The past few days were quite hectic at BEA, especially since we have just one more week before we’re closed for the summer vacation.
Shally and I spent most of Friday morning at the Preah Vihear Book Center ordering supplies for the new school year, which will start on September 5. We’re offering four courses for the 2011-12 school year, and we’ll have almost 100 students, which means we need more supplies. As usual, BEA students will receive all their school supplies for free. Their orientation package includes one textbook, two notebooks (per semester), a book bag, and a pen case with two blue pens, a red pen, two pencils, a highlighter, a correction pen, a ruler, and a pencil sharpener. If students use up their pens and pencils before the end of the first semester, they are given new ones. We were able to get everything at the Preah Vihear Book Center, except the pen cases, so we had to visit a few other book stores in Siem Reap before we found them. I budgeted $1000 for all the supplies, but surprisingly the grand total was $920. Now, we just have to get the textbooks.
NGO Administration Training Program:
I met Rie for a late lunch on Friday to evaluate her NGO administration training program. She said that it was a very valuable experience, and would highly recommend it to other students interested in NGO work. She also said that she was very surprised at the amount of work and time needed to run a NGO, and was shocked that just Shally and I were able to run an entire school on our own. My next job is to go through her evaluation and training materials, and revise this program so that we can offer it as a permanent training program from February 2012. Although the evaluation was over, Rie’s work for the day was not. We kept her working until the last minute of her stay.
Final Tests and Writing Journals:
BEA students started the second part of their final tests, which consisted of paragraph writing. While the students were writing, Shally finished the speaking evaluations. Shally now has a lot of marking to do within the next few days, and then has to calculate the final grades for the second semester. Also, we collected all the writing journals from students. I’ve started to go through them so that I can come up with topics for research papers before the end of the year. In addition, I’m planning to put some of the students’ comments on the website as “testimonials” to their learning experience at BEA. Overall, I was quite moved at the effect BEA and Shally has had on improvement their English abilities and their lives.
Rie’s Farewell Motobike Ride:
Rie finished up her last day at BEA in the office organizing all the supplies for the 2011-12 school year. We’ll really miss her help, and wish she could’ve stayed longer. I was so impressed with her dedication and hard work, and especially at how quick she was able to finish all her tasks! Thank you so much Rie!
Before Rie left on Saturday, Shally took her on the back of his motorbike through Trapeang Sess Village and the Angkor countryside so that she could see where our students lived and worked. I followed behind on my motorbike, and had a bit of trouble navigating the winding, dirt roads, especially since it had rained the night before, and everything had turned to mud. We headed out into the Angkor countryside along some very narrow paths, and unfortunately I ended up with a flat tire. Shally’s uncle just happened to be in a rice field nearby with his water buffaloes, so he was able to help us get my motorbike back to the main road to get repaired. Fortunately, Rie made it back in time to catch her bus to Phnom Penh. Always drama with Shally and I until the very last minute!
Anyways, we’re back to work tomorrow at BEA and it’ll be another busy week. Shally will be holding student conferences and I’ll be dealing with pre-registration for the new school year.
Back to work even on Sundays…
The Bayon English Academy (BEA) is an NGO school that provides underprivileged youth with quality English language education in a safe, clean environment in Siem Reap, Cambodia.