The final hour

Well, this is my last update for a while. I leave NHCC in less than an hour. I’ve had just the best final day with the Grade 8A class… just love them to bits and will miss them all!

This morning started with assembly, and not being competitive AT ALL, we won the ‘Gratitude Competition’… listing over 50 things we are grateful for in our lives.

In Library I had the opportunity to speak with each student 1-1 about their weekly spelling results and to tell them how proud I am of them. I held it together… just!

But the best session was last. We have been working on our own “Turtle and the Rabbit” books since Tuesday. Today we visited 5 classes to read them and share work that they are truly proud of. To see them interact with the younger students was really touching… especially as they then retold their stories in Khmer for the Grade 1 class. Some told me they translated their English, others said they just made it up. Bless them!

So as a nearby wedding begins it’s 3 day blast of music across the fields and into NHCC in Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia.

This is Paul, signing off.


What’s been happening?

Hello all,

It’s my final week at NHCC for this trip- as always I can’t believe my departure is almost here again!

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Blessing at Pagoda

Ended the year with a monk blessing. Been meaning to get one since I got here and the end of the year was a perfect way to cleanse myself and start fresh. Whether you are Buddhist or not- this cleansing ceremony was literally refreshing! Being with locals who are asking the monk for advice for their families and themselves was very special to be invited into.

Not my most flattering photos but oh well…

Year 8A Assembly

It’s not easy for everyone to speak in front of their peers, but I was so proud to see the kids stand in front of their grade 7-9 classes and introduce the word of the month “Gratitude”, teach everyone “thankyou” in 6 languages, and some students read their recounts about Christmas Day. So proud of them all!

Thank you cards

Another way to show gratitude was to make cards for the supporters of the fundraiser to sponsor a teacher. They loved knowing their cards are coming to Australia!

And to round off this post… here’s a gorgeous young girl that likes to help me lock the classroom door…

Christmas at NHCC 2017

I hope you’ve all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, wherever you may be.

Pre-Christmas Fun

We had a wonderful Friday- the last day of school until the new year. Reading in the library, games in the classroom, then the school concert. Photos and YouTube links below:

Grade 5 Elephants and Teacher Mike

Khmer song at Christmas Concert 1

Khmer Song at Christmas Concert 2

The students and teachers were so proud of the effort some went to for their performance.


Christmas Day

A busy start to Christmas morning. Started moving around 400 named gifts to the pavilion before 6am, setting up the tree and all things festive before the sun! With such a strong, enthusiastic crew of teachers and volunteers we were set-up by 6:40am!

The excitement was pretty clear once Santa arrived: another new way this year… see the video below. I don’t know how he does it!!!

Santa arrives at NHCC 2017

Smiling faces everywhere as the kids waited for their name to be called.

And here’s a tired Santa with his own gifts… heading off to put his feet up!


Enjoyed a beautiful 25 December Christmas with my dear friend John in coastal Kep. This is also where the fun will be for New Years Eve. Back to the village on the 2nd January… ready to roll my sleeves up and get back into it.

In case you hadn’t heard yet- the fundraiser finished on $5,001: just an incredible result!

Here’s to a Happy New Year!

Paul x

Share your feelings!

Hello from NHCC!

I returned to the village on Sunday and spent Monday with a focus on helping Ma Kathy and volunteers to prepare Santa’s workshop with gifts for all the kids. They were all so organised- it was an impressive well-oiled machine and I was seriously just in the way.

In the afternoon I went with Kathy and Director Many to go shopping for Christmas presents… BIKES! All 62 of them. Forgot to bring my camera unfortunately. So a total of 72 bikes will go to the older kids that had that top of their wish list. It will also help them get to the local school for morning classes.

Christmas is definitely coming

Tuesday to Friday I have been helping Teacher Rachel in her Grade 8 class… these are the kids I taught in Grade 7 this time last year. It’s such a beautiful feeling to walk into a classroom and pick up where you left off. We got straight into reading comprehension strategies and they responded so well. We’ve also done some shared poetry writing for Christmas and Rachel had them making these really cute snowflakes.

