Our trip to Cambodia to build a school with the Kempenfelt Rotary Club

Hong Kong

Our last day in Asia was spent in Hong Kong with Nathan, Paul and Martin.  It was a fun way to end a great trip.  Sunday morning we’re off to the airport to fly back to Toronto.

Floating restaurant in Aberdeen

Floating restaurant in Aberdeen

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Waterfront in Stanley

Waterfront in Stanley

Victoria Peak - at least 3 people looked at the right camera

Victoria Peak – at least 3 people looked at the right camera

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We bit off s bit more than we could chew with this 24" pizza

We bit off a bit more than we could chew with this 24″ pizza

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At the Aviary in Hong Kong Park

At the Aviary in Hong Kong Park

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Year of the sheep is coming up

Year of the sheep is coming up

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The boys

The boys

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On the Ferris wheel

On the Ferris wheel

Note the skating rink in the carnival area

Note the skating rink in the carnival area

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Kowloon

Kowloon

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Flamingos in Kowloon Park

Flamingos in Kowloon Park

Homeward Bound

After all the excitement on Wednesday, Thursday morning we were up early again to head back to Phnom Penh.  Then it was a relaxing afternoon before we enjoyed our last night in Cambodia.

Our last sunrise in Svay Reing

Our last sunrise in Svay Reing

Then entrance from the highway for the road to the school

Then entrance from the highway for the road to the school

I think we counted 25 people in this van including the 2 on top

I think we counted 25 people in this van including the 2 on top

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Meeting more locals

Meeting more locals along the way during a roadside stop 

Car ferry across the Mekong

Car ferry across the Mekong

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Happy Hour begins

Sunset  over Phnom Penh

Sunset over Phnom Penh

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Today was the big day that we’ve all been working so hard for over the past few weeks.  After completing some final cleanup and finishing touches in the morning, we helped the bicycle distribution team assemble bikes and then had the opening ceremonies for the school.  Lots of local dignitaries plus 211 kids who were receiving bicycles and their families.  It was a real proud moment for all of us in attendance and a proud moment for the Kempenfelt Rotary Club.  We then participated in the bicycle distribution so it was great to see the kids faces as they received their bikes.  Then things got emotional as we wrapped up out time on the site and said our goodbyes to our Cambodian construction crew friends.   We then headed back to our Svay Reing hotel one last time.

Ready for the ceremony

Ready for the ceremony

The crowd has gathered early

The crowd has gathered early

Raising the flags

Raising the flags

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The classroom is ready

The classroom is ready

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Sandra, Scott and Nathan - the Skelton, Brumwell team!

Sandra, Scott and Nathan – the Skelton, Brumwell team!

Ready for the ceremony

Ready for the ceremony

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President Scott got to say a few words

President Scott got to say a few words

Mike talks

Mike talks

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Mike and MaryAnne with their tribute to Mike's mom

Mike and MaryAnne with their tribute to Mike’s mom

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The local bar

The local bar

Getting barked at by some dogs and a duck

Getting barked at by some dogs and a duck

Our man Sophea

Our man Sophea

Day 13 on the job (Tuesday)

This morning we mixed things up a bit with one van heading straight to the job site to get going on the wiring, and the others getting supplies.  We spent quite a bit of time at several hardware stores looking for the right things that we needed for the build.

When we finally got to the site, we found that 211 bikes had been delivered.  The Wheels For Learning team will have their work cut out getting all those ready to go by tomorrow afternoon.

Then rest of the day involved getting another coat of paint on the classroom, wiring in the lights and doing some site grading.

At the end of the day we had a get-together with our Cambodian construction crew to celebrate a job well done by all.

211 bikes getting ready to go

211 bikes getting ready to go

Wiring in the lights

Wiring in the lights

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The classroom is almost done!

The classroom is almost done!

Samantha with her artwprk

Samantha with her artwork

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Alison and Anouk

Alison and Anouk

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Alison & Amai.

Alison & Amai.

Dino is chilling after a hard day

Dino is chilling after a hard day

Day 12 on the job (Monday)

Our day started as usual with a visit to the market to pick up ice and fruit.  We also found some rakes and made a visit to the local lumber yard to pick up some wood that is needed for the classroom.  For some reason it took a very long time while they trimmed it up to our exacting specifications (well, not that exacting, so we’re not sure what took so long).

On to the site where we carried on with painting the classroom and the last outside wall.  Lots of site cleanup and we also built a volleyball court with the leftover sand.  We thought soccer would be a big sport around here but it turns out that it’s volleyball.  This court will be well used and we already had some local kids checking it out after it was done.

We knocked off early and headed back to our hotel and to our restaurant for lunch.  Afte that we took it easy for the afternoon.  Some of us went for walk to explore the area around our hotel, and others joined in a euchre tournament at the restaurant.  It was nice to have some down time today after all the hard work we’ve been doing.  Tomorrow is the last day on the job so we’ve got lots of things to get finished off before the opening ceremony on Wednesday.

Getting wood at the lumber yard

Getting wood at the lumber yard

Martin and Mike checking out the furniture

Martin and Mike checking out the furniture

No fire hazard here

No fire hazard here

Setting up the volleyball net

Setting up the volleyball net

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Initiating the volleyball court

Initiating the volleyball court

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Our hotel from the lake

Our hotel from the lake

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Cows on the highway - pretty common site around here

Cows on the highway – pretty common site around here

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Day 11 on the job (Sunday)

Things are starting to wind down here at the site.  So much so the boss said we only had to work half a day today!  Today we worked on installing the fence, doing some plumbing, painting interior walls and doing some site grading.  We knocked off shortly after noon and headed back to Svay Reing where we enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant.  This included some chicken dishes that included the heads and feet – something we’re not very used to.  After that we had a trip to the market and the enjoyed some down time back at the hotel.  Today was Gerry Pilon’s birthday so we had a little celebration which included some birthday cake that was procured from down at the market.

Sunrise in Svay Reing

Sunrise in Svay Reing

Volleyball Graeme with the kids

Volleyball with the kids

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Who wants chicken?   Heads and feet included.

Who wants chicken? Heads and feet included.

Bananas T the mRket

Bananas at the market

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Celebrating Gerry Pilon's birthday

Celebrating Gerry Pilon’s birthday

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Our day started out as usual with a trip to the market to pick up ice and fresh fruit for the day.  Today our group was augmented with the addition of Dino Melchior, Lloyd and Wendy Bristow and Hannah and Ashlyn who are friends of Dino’s daughter.    Our construction crew had finished much of the exterior parging so we were able to get started with some painting of the building. Steve Culbert and Alternate Power Intenational donated 10 solar panels to several families in the area and has been working on the installations over the past few days. In the morning I (Scott) journeyed out with Steve and Meddy as they installed one of those systems.  It was interesting to get up a close-up look at a rural Cambodian home and see how these systems will contribute to improving their lives. We ended up the day with the pouring of the concrete floor in the classroom side of the school.  Hopefully we can then get some of the exterior walls painted tomorrow.

This is where we get our ice every morning

This is where we get our ice every morning

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Site grading.

Site grading.

Off on the moto to check out a solar power installation

Off on the moto to check out a solar power installation

George as control of the solar panel

George has control of the solar panel

The location for the installation

The location for the installation

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Steve giving the operating instructions

Steve giving the operating instructions

Happy family!

Happy family!

Heading back.

Heading back.

MaryAnne going for a ride

MaryAnne going for a ride

Mike has control of the solar panel

Mike has control of the solar panel

The twins rockin' the parging

The twins rockin’ the parging

Pretty darned good for 10 days work!

Pretty darned good for 10 days work!

More specators

More spectators