities with the children, I think we can bond even closer like today when doing the pavement work.
Ayent: One thing good is that i managed to interact with the Cambodian kids. Teaching the children how to write and read alphabets and numbers was not a easy thing but it was fruitful. One thing we can improve on is that our group needs to communicate more and have be able to step up more.
Cheah Bin: I think we managed to interact with the children well. I think what I did well was I tried to lead the math lesson. But, what can be improve will be we can make the activities easier for the kids to understand and try to get their attention. We should also communicate with our team mates and share our ideas.
Ee Star: I think i interacted with the children well and got to teach them a few things and have fun with them. I think that i can improve in the lessons we conducted for them.
Farish: Today, one of the things that went smooth and rather well, was the communication between my group mates and the children who in the T-House. The fact that we could actually talk and mingle around with the children without any awkwardness or hesitation was simply something i did not expect. Initially, i thought that things might be a little bit awkward. At the other hand, the children there was all very loving and cute. From their lustrous glinting eyes, to their nice hairstyles. They are reason why I was in my mood today. One thing I hope we could improve on is, to look out for some of the kids in the T-House. Look out, in terms of probably to make sure all of them are engaging in the activities.
Fathir: One thing that we did well was that we were able to roughly carry out the activities that we’ve planned. For tomorrow, i hope that my team will be able to work together as a team to carry out the hands on activity
Gi Gi: I think I interacted well with the children there . They children remembered my name ( maybe because my name easy remember…) and I even shook hands with them. We can improve on our team efficiency . E.g. like how we carry out the activities
Iman: The one thing that we did well today was we get to communicate with the Cambodian kids and we get to interact with one another. We get to carried out with our activities even though there were ups and downs in our communication. Even though some of the activities did not went well, we make a plan b to help us. There were also language barrier which were one of the struggle we have but the struggle doesn’t stop us from communicating. Some of the things i can improve is to be more focus as i needed to handle the kids and i should be more enthusiastic. We can also improve by doing more hands on stuff with the kids to attract their attention.
Jerome: I think that i gave them a very good demonstration on our bingo and paper mache activity as the children knows what they will be doing what to do next. I would like myself to communicate more with the children and always get them entertained as some bunch of kids looked very bored.
Jia Xuan: i think i did well in working with my group to finish our tasks as one and also persevering. i would like to improve on my interaction with the children tomorrow as i realised that after the pavement making, i did not really interact with the children there as i was too tired.
Keng Guan: i feel that i could have delegated the tasks among my group mates a lot better. i know i might seem like a confident guy with a loud voice but in reality i couldn’t really get the attention needed.
Louis: I think i did my part well for the pavement work today. I did my best and put in my 100% keeping in mind that I’m doing for a good course and the people there would benefit for it. I retrieve the grass while Teng Shi was using the spade to loosen the soil of the grass. I would want to communicate more with my group mates and be more bonded together which i would try to take the initiative to speak to them first.I will do my best to bring happiness to the kids there by always keeping a bright smile. 😀
Noel: one thing i did well today was helping to lead the Cambodian children in the activities that were planned for the day. we had prepared all the needed logistics and had planned on our roles and how to lead the Cambodian children at the dumpsite T-house. I would like to improve my communication with the children the following day. Not only that, I would also like to step up and try and lead the Cambodian kids in the activities and help the other group if they require help.I would also help to get the kids involved and fully participate in the activities
Rita: I think I tried to communicate with them despite the language barrier. There were some children who were not very engaged in some activities, we should all try to keep a look out of those we are left out and include them in.
Stefany: I do not think I did anything quite well today, but I managed to communicate with some of the kids which I did not really expect to be able to do so quickly. I want to improve on being able to speak up be it to give instructions to the kids or just to interact with them. I want to take more initiative to take the lead and help more in the various activities that we have planned for the rest of the days.
Stela: the thing that we did well was that most of our activities were carries out well.Most of the children at the t-house were cooperative and were really positive and lively about our activities the thing to improve on is to communicate well with each other and to be more hype about the activities we are doing
Teng Shi: Today we did the physical labour, i think that i did well on scraping the ground and helping to put all the cement together. I also think that i did well on helping the team to be more bonded by helping each other to communicate with one another. I think that i can improve by after doing our physical labour. My whole team is resting , i can do better by stepping up and lead my team to help other teams that are struggling to finish their classes for the kids. I believe i can improve on my leadership role if i step up more first in my team.
