May 2018 – Planning – in particular the next few months.

In CategoryJohns blog

I’m writing today’s notes over the first few days of May 2018.

Right now, by far our greatest needs are around building maintenance. After we pay our 14 teachers in early June I am happy to say that we have the money needed for all our urgent maintenance needs.

As I have said several times over the past two years our next greatest need is and will be another three room school building (we call each one a school because they are a) detached from each other and b) each one has been separately funded and ‘named’ accordingly)  :-

..we are now very close to finalising the funding and our building requirements for our fourth ‘school’. The NEW School will be identical to and opposite the existing tw0 – in our main village (lots of school photos throughout this site). As you may know we operate with up to 100 children – per room – in the early shift from 7am and a DIFFERENT 100 children in the late shift from 1pm. Much more as the plans unfold and building starts over the next few months.

If you look back at the last posting on March 8 you’ll see that the preceding few months were happily very busy with a huge number of photos and their notes. You will find today – some of peoples favourites from that post together with a few that no one has seen from the same period – but we start with some new photos with their notes.


I arrived back in Australia in March and immediately we were given an opportunity to put on a display at ‘The Centre’ – in Beaudesert town. In the first photo the current Beaudesert Rotary Club President – Susan Page – is sitting with me. The second photo is perhaps particularly special; on the left is next year’s (starting July 1st) President, Lesley Turton, then Arthur McDonald, the only surviving Foundation member of Beaudesert Rotary Club – 62 years ago! – and Susan Page, President.

In the photo above, taken at one of the weekly Rotary meetings, we see Lesley – Club President after June 30 2018 and Mark Jackson who is very well known in our Cambodian villages – Mark has been, along with Linda, eight times to Cambodia. – more of Mark and Linda Jackson in photos below – and indeed, throughout this website.


I’ve spent a very enjoyable five mornings every week since mid March helping the incredible Keith Reinke sell Rotary raffle tickets in aid of all the Club projects. I challenge anyone anywhere to find a more successful raffle ticket salesman than Keith. In the second photo, Brian Yarrow dropped by for a chat. Brian was our Club President in the Rotary Year 2008-09 and is forever listed as one of our earliest and biggest Educating Cambodia Donors. There is a list of Gold Donors within the Donors Page to the left of your screen – ‘Gold’ means $500 or more.


A lovely picture I think of Keith and me and then of a raffle draw of Easter eggs donated by Woolworths Beaudesert. Carissa, the Shop Manager is drawing the raffle.. A HUGE ‘thank you’ to Woolworths. Woolworths also donated time, staff and food for a BBQ for Keith who separately raised money for the Leakaemia Foundation – Keith really is quite remarkable.



Above, we have six of the most popular photos from the past weeks – four of them from the March post and various emails and Facebook and two that see this website for the first time.


A selfie of our teacher, Sonita, that she sent to me a short time ago and next – one of our always smiling ‘Antibes School’ teachers. Antibes School is in the village of Prey t’Baing (within our Government District but a 60 minute drive through tracks from our other schools in Chuor Ph’av.)

This smile is there for just about ALL of the time. A wonderful teacher too.


From whatever angle and whether wide shots or close up photographs, our Childrens’ enthusiasm and determination is always apparent, as it is with ALL our teachers.. Browse the website, you wont find a bored child anywhere!

Another wee photo you haven’t seen before. Mark and Zoe in the Computer Shop in Prey Veng Town, buying a printer for Chuor Ph’av School, with their own money.


The two photos above bring us to right now – in Townsville, North Queensland. You have seen a lot of photos of the unstoppable Zoe in Cambodia during February and early March.

The plan WAS that I would return to Cambodia very soon – WITH Zoe……… BUT Zoe has slipped and broken her left leg in three places. I have come north – 1400 klms north of Brisbane to Townsville and Zoe’s home on the quite magikal ‘Magnetic Island’ {and I agree with Captain Cook’s observation that the island confuses compasses!)….. I will return to Cambodia soon and Zoe hopes to be well enough during July.. perhaps. all good – we shall see how healing progresses.



    Especially for people who know the Guesthouse…. and indeed we hope that EVERYONE will eventually visit…. after all, the Chuor Ph’av Schools are 0ne kilometre through the rice fields to the rear (above).

The earth moving you see in the phone footage (above) sent to me last week, you see a rice field we have acquired across the rear of the Guesthouse. As we had done for the Guesthouse, we have raised the ground level by 0ne metre. We will use this extra land for a sitting area and pond together with fruit trees and vegetables. The creating of a pond has given us the soil to raise the land up to the same level as The Guesthouse.

I am looking forward to returning to catch up with EVERYONE… to start our maintenance programme, pay the teachers on time and work toward our wonderful extra classrooms – essentially School NUMBER FOUR.

posting from Magnetic Island – John.




Leave a Reply