This morning we headed to a nearby squatter’s village with Brandon. We had two missions today: first to interview participants in JWOC’s Loan Project, and second, to find locations for the next two wells to be built. Journeys has just started the Loan Project, which provides microloans to people in the village. So far the program seems to be very successful, and it was interesting to hear everyone’s stories. We interviewed two people who have gotten loans through Journeys, and it sounds as though the loans have helped both of their businesses become even more successful. Although we have been in Cambodia for a few days now, this was the first time we had witnessed such impoverished living conditions. The houses in the village are not much more than one room huts, many with dirt floors, and all with large numbers of people living in them. Perhaps the most surprising observation we had was how everyone was quick to smile and hospitable, despite living in such poor conditions. After we finished our interviews, we walked though the rest of the village to determine which locations would be best for two new wells. Many people are using water pits as their main source of water, and although the pits provide cleaner water than some other sources, it is still quite unsanitary. We tried to choose locations that were central to many homes so that the clean water would be accessible to as many people as possible. We will return tomorrow with the well guys to begin installation.
After lunch we headed back to Wat Thmei to help at the English classes again. Today we spent a lot of time taking questions about specific words that were confusing, and also about pronounciation. We also were asked many questions about our families and childhoods. The students are all eager to learn and teaching is quite easy with such great students! Again, we had a great day and can’t wait for tomorrow!