Teng Yong: I manage to communicate with the students and my team member well and execute our plan quite good.I want to improve our plan for the activity we doing tomorrow and think of back up plan in case something went wrong.
Wen Xian: One thing that went well today was the fact that all of us managed to interact with the kids and get their attention. We were polite and said hi to the kids and did hi-fives as well as some simple games to get things started and break the ice between us The next time we see the kids I would like to make instructions clearer and simpler. We were not giving very clear instructions hence they were confused at some point of time.
Win: I think that even though i was very tired,I managed to persevere and helped to finish the task. My arms and back were aching and the rain cut short of the time given. However I am proud to say that we managed to finish the task given. I think i want to try to get the group to talk more during the bus rides and during the activities.I want to try to talk to the people I am not close with more and try to get to know them better.
Questions to answer:
- Describe something unexpected that happened today.
- What do you expect to learn from the rest of this trip?
Alison: I did not expect to see what I saw in the museums. I have never seen such images of people in such suffering before, neither have I seen mass graves before or any skulls or that sort. I also did not expect myself to be so affected by what I saw. I hope to learn more about Cambodia’s culture and how differently they live from Singapore, and how their past affects how they are like now.
Alosia: When we arrived in Cambodia , the weather was very hot . When we were at the killing field getting ready to come back , it suddenly started raining heavily . I thought the weather was going to be this hot the whole day . I want to learn more about how the children at the dumpsite we are going is like .
Amelia: Something that happen is that the heat and the atmosphere is different . The cleanliness is different. I want to learn to be more independent and work well with people I’m not close with.
Atira: Something unexpected that happened today was how brutal the victims were tortured and it was really unfair as they did not do anything wrong. Worst of all is the amount of people were being killed. Well, I expect to learn from the rest of this trip is to be very thankful about the stuff I have and how fortunate I am . I also want to learn to be more self organised .
Ayent: Something unexpected that happened was that it rained when we were visiting museum. Another thing is that I didn’t expect to learn so much about Cambodia’s history in one day. It was quite shocking and saddening to see the prisoners and people treated like that. I want to learn more about the people here and like the kids. As this is only the first day, we have not actually interact with the kids here. I would like to know how they actually adapt to everything here.
Cheah Bin: I didn’t expect the Cambodia people being treated so badly. They were being tortured when they didn’t even do anything wrong. They were being killed because they were a threat to Pol Pot. I didn’t expect how they were treated even after their death. I hope to learn more about why they are treated that way. They should be treated fairly.
Ee Star: During our visit to the genocide museum, it suddenly started to rain which disrupted our visit to the genocide museum. I would like to learn more about the culture of Cambodia and learn about the living standards of the children living in the village in Cambodia.
Farish: As for today, I personally didn’t expect that such things like Mass Killings of the prisoners and the rounds of torture to the prisoners did exist, during the period of time where Pol Pot, was the leader of Kampuchea. The prisoners faced such tragic rounds of torture before their last breath. To also add on, the fact that the cell condition for the prisoners to stay in was indeed very bad. They were provided a metal box, supposedly for their waste. Not only that, they are also chained despite when they are already in the cells, limiting their chances to move around. All in all, this was one of the very things that left me shocked, and definitely sad. Besides this, one of the other unexpected thing that happened was when the weather suddenly got real bad. It started off as windy, soon after it started pouring. We all had to stay in the shelter, till the rain stops. With the first day experience, I feel that such unexpected this might happen. We all could expect the unexpected. In other words, we must not only be physically prepared but also mentally prepared. Furthermore, we are all handling with small children in the next few days. Such things may happen! Be prepared.
Fathir: In the evening, the rain started pouring and made the weather cold. It was damn unexpected as early in the morning it was VERY hot and suddenly become VERY cold. I hope to be able to learn the real meaning of teamwork.
Gi Gi: The bad weather then suddenly came during the afternoon. The rain was pretty strong. I hope to learn to emphasis people and feel how they feel in their shoes, and I also want to make more people happier.
Iman: The unexpected thing happened today was we went to the killing field and the S-21 museum. When we are inside the killing field i did not expect to have a lot of dead bodies such as skull,back bones and others. During the As-21 museum i saw picture on how most of the Cambodian got torture. I expected to learn how people of Cambodian live in this kind of state, whether they are angry or sad about the situation and i got to listen to the survival experience. i got to learn how they are always in their teamwork even though there are a lot of conflicts.
