November 03 2018 -So much to share with you. Very new things. Faster and clearer but nothing is lost.

In CategoryJohns blog

All The News – FOUR MONTHS of News.

If you scroll back down to July 2nd you will see that the Contracts were signed for MyHealth School, the UNICEF play equipment was being moved, the ground was being prepared and the first deliveries of sand and gravel were arriving.

Sadly soon after July 2nd the website became impossible to add to or edit.

(There is still a way to go with the way I can arrange photos and text with the new site BUT it is working!!)

In 2011 the amazing Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin not only created our website but offered to HOST us until we found a permanent home. The Polytech was never meant to be the website’s forever base but they generously put up with us for more than SEVEN YEARS …. Not seven weeks – seven YEARS. AND WE WERE GROWING! … and everything was (and is) blooming.

I am very grateful to Otago Polytechnic’s School of Enterprise and Development and its Head, Lesley, for so kindly hosting us for so very long.

After incredibly efficient and warm cooperation between Rob the Systems Administrator of the Polytech’ School in Dunedin and Galen, the Technical Director of  The VO Group based in both Australia and NewZealand  – and working on behalf of Carrie of MyHealth…

So …..… we NOW HAVE A NEW HOST- ‘MyHealth’ with Galen, Technical Director of ‘VO’ and working for Carrie of ‘MyHealth’ giving me fast advice. (There is now potential to change A LOT if we want to or need to, but that is for the future.) The site hosting and needed work is very generously donated by MyHealth.

To Professor Sam of Otago Polytech and to Rachel, our own dedicated Polytech third Year Information Technology student of seven years ago – EducatingCambodia is forever grateful. What’s more you will be delighted (I hope) to find that after adding seven years of WordPress upgrades, the site APPEARS almost unaltered. Every photo is still there – every word is still there… your layout, Rachel and Sam – everything.

THIS website is SECURE in every way.

Pages and photos download a lot faster and it all – photos and text – appears clearer than ever.

We’ve made two immediate changes:

  1. Reverting to the original plan – the site one again opens directly onto the latest BLOG (post)
  2. If you scroll down and down and down you will find every post since the beginning in sequence since June 2011.
  3. To the left of your screen at the bottom of the Contents list there is now a ‘drop down box’ named ‘Archive’. You target any particular month or year using ‘Archive’ … Archive is specific and doesn’t ‘scroll to previous or following posts.
  4. The Mission Statement is now in ‘About’ at the top of the Contents list and includes ‘How to Donate”
  5. ‘How to Donate’ is repeated in ‘Donate’ –  in the Contents list. The Donors Page is up to date and as ever, the various ‘Pages’ are added to from time to time.


If you have seen our site before or over many months or years you will know that we tell the story with photos and notes of, say, the previous MONTH. It’s been a full FOUR months and we could easily add 200 photos but we’ve kept it right down to the essential story.


So, just as a reminder, in July 2018, we left the new School – ‘MyHealth’ at the Contract signing stage with some very early ground preparation happening.

Our story restarts in mid July 2018….

“MyHealth School” will have its Official and Grand public opening on January 26th 2019 with Members of Beaudesert Rotary Club, Carrie and friends from My Health, Zoe (who our villages have adopted), all levels of Cambodian Government, School families and children  – all present not just for the Grand Opening but for the enormous Fair to follow – you haven’t seen a FAIR until you’ve been part of a Cambodian village Fair.

‘MyHealth School’ will be the way we display the School sign together with the My Health Logo.

This is how we got from July 2nd 2018 to today:







As with our first three Schools, it is all hand made – from the hand dug foundations to the steel reinforcement ‘skeletons’ to all the  hand filled beams and columns, the floor and later, the desks themselves – all hand made within our villages.

We pay no one at all in our villages except our village builders and our Cambodian teachers. We don’t employ secretarial or admin staff or ANY foreigners. I receive no remuneration and nor does any other non Cambodian person.  Our local builders employ locals to build our Schools – so giving EVERYONE HERE a real, genuine  sense of ownership.                                                                     
As the new School progresses vehicles bring in everything from Steel rods (interestingly it’s Australian iron ore made into steel and then reinforcing rods in Japan)  to sand and bricks. The Peter Greenwell tuk tuk comes into its own – ferrying helpers, children and cement – all along side its first function – getting children to School. In the photo, the teacher, Ren, is passing the Pre-School and Office.

Below we see Sok Ken, our Head Teacher with the partly built MyHealth School in the distance.







Above:- the view from the verandah of The Rotary School of Beaudesert.

The entire building, inside and out is expertly and beautifully cement rendered.








Steel framed roof ready for the terracotta tiles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I love the blackboards. The whole wall is finely cement rendered (plastered with cement). A large rectangle is painted with special black paint and then framed in wood – BRILLIANT. The concrete dais is for the teacher.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             At this stage, Chanthou traveled to Australia with me for a seven week visit to Beaudesert Rotary and Magnetic Island Rotary. We first traveled way up north for Magnetic Island and then with Zoe from her Island – the 1400klm south to Beaudesert. As you see from the poster, a VERY special Cambodian Evening was planned. It was a truly inspiring night with 100 people listening to talks, hearing Chanthou and Lauren sing, a Khmer feast and a slide show from our villages and meeting lots of old and new friends.


Zoe, John, (Linda pretending she’s not there), and Chanthou.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Hundreds of of our village children have been given teddy bears over the years….

This is Chanthou with the amazing couple who make and have made most of our teddy bears! (more to come THIS month)

The stage with our slide show. This was held at the Anglican Church Hall in Beaudesert.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A few days later the Beaudesert Times printed this article – it is also on Beaudesert Times online.                                                                                                                                                                                                    ….. and meanwhile back at the MyHealth School Building site ……

…. the terracotta tiles arrive … and WOW!!

                                                                                                                            The terracotta tiles start arriving. (and the floor is done) The tiles, just like all our bricks are made locally right on the bank of The Mighty Mekong River. (There is a posting with photos of Mekong Brick Works deep in the depths of our ‘archives.’ )                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             One of our very hard working teachers – Ren – on the MyHealth School Verandah. The original Beaudesert Rotary School running at right angles in the background.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Ren with two visiting monks. In these photos today the School Building is almost complete. Doors have to be made and fitted and also SHUTTERS for all the windows. Note there is NO GLASS in any of our schools. There is some of our reinforcing steel running vertically through each window frame and we are making hinged shutters.  The walls and floor are all reinforced with steel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I think that this is a thing of great beauty. It will be a working School – MyHealth School probably by December – with the Official Opening and Fair on Australia Day – January 26th 2019.

Carrie, Zoe and friends will be there; Beaudesert Rotary Club will be there; I will be there; Chanthou will be there. All our village families will be there.

       Love to everyone from John and also on behalf of Carrie of My Health.                       

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