37 photos taken by Ren Soth, Chanthou and Marion of Le9 Theatre in Avignon, France.

In CategoryJohns blog

We will start with introductory notes for all first time visitors to our website:

(If you would like to talk with us, the ‘Contacts’ Page is near the top of the Contents list to your left – along with how to ‘Donate’ and lots more.)

“If you are new to our projects or haven’t visited this site for a while –here’s how it works:

Whenever you open the site, first-up, you come to the very latest post or ‘blog,’ like this one – and through the years now, we have hundreds of posts and several thousand original photos, all with their own notes. We have over 1340 primary age pupils. Our aim or mission is to provide basic primary education – maths, reading and writing in their own Khmer language, Science and General Studies including History, Geography, health, nutrition and hygiene. Join us please; we pay absolutely no one, no one at all except Cambodian teachers. We have no office or computer staff or administration costs. We rely on your financial help to pay the teachers, maintain the buildings and buy the books. If you like what you see, please find the ‘Donate’ page to the left of your screen and try to help us. (There is also a Donors page which lists all our donors of $500 or above). There’s lots of advice on the site about what money can buy for our children.”

so now – today’s post -”

IN MY ABSENCE, getting successful medical care in Australia. one of our teachers has been taking photos and telling me the schools are going well. (I’ll be back in the villages soon)

“We need a lot of building maintenance but the children are all at school.” says Ren Soth

Indeed we know about maintenance needs and I’ll talk about our precise needs in a few more weeks from now.. But for example, everyone of our nineteen doors needs serious help, most blackboards are beyond repair and every building NEEDS paint exterior and interior.


 This is the only photo today that was taken in early February while I was still in The Schools. Note to self  – “did you know that the children didn’t know which way to look”?

 Ren with his son on our School corridor.

 The only good blackboard out of twelve blackboards.


Ren’s grade 2 class ( Morning shift)



Flower gardens run in front of all our classrooms (vegetables (khmer greens and stream plants) are grown at home and brought in)



I wish I’d been there but Chanthou and the teachers were perfect hosts – Marion and her husband from Avignon visited the School. Marion is a good friend of Hilary and Le9 Theatre in Avignon, France. They are grouped in Sok Ken’s (head teacher to the right) office cum Clinic.


The first photo above was taken by Marion earlier this month and the second was taken on the same day – Marion with her husband.

. Ren took this photo. Since our very first year we have taken photos of salaries being presented between teachers. Ren took this photo.



If you have been with us or visited us or know this site, then you know Chanthou. Chanthou is our coordinator in Cambodia. There are many many photos of Chanthou and of her family and friends within this site.

The first set of photos are of Danni’s wedding. Danni was our first House Keeper of the Guesthouse (now it’s Chanthai). Several years ago I bought Danni out of a very inappropriate marriage. (as in “GO AWAY” and to seal the farewell here’s $400).. That marriage was annulled under Cambodian Buddhist Law. Lets hope that this marriage – photos below – is a good one.


 The ‘reception’ marquee is next to the Guesthouse with the all day services/ceremonies happening on the upper floor of the Guesthouse. Those of you who know the Guesthouse can orientate yourselves and for everyone else there are a great many Guesthouse photos through the last three years of posts.

 Food was prepared in several places – this is under Ayees house opposite. Ayee is Danni’s mother and is a very poor widowed sister of Chanthou. Fortunately both for Ayee’s family and for us Ayee lives directly across the track from the Guesthouse. Everyone helps everyone.

 On the upper floor (see part of our mattress storage) preparing  the ceremony area.

 The main upper sleeping area  makes a a GREAT wedding setting. The guesthouse is a very traditional building in appearance as well as quality – made from various Cambodian hard woods Those columns, shaped octagonally are an incredible 5 metres of the strongest hardwood (see construction posts earlier). See that cushion? you will see it again soon.

 The chief monk or priest or Abbot I suppose of our local temple (Wat) – a Wat is where monks live, but as long time readers will know, the wat is also our village 24 hour a day temple and Community centre and and centre of, as it were, social work. The chief monk is one of my close friends in the village and I keep him supplied with small cigars. In Cambodia, yes Monks and Nuns do not drink alcohol and are celibate but they are allowed to smoke – much to the amusement of visitors. My monk is selective – cigars!

 Meanwhile in the Guesthouse grounds the food is cooked for perhaps 200 people – everyone contributes.



Look above at meat preparation especially…. but it IS delicious.


 Maigin  the Bridesmaid welcoming you inside.

 Various ceremonies throughout the day. Maigin in her day Clothes. Danni the beautiful Bride.

 and with two of Chanthou’s children – the boy Kumheang and Sokleah one of the identical twins.

 last one – the ceremony from the centre of our upper floor.


A big THANK YOU to Ren Soth, Chanthou and Marion for today’s photos. John.














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