party time!

party time!

If there’s any reason to have a party, I’ll do it! I’m a big believer that even small events in life are worth celebrating. So, when our English class’ usual teacher, Kong, finished his graduation exams (like the GED) naturally, we had to have a party! Kong had been studying for weeks and Judy and I took over English class so that he could study. Taking over the English class was quite a challenge because although the students range from ages 11-18, their English is extremely basic and it’s hard to explain new words without having Kong to translate and explain in Khmer. Plus they’re teenagers and even Cambodian teenagers want to look ‘cool’ in front of their friends. But we managed to teach them all about “a party” by using a lot of hand motions, noises, drawing pictures and acting things out. The students all seemed really excited to have a party because they were smiling and laughing… or maybe they were just laughing at me as I tried to explain that “you eat soup out of a bowl” and “a knife is used to cut cake, not fingers” and “balloons and streamers are decorations“.

We taught the students to say “Surprise! Congratulations Teacher Kong!” and so the next day when he came in the classroom we sprayed him with silly string and yelled “surprise!”… well, I yelled “surprise”…the students forgot how to say it. Our party was a lot of fun as you can see by the student’s smiling faces below:

happy students

One of the funniest parts of the party {to me} was when I asked, “who wants a donut and candy?!” and the room fell silent. I asked 2 more times and no one said anything. I knew they understood me because they were all looking longingly at the donuts. In America, those donuts would’ve been gone before I even asked if anyone wanted one. Kong told me not to take it personally, but they were all trying to be polite and the polite Cambodian thing to do is to refuse 3 times. So I asked a 3rd time and they all took one… they even had seconds!

We played pin  draw the tail on the donkey which was hilarious and we also had a few exciting games of hangman. The kid at the board, Visal, is the youngest kid in the class and he has the best English. He beat us all at hangman with a three letter word! L-A-Y!


A great time was had by all and everyone went home with a belly full of donuts & candy and a balloon!

{Side note: Kong is an amazing English teacher and he is also a Christian and he comes to the youth fellowship on Sunday’s. He is 23 years old and has been married to a Canadian girl (who was a missionary to Cambodia with her family) for 2 years. The sad part is that Kong’s dad died right before he got married and he has 8 brothers and sisters to help take care of. Also, he has been waiting TWO years to get a Canadian visa to go and start a new life in Canada with his wife. And yes, they’ve been apart for TWO years. I am continually amazed at Kong’s optimism and how he follows Jesus. So please pray with me that his visa application would be accepted quickly so that him and his wife can be reunited for their anniversary in September and so that he can help support his family by getting a good job in Canada}

3 thoughts on “party time!

  1. Oh the memories of teaching asians:) I remember their many forms of politeness like refusing food 3 times or fighting to pay at restaurants even though they had no money to spare. It’s quite humbling coming from our entitled country— great job jess!! They’ll be sure to truly miss the nurse gone English teacher:)

  2. Ohhhh, I am praying so hard for Kong and his wife! What a wonderful example of dedication to both the Lord and his spouse! Thanks for sharing! Please keep us updated on if he gets his visa!

  3. Pingback: my thoughts on teaching English… | Anderson Adventures

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