With all staff (except for Dara, Wayne, and I) off for 5 days during the Khmer New Year holiday we had a lot of time to fill with keeping the kids busy. So with my new obsession with flowers and plants in mind, the kids tried their hand at making small ‘cement towel’ planters. This was a messy project but one that every child could participate in, even our two 3 year olds.
Before hand we had cut up a large stained and unused curtain which gave us enough material to make 25 little squares. (in hindsight, this material was not the best to use as it had a tight weave and wasn’t able to absorb the cement like a towel would have.)
The kids dug right in and started soaking their cloth piece in the cement. We had previously filled cups with sand (for stability) in order to drape the cloth over.
We lined them up in the sun with good ole’ Ben guarding them!
That evening, I brought them all to my patio because I was afraid it would rain. Upon doing so, I realized how fragile they were and easily cracking…my first realization that perhaps the cloth we used was not the best. After letting them completely dry for a few days, the kids had to come back and ‘paint’ them with another layer of cement.
That was really a mess and hard for the kids to apply the cement evenly, so over the next 2 days, I painted each little pot with 3 more coats of cement! (lesson learned to do more research beforehand!)
They finally dried fully and I could get the cups out of them and turn them over. I don’t think it was until then, that the kids understood what they had made.
We raided a couple flowering areas to fill the planters with hearty moss rose.
Soon the planters were filled, watered and placed in chosen spots around the property. Some took them to their dorms while others kept them where they were made (maybe to ensure their safe keeping).
I am proud of their nurturing ability, as almost all the children are caring for their plants daily. Moss rose is pretty hearty and I hope can withstand everything from drought to over watering as well as being handled often. So far so good though as they are being showered with love and care and anything has the ability to thrive in those conditions!