It is now the end of our first week volunteering and I have been extremely busy. Splitting my time between teaching ever eager English students and sifting through applications for future scholars, there has been little time to reflect. The others in our group have been testing wells – some problems have been found such as low levels of arsenic (although I have been informed this is ok!!!) and e-coli – a result of the well functioning improperly.

Early in the week we went on a tour of a nearby village to see the work that JWOC has already carried out in the area. The village is essentially a squatter settlement with families living in houses they have built themselves on land set aside by the government for the construction of roads. On this trip we came across Pwet, a young boy who had a deep cut on his knee which could potentially have been very serious. The accident had happened a week before but the cut was still bleeding and there were signs infection. His mother had taken him to the hospital only to be deterred by an excessively long wait. However, Pwet was soon on Robin’s shoulders and on the way back to JWOC headquarters before being whisked off to hospital for some much needed stitches!!! A couple of the group saw him the day after and said a smile was back on his face!!

However, it has not by any means been all work! Thursday night saw our group (with the aid of John and Angkor Beer) win a local pub quiz. We now know what Taphophobia is the fear of being buried alive!! For our endeavors we earned ourselves four free meals and boosted our egos!!