Merry Christmas 2019 with 9 joyous YouTube videos and 23 happy photos.

In CategoryJohns blog

Merry Christmas from John, all the children, the teachers and the families in Cambodia.

There is no asking for money in today’s enormous Santa Bag of videos, photos and notes. It comes in three sections. First is a tour around the Chuor Ph’av campus of Schools – then we visit the Prey t,Baing School (The Antibes School) and then, a larger third section – The wedding of Chanthou’s daughter, Soklek to Neath.

Unlike all other posts over the years, most of the information today is within the YouTube videos – so if you skip the videos you’ll miss most of today’s information and the joyous stuff too.

Whenever I can I’ll leave photos to be self explanatory and in most of the 9 YouTube videos I give a commentary. Here goes. It’s big –   SORRY. I hope you find it interesting, first and foremost, but also at this Christmas time – a lot of joy is shown by everyone in the photos and videos.

We’ll start – above – with the biggest video today –  its a tour around the Chuor Pháv campus of Schools including the absolute up to date look at our network of paths that we’ve been planning for 5 months.

NB: All the money for the concrete path network was donated specifically for these pathways. Obviously, not one dollar of donated money went towards the wedding.

Next, we have a look at the making of that pathway and the paying of the teachers their six monthly salary from us.

In one of the photos below you can see Soth, one of our teachers, helping with cement production. ALL cement and concrete, from floors to beams and columns is hand mixed in the way shown.

The photos start here with our Head Teacher Sok Ken in the Staffroom.





























The wedding section starts here but sadly I’m having huge issues with WordPress so that as you just might have noticed the order in which photos, videos and text are appearing is quite bizarre.. however I can do nothing about it soooo please dear reader – I know you are clever (all my friends are clever) so please try to work your way through what I think you’ll agree are some pretty special photos videos and stories

Makeup and everything else started on day two -the 21st – very early. I took the makeup video  at 4.40am (after the next row of photos)

The double length marquee fitted perfectly next to the Guesthouse.

below- I’ll try to find a place for a photo or two of the massive task undertaken by all our local children – the cleaning BEFORE the wedding. I wonder whether I can beat technology and find a spot for a photo of my friend and  builder – Warn and me …YES – success, it’s sneaked in next to the children cleaning!

The video above is the first big ceremony of the day – the Procession.

The video below is breakfast time for everyone!!









A few photos above – the Bride, on a chair, has time out supervised by me as ‘The Wedding Bride Minder’.

In the photo immediately above, we see the Bride Sok lek and her mother Chanthou simply looking at each other.

In the video below we see what I think is a very moving ritual (among many others!). Close family and friends form a circle and pass around all their love and protection to the couple through lit candles. In the photo below the video you see that the couple has received the candles.









The evening celebrations are well under way – below
We manged not only to sleep 150 people for each of two nights, we fed 600 guests. This is my table – the teachers’ table.

Market stalls are popping up outside our gates… and rumour has it that a HOUSE is blocking our road!

During the evening a large number of stalls have set up to attract our hundreds of guests. This is Mab (below), Aunt to Peery (sister of Nang) selling soft drinks.








Below we see the ‘Official District Wedding Collection Tin’ (seriously) next to my safe at The Guesthouse.










The following morning! and has the house moved ? On your left – Panya and her friends collect cans for recycling. Yes, I have noticed the plastic waste …we are working on it.

In our earlier days, Anni was our housekeeper and first Guesthouse keeper. Anni is now married with a lovely daughter, Yurra.








We’ll close today with a photo of Picadeh and his mother Kamau. Picadeh is still a sick boy but as you can see, there are joyous days.



Merry Christmas everyone, from John and everyone in our Cambodian villages xx

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