Tomorrow we will get the Wii consoles out and have a fun morning before the Christmas concert.

Grade 3 “I Feel” books

This afternoon all teachers and volunteers were invited to the Grade 3 classrooms so they could share their books about feelings. “I feel happy when…” “I feel sad when…” etc. They were so proud to share their feelings with us all. They are in great hands with Teacher Kimmy and Teacher Cassie (both in my fundraiser video)

Check out Watana reading his book below:

Watana reads his Feelings book

Fund a Teacher

We have 1day to go with the fundraiser. We have reached $4,300 which means from your generosity we have fully funded a teacher for a school year. If you were considering donating and haven’t yet…NHCC would love your support. Would love to see the final total as high as it can be!

Looking forward to a beautiful Christmas Day on Sunday (Santa is coming to Cambodia a day earlier this year).

Have a great day on Monday- wherever you may be!

Paul x

Grade 9 Final exam this morning!

In one hour (7am)… I’ll be over at the classroom starting the Grade Nine economics exam… their final one with me. Their last Khmer exam finishes at 10:30. Then they are DONE!

The photo above from last night is an individual pile for each student of the 4 exams marked by me: 2x English, 1x history, 1x geography, I’ll add their economics one later after I’ve marked them. The piles all have an individual note from me letting the students know how proud I am and how special they are.

I am just so proud of the work they have done, and look forward to meeting with them at 10:30 to give them all their papers back.

Enjoying my final playground nights catching up with so many of the kids… tonight is the last one!!

Tomorrow morning will be the graduation ceremonies and then I’m off to Vietnam with friends to celebrate some birthdays (maybe mine too).

Wish these guys well as the reach the end of exam week!

Friday fun before the Finals!

Well exams were off and happening as of 7am this morning. The Village has a different feel when in exam mode. Students staying in their cluster houses to study and prepare for the next exam.

So on Friday… we made the most of the last day of school! Some final revision in the morning and then some time on the Wii! As you can see from the photo… I may have gone first! Well, they hadn’t used them before, so I had to lead by example.

Check out the moves on these awesome kids! Grade 9 dance!
We had a ball…

So all the balloons? Well, Ninth grade were charged with the awesome responsibility of decorating the stage for the Talent Show… we took it very seriously as you can tell… the place looked incredible. Continually blown away this last week at how well these kids work together. They are such a great bunch!

And here we are at exams. The finals ones for this school year at NHCC.

Please keep them all in your hearts and minds this week… oh and the teachers too!

Revision Week – June 2017

img_0040So here I am- back again at NHCC to see another school year finish, and the kids getting to demonstrate all the amazing things they have learnt for the year.

This time I am taking the 9th Grade class, which I am thrilled about. Whilst I didn’t know them all by name before- they are such familiar faces, as I am to them, that we just stepped right in and rolled our sleeves up on Monday- the last week before exams.

We have had just the best time these last 4 days. They could already tell me so much  of WWI and the history of Cambodia, geographical information about their country and the region, and their reading and grammar skills are just so impressive. These kids, the whole school community, have come such a long way in their English development. But this class… they just wanna learn… even in the last week of school.

They are so focussed, but we’ve had a lot of fun along the way! The Wii systems got a quick work out today… and we’ll give them a good go tomorrow to end the school year and get into exam mode.

35418cae-6fd8-48c7-9cf8-7801fb6c052dDeborah is doing a great job in the library, I mentioned this lovely lady in my post earlier in the year. She has the library open after school each day this week for the students, the line has been out the door! I tutored students on a step around the corner demand was so high. Deb is such a tireless legend!

I’ll finish with some photos from the week… mostly taken by kids on the yard.

Again- it’s great to be back- helping the awesome teachers that make NHCC what it is.

Aussies- it’s the end of financial year. Need to get some tax deductible donations in? NHCC could always use your help. Now more than ever.

Click here for more info: