I've tried to include a lot about the construction of Honour Village because a) I've promised them I would, and b) I think it might be great for everyone at home to see what wonderful things are happening there in such a short time. For those of you who aren't familiar with Honour Village's history, it might help if you visit their website, but I bet any one of you would be amazed to learn that Honour Village was nothing but an empty rice field until this past May. We've been working on building and finishing our house for more than 2 years now, so I can really appreciate all the effort and expense they've gone through in just 10 short months!
When I also learned that the first of these 32 children only came to Honour Village in late November, it helped me to understand how fragile (and resiliant) these kids are, and (as I've recently written) the newest family of 4 arrived just a few weeks ago.
|Three brothers from the new family. |
They also have an older sister
Most of the time, they seem like one big happy family. Occasionally there's a squabble, and some jealousy, and the odd temper tantrums from the youngest ones. There's sniffles and coughs, and skinned knees, and plenty of toys to play with, which also means plenty of toys to put away.
|How many pieces of Lego is this?|
All the children (except the two 3-year-olds) go to school 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Classes are from 7 am to 11 am. Some of them are up as early as 4 am, and have a hearty breakfast before going to school. The school is 5 km away and the older kids bicycle, while 6 or 7 of the youngest ones get driven to school in a tuk-tuk. In the morning the two youngest ones play quite nicely together, but they do need their nap.
The children are escorted to and from school. Around 11:30 pm, it's a joy to see the big procession of kids on bikes just over the top of the wall as they arrive home after school.
|You can just barely make out |
the procession of bicycles over the top of the wall
|The children burst through the front gates|
As they arrive, they all sompeah (bow with hands in a praying position) and greet each adult with 'Jeum reap suah". It's quite touching to see this when there are several adults around (sometimes more than 8 or 10)...and 32 kids all jockeying for position....Of course, I'm trying to name each one individually as I greet them! (Yes, I've finally learned all 32 names! Whew!)
As soon as they arrive home from school, they change out of their school uniforms into their play clothes, and come down for n'yum teuk (a drink of water). Honour Village has put a system into place to ensure that each child is getting enough liquids daily (closely monitored, they get water breaks 4 or 5 times a day).
Lunch follows right away. Boy, these kids can pack it in! Even the little ones will eat up to 4 bowls of rice and soup! The kids always help to clean up after meals.
After lunch, they all go up to their rooms for one hour of quiet time (& hopefully a nap). Then it's play time! We've been introducing all sorts of fun activities....Games, sports, and singing. They especially love the 'B-I-N-G-O' song.
|B-I-N-G-O...and Bingo was his name!|
|Everybody loves colouring and drawing|
Even the adults!
|One of the workers takes time out for badminton with the kids|
|One of the older boys teaching |
a little one to ride a bike
Some of the older kids have chores, including laundry and washing their bicycles.
|Scrub a dub! Hand laundry - no washing machines here!|
I love every minute I'm out there, and I hope in some small way we're making a difference.
|What's not to love?|