For many years we have had a saying here “Make Wat Opot Sa’at” (Sa’at being the Khmer word for beautiful) when ever we want the kids to clean up.
The school year has started, but there is a lack of teachers so 1st through 3rd grades have been cut in half because of the large number of students whereas 1/2 of the kids in each class go Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and the other half go Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Luckily the teachers are kind and agreed to not split up the Opot kids who are in the same class and also to put all the Opot kids on the same schedule.
So every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, I have 17 children to keep occupied until 8am (when our staff arrive and the kids start their ‘extra study’ here). That small amount of time can be very long some days! But, now that it has been a couple of weeks since the school change came into effect, they are getting pretty good at using this time to “make Wat Opot Sa’at“, encouraged by the lure of a movie and a snack before they start their in home studies.
On this day we got underway at 6:45am once the ‘big kids’ went to school. With a dozen brooms distributed they got to work sweeping the sidewalk in front of our main building and clearing all the leaves from our big beautiful shade trees (which luckily by now are mostly void of leaves).
With so many busy kids, it didn’t take long at all!
and soon the area was looking quite sa’at.
But then we moved on to the playground…which has an equally beautiful shade tree, but this tree produces big long pods that dry up and fall to the ground by the bucketfuls.
The playground clean up began…
And it wasn’t long before this
turned into this!
And by 7:30am the children received their reward:
Everyone participated even though there are those who ‘help’ in their own special way.
We are more than ready for visitors! (when that time finally comes)