One thing which has been really lovely this summer, is seeing each child making progress in something. We thought when we went to Cambodia we would have lots of opportunities to swim, but many of the pools or hotels charge $3-5 per person which makes it a treat rather than a regular activity. Our mandate for holiday was to find a hotel or guest house with a pool for each of the stop overs we had so we could make the most of the opportunity to swim.(also it helps relieve the stress of a long bus trip!!!)
When we left England Ewan was terrified of the water and clug to me in the pool screaming if he thought he was going out of his depth.( Liz and Lisa can confirm this having seen him in action!) Over this year I have been working with him to help him gain confidence in the pool and we had got to the stage where he would attenpt to swim across the baby pool on his own.
When we came to the Juniper Tree I thought here we have a good length of time I am going to give him a crash course in swimming and try to get him to swim under water but he was just freaking out. then I remembered Jamie was the same way when we were at Dophin Bay over Christmas and Liz Teo had given him goggles and he was away.
I tried the same trick with Ewan and suddenly he realised he could swim underwater and bob underwater by himself. I still have to stay with him to help him come up for air but now he is swimming across the pool in short little bursts and is SO proud of himself. It is lovely to see him making such rapid progress and suddenly getting it.
I am also doing the same thing with Lucia and although she is a little less confindent she is making fantastic progress too. She does this cute little panic swim like she is about to sink but is so pleased with herself.
She is now jumping in and getting her face wet which is a major achievement as she didnt like to get water in her ears.
Phoebe is hoping to improve her swimming and be part of the school swim squad next year, so Iam working on her strokes. Thank you to Nessa and Andy who invested so much time into Phoebes swimming in England, she is making great progress and you would be very proud of her. She is confident with the breast stroke and is working on her front crawl. Her favourite is swimming underwater. She also likes to help Lucia.
Jamie has come on leaps and bounds since Christmas when Lizzie worked her magic on him. He is beccoming more confident in areas out of his depth and now needs to learn some of his strokes. He loves swimming underwater and jumping making dive bombs to splash everyone.
So this years goal is to find a good place in Phnom Penh we can swim. We do have a pool next to the school which is not too pricey so I think we will be visiting it a bit more often if we can!
Colin said he thinks he needs to come to my swimming school before all his children can swim better than him!
Today we are just relaxing and taking it easy…swimming, reading, blogging, playing with other kids and Colin is happy because he is sorting out a computer problem! It is nice to be able to give back to the Juniper Tree as it is not run on a profit but it is a ministry in itself providing excellent R&R for an affordable price for christian workers. The people running it are funded by their church in England and it relies on gifts to help with improvements and additions. We are feeling very blessed to be here.