Jerome: i thought that walking past the killing fields will only let me know about what had happened there at that time. but, as i was walking along the killing fields and listening to the tour guide i had this feeling that like how could people even do these kind of things and i could not imagine how much sufferings the prisoners had gone through. I hope that i will get to learn more about Cambodia’s history as it was very interesting.
Jia Xuan: i did not expect the amount of skeleton heads to be so many at the killing field and also the many ways that the soldiers came up with to torture people including babies. also, the same method they came up with the Nazis for taking photos of the victims. i expect to learn more of Cambodia’s language and lifestyle at the dumpsite.
Keng Guan: “Why did you come for OSL ah?” Mr Wee inquired me. Although wanting to satisfy Mr Wee’s “morbid” curiosity, i couldn’t give him an answer. i actually did not know why i decided to participate in OSL. it certainly wasn’t peer pressure and more certainly wasn’t a convoluted plot to ride on a plane. Maybe I’ll take this opportunity to rediscover myself in the service of others¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Louis: I did not expect that Cambodia’s history is so much more than i thought. I did not expect the different amount of methods of tortures the Cambodians have faced. I did not expect the weather to be that extreme here, e.g, when its hot its very hot but when its cold its really cold (raining). I expect to learnt more of Cambodia history and how the people live their lives here. I would want to brighten up people(kids) lives just by doing what i can to bring them happiness. I want to learnt how to work together with my group mates with different personalities.
Noel: Something that happened unexpectedly today was the huge rain. We were unprepared for the rain as we had left our umbrellas in the luggage and thought that we would not need the umbrellas, raincoats or ponchos. We were also late for a few activities and had to quicken our pace and rush to our destinations. I expect to work well with my group mates and learn more about the Cambodian culture so that i can come home and tell my family about Cambodia’s past and work and bond well with my teammates as i do not know some of them well enough for the trip yet.
Rita: I didn’t prepare enough things in my day-pack. It started raining and i did not have any poncho and umbrella with me. i had to depend on my classmate who had extra to keep me dry. I know the rest of the trip will not be a easy one but i will work closely with my group mates to do our best (; and i think we would learn teamwork at the end of the trip!
Stefany: Something unexpected is that we were still able to see the blood stains of the tortured prisoners of that time. This made me realise just how badly the prisoners were treated and just how much they were tortured. I expect to learn even more about the Cambodian history and culture from the rest of the trip even as we make our way to the T-house for the rest of the trip. I think that we will be able to learn a lot from the kids there as well. I also expect to learn more about the rest of my group mates and learn from them as well.
Stela: the fact that Cambodia has suffered terribly and the victims were really tortured really badly to the point whereby the people who were tortured consists of babies,teens,adult,intellectual, anybody who were a treat Khmer rouge were all killed even though they were innocent to be able to know more about the things that happened in Cambodia when Pol Pot was the ruler in Cambodia.
Teng Shi: Something that unexpected happen today is that i saw blood stains all around the floor in the prison room. those bloods are belong to the prisoners that have been tortured during the POL POT period.it is unexpected because i didn’t expect that the tiles have still not change or wash off the blood stains after so long , and i can really imagine how the prisoners was being tortured which really scares me so its quite a eye opening. I expect to learn how to better communicate with people with different races and language and also learn about their culture and even their country histories. i would also like to learn and compare how the lifestyle in Cambodia and singapore are different and why is that so.
Teng Yong: I did not expect the torturing of the prisoners to be so harsh.The prisoners were tortured harshly by the Khmer Rouge using the method of plucking out of their nails,using bayonet stabbing the head,etc.They were threaten by the Khmer which cause them to die. I expect to learn more about the Cambodia history and learn teamwork together with my friends.We will be going to the dumpsite and teaching the students there.I hope that my team will cooperate with each other and work well and enjoy and at the same time finish our task on time.
Wen Xian: I did not expect Pol Pot to not trust that many people, other than killing the rich, poor, fortunate and not so fortunate, he killed his fellow ministers as well, this means that he did not trust his partners and would prefer them dead than to lead the country with him. I expect to learn about the difference aspects of value that is needed to work together in a team, to lead, instruct and communicate with the kids at Cambodia as well as learning the importance of communication and the ability to contribute back to the society.
Win: It rained very heavily and the cables broke.A man had to go on the roof of our bus to hold the wire so to not electrocute the bus. I saw how the locals were trying to help to clear the wire so that traffic would not be blocked. I expect to learn more about how the locals live from day to day.
Q1) How was the overall experience of the OSL Cambodia programme?
Three words come to mind: apprehensive, exciting, and surprising.
