Day 12 : The condition of the women…

June 17, 2016 by Gregory Herpe

This is my last day in Happy Chandara.

Tomorrow morning I will leave to stay the weekend in Phnom Penh waiting for my flight, Monday I will leave towards Ho Chi Min, Doha, Barcelona and finally Perpignan …

One gets always used a little, we created bonds. The last two days, a pupil had made me paper boat and yesterday another pupil drew me a snail.

It’s touching and I hope to come back soon.


I was outside early; around 06:00. Many pupils who live outside the school arrive at about 05:30, brought by their parents who go to work in the fields or in the city and who cannot take care of them.

I watch them play with rubber bands, they play same way as girls in Europe do to.



And then they eat. Noodles, with chopsticks, in small transparent plastic bags; they eat fruit, too.

And then they do their hair together.


At 7:30, the raise of the color. The Cambodian and French flag and all pupils stand up silent and aligned aside and do not move an eyelash.


At noon, after eating some rice and a dragon fruit (I think I lost lose 4 or 5 kg!) I went mountain biking in the countryside. It is amazing to see the things that the Khmers carry on their small bikes, by pulling supplies on tiny but fully loaded trailers: banana bunches, bricks, and this morning a veritable jeans and shirts shop.


Yet another, overloaded with a jumble of all kind, ranging from cookware to plastic ducks reminded me of Castorama, a french brand who said : Chez Casto, there’s all you’ll need!


Earlier this afternoon, I returned to school attending a class of “window on the world.”

In the meantime the oldest are there watching a movie about the life of Somali top model Waris Dirie.

A fascinating and dramatic life, circumcised at the age of 3, she managed to flee the country, but became a slave to the Somali ambassador in London, before being one of the most requested models in the world. Later, she became “goodwill ambassador” of the UN, against female genital mutilation.


After the movie, the Khmer teacher launches a debate on the situation of women, the difference in general, and the future of women in Cambodia. The students are moved and are giving their well-marked opinion.

With this group, mentalities change. It is also one of the achievements of the Association Toutes à l’ecole and Tina Kieffer : forming free women, strong with beautiful values …


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