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Sak sa bye from Phnom Penh.  Today is a public holiday (King’s Coronation Day) so I am enjoying my day-off at a coffee shop.  I am online catching up with email, news and updates. 

Yesterday Mr. Sarath, CVCD director, and I met with John, founder of MatesAbroad a great supporter and contributor of CVCD.

We traveled to five community schools built by CVCD to speak with the teachers to discuss student progress and also to get their ideas on how they could improve learning and living conditions for the community.   

None of the schools have electricity.  The teacher and students work by the natural sunlight that enters through the windows.  There are wooden chairs attached to wooden desks, white boards, posters, and a small library in the back of each classroom.  We visited one classroom equipped with electricity since it’s the computer learning class but the power was down while we were there.  Mr. Sarath mentioned that they are working on a generator for that class.

Electricity is expensive in Phnom Penh.  At the home where I live, the electricity has been turned off occasionally after 8 pm.  This lasts anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.  Thank goodness for my book light, not to mention my books!

Normally, Miss Thida, the CVCD receptionist will pick me up on her moto.  My duties at the CVCD organization include practicing English conversation with staff, updating computer tutorials (thanks Mr. Westfall), and working with Mr. Sarath in accounting work.  On Monday I sat with project managers, Mr. Sama and Mr. Kosal, and showed them how to create an online journal on WordPress.  I’ll give you an update when we finish with that.

It’s almost noon.  Soon, I’ll be walking to a friend’s home for lunch.  I used to pay $1 for a moto ride but find that it’s actually close enough to walk.  From the café it will take me about 15 minutes to reach my friend’s home.  One thing I will never take for granted is sidewalks.  It’s difficult to walk here alongside all the motos and vehicles but I manage.  Pedestrians don’t have the right of way here. 

Hope all is well!