I was apprehensive when I was first approached to embark on this programme, but very quickly shelved all doubts away once I got involved – and met – with the awesome students taking part in OSL 2016.
It was definitely an exciting journey as we prepared ourselves for the actual trip to Cambodia – one of the more memorable instances was when Mr Yeo had to break the news that there would be a change of venue – and project. But the students took it so well.
What happened in Cambodia… will always remain as one of the best experiences of my life – as a teacher – it’s probably the pinnacle of teaching to be able to be so connected to your students, and to witness the transformation that took place within some of them, during the trip. So yes, it was surprising – I am surprised – that the initial premise was that we had gone over to volunteer our time and effort, that the students would be learning as well as serving, but the lessons we brought back with us were so infused with positive memories and gratitude, with camaraderie and joy, that one couldn’t quite tell where one ended and the other began. For in those 5 days, every one of us/them were one.
Q2) What was the most memorable part/moment of OSL Cambodia?
Watching the students watch the children. The smiles that broke upon their faces like the sun just arose from the sea.
Q3) What were some of the biggest challenges you faced as a teacher during OSL Cambodia?
Whenever one of the student felt unwell. Shouldering the responsibility of their well-being while overseas was honestly the greatest challenge I have faced as a teacher. (Thank God for the wonderful colleagues whom I went with!)
Q4) How did you overcome these challenges?
The fear and worry I carry with me are paramount to my ability to react to any averse situation that may arise – in a way, the existence of such feelings is necessary and their materialisation is dependent on the circumstances. I thrive on being emotionally-charged and intellectually-stimulated so I guess I never quite “overcame” these “challenges” as much as lived them one at a time. (Or one day at a time, in the OSL Cambodian context) The crux is to remain fully present in the moment and to keep your wits about you at all times, so that you may react in the best possible manner to any unexpected situation.
Q5) What were some of the most prominent values you could see displayed among the students during the OSL Cambodia?
They were generous and patient with the children, each other, and themselves. But what really touched my heart was seeing that indomitable spirit of strength and perseverance to keep pushing through even when the going got tough (the sun was relentless and the heat excruciating; the paint unyielding and the mud just got wetter).
And their joy. Their humour. The overwhelming sense of gratitude for what they have – there and back home – it was beautiful to witness.
Q6) From a teacher’s perspective, what could be improved?
The pre-training, definitely. The simulation could be more real… both the physical landscape and the psychological mindscape.
Q7) How would you go about improving these things?
We could incorporate a physical training segment and do more research regarding the present state and history of Cambodia, particularly during the Pol Pot regime (perhaps through documentaries and books).
Q8) From your perspective, how was the teamwork and unity among the students and teachers?
It was perfect. I wouldn’t have changed anything.
Q9) If given a chance, would you take part in the OSL Cambodia programme again?
Q10) On a scale of 1-10, rate your overall experience at OSL Cambodia.
It was off the charts. 🙂
1.Ben Quan Laclemence,3A, sailing and Chinese orchestra.
2.It was epiphanic as I realised how fortunate I was compared to some.
3.I learnt that no matter how strenuous it got, pesevere and you will come out on top.
4.The main dilemma we encountered was to prepare for the lessons for the children. We had to make sure we were educating them and at the same time keeping them entertained.
5.We overcame this by discussing not in our small groups but as a whole OSL team. By strategically coordinating our efforts ,we managed to construct fun and enriching sessions for the children.
6.My most memorable aspect of OSL was finishing the renovation of the T-house. We got to see the smiles of gratitude that the kids shone at us.
7.If your feeling lazy or hesitant of going for OSL, do it anyways. We must all exit our comfort zones to try something new, only then can we know what we are capable of.
I am Choon Keat from 3C,from Boys’ Brigade.
2. There is no word to describe the unbelievable fun I had there. It will always be an inspiration for me to work harder and be grateful for all the things I have right now.
3. Responsibility and service
4.There were, challenges such as lack of energy and the blistering hot weather over there.
5.Took every opportunity to rest during bus trips from our hotel to the village and to the restaurant. The trips were half an hour to an hour long. We couldn’t do much but to hope for cloudy weathers, the only thing we can do make use of all the caps we have.
6. The Most memorable aspect of this trip was biding farewell to the kids,and giving them the farewell “package ” which included bread, some sweets and a can of condensed milk and then the most sincere “thank you” from them and a smile on their faces. It was a moment to keep forever.
7.Think no more, get the registration form today!