Thrift shopping

Thrift shopping

 

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love hitting a thrift store. Searching through heaps of clothes to find something special is exciting. You have to be willing to search though, I know it’s not everyone’s deal but for me, I thoroughly enjoy it.

 

How cute is this strawberry shirt? You obviously have to have matchy earrings 😉

 

Personally, growing up there was a stigma to shopping for 2nd hand clothes. As a teenager, it was all about having brand name clothing and if you didn’t, you weren’t considered ‘cool’. However, a lot has changed since then. Many people are leaning towards thrift stores, it’s proven by how many have popped up. They’re affordable, you tend to find very unique items and they’re generally much better quality (they’ve lasted long enough to still end up in a store).

 

The sleeves on this top are AMAZING!

 

You have many thrift store options in Cambodia and all very budget friendly. You could stop over at the markets and spend 1000 riel on a top (25c) or going to a store and spend anything from $3 – $5 on items. These stores sell everything from shirts, dresses, skirts, shoes, winter coats (in Cambodia) and so much more. I’ve also found most of my accessories from these stores, their handbags are fantastic quality and don’t break the bank.

 

This whole look cost less than $10 🙂

 

Thrift shopping is not only budget friendly but it’s also a much greener lifestyle. Those clothes already exist and it’s not supporting the fast fashion industry. It’s scary to know how much water is used when just making a pair of jeans (about 1800 gallons).

 

This whole look was thrifted.

 

 

Thrift shopping doesn’t only consist of clothing. I have purchased some amazing goodies from these stores over the years. Pillows and stuffed toys that are in my School’s Reading Room, mugs, bowls and plates (oh my goodness, it is SO fun browsing through the racks).

 

 

This is just one aisle of the bags.

 

 

Look at all the crockery. You could be here for ages searching through it all.

 

This particular store gets all it goodies from Japan.

 

 

Most of our books in the Reading Room are not new and they’re in amazing condition.

 

 

You don’t only have to hit a thrift store to find gold. Cambodia is home to many expats. As expats do, they come and go and often sell their belongings. Our Reading Room is home to couches and bean bags bought from expats.

 

How adorable is this pallet couch?

 

 

All of these were bought 2nd hand.

 

Now I’m not saying that buying new is wrong. I am certainly not going thrift shopping for my undies. It works for me and it may be something you have not possibly considered. It is something that we should talk about though as we are living in a time where us humans, have taken advantage of our gorgeous home, planet Earth. 🙂 It just means making smarter purchases. 🙂

Happy shopping everyone.
Laura

World of Online Teaching

World of Online Teaching

 

Wow! December 2020, can you believe it? What a whirlwind of a year. I know we can all name plenty ways in which our lives have changed because of the pandemic from not seeing family and friends, losing loved ones, likely receiving a much lower salary or not receiving one at all. Medical professionals around the world have been working non stop and of course, schools closing.

The closing of schools obviously affected millions of students around the world. We all understand why it had to happen but try explaining that to a 3 year old who loves putting his little uniform on in the morning. Kids are experiencing something that I couldn’t have even imagined as a youngster. My biggest worry in Primary school was making sure my homework was complete and remembering to bring my lunch box home .(stressful times 😉 )

 

 

It’s a pretty looking school, don’t you think?

 

I must say, compared to how intense some of the lock downs have been around the world, including my country, South Africa. Cambodia got off lightly. Family and friends constantly informed us of all the rules and restrictions. South Africa even stopped selling alcohol and cigarettes during their lock down. You had to have a specific permit to travel to a family member in need. Intense. Here in Cambodia, we have had a tiny amount of cases compared to the rest of the world. Majority being incoming cases. All schools closed in March and we went online shortly after.

All our grades went online, from Kindergarten – High school.

 

Now, I must say that I was very impressed and proud of our Schools and my team. We all worked together in researching the best and easiest ways for our students to join lessons online. We experimented with various online platforms and decided on the simplest one. As teachers around the world can relate, it was definitely not easy setting it up, especially when facing so many obstacles. Some teachers not being tech savvy, students not having access to a phone / tablet, students don’t have WiFi or data, no parental supervision and so on.

A Ben 10 desk. Perfect set up for his lessons. 🙂

 

However, after many video tutorials and countless phone calls, we got our schools online. Students were suddenly exposed to all this exciting technology. We had our Grade 1’s chatting away with their classmates and some of them signing in on their own. Never doubt kids, they absorb new information so quickly. We stayed online for the rest of our academic year and even during our Summer School. Then some wonderful news…

SCHOOLS WERE GOING TO REOPEN IN OCTOBER.

 

Our lovely ladies ready for our first day back.

 

We were thrilled. Students were excited and parents were beyond excited. There was very strict guidelines but we were all eager to adapt to our new ‘norm’. Our Schools set up the disinfect machine, everyone wore masks and visors, the classrooms had been arranged to adhere to social distancing and we shut down our canteen etc. One of the most challenging things was our Kindergarten. These teeny tiny kids wore their masks and then it became a toy or a tissue or something to whack their friend with. (You know you can relate…) Another difficultly was not allowing our students to play outdoors, not having their P.E or I.T lessons. But… kids were happy to be back. We all got into the swing of things for October and most of November but then some more bad news came. Cambodia had some community cases.

 

The entire school was prepped and ready to reopen.

 

All students must have temperature checked upon arrival.

 

I must say Cambodia really did handle the whole situation really well. We were informed to close our schools on the Sunday night and we were back online by Wednesday. It’s amazing how much we have all learnt during that time. I think our eyes have all taken a beating but at least our kids have still been able to maintain some sort of routine. We forget how much they love school, loving seeing their friends and their teachers.

 

So to all the teachers, parents and students out there. A very big WELL DONE! You are all superstars. Teachers have developed themselves by learning new programs, exploring google and creating some exciting resources. Parents have a new found respect for teachers but many have been super helpful during this time and to students, who have been forced into distance learning but handling it like champions. GREAT JOB!

 

Snapshot of Keith during his lesson.

 

Chin up everyone,

Things are starting to look up. Keep taking good care of yourself. We’ve got this. 🙂

Laura

Aiding Cambodian Flood victims

Aiding Cambodian Flood victims

 

2020 has been a rather difficult year for everyone around the world. Not only have we all had to deal with a pandemic but the constant weather changing brings its own hardships. Cambodia goes through it’s yearly Monsoon season, however, the last few years have not been the usual downpour. This year has certainly made up for it. The rain came but… it came rather late and plenty of it. This affected many Cambodians as their homes and villages flooded. Many had to be evacuated and they lost everything.  On top of that, some of our neighboring countries opened their dam walls, which caused more flooding in several areas.

 

Keith with some of the Grade 12 students

 

During these tough times, it has been amazing to see how many people have come together to help those affected. Many organisations provided essentials, cooked meals, clothing and health care. Our Schools decided to also contribute as many care packages as possible. These care packages consisted of 15kg rice, noodles, fish sauce packs, bread, sausages, condensed milk and a small cash donation. Students, parents and staff all raised some money to put these packages together and on Monday, 9th November, the staff and some of the Grade 12 students went to deliver them.

 

 

We headed to Angkorchum District, Kol Commune where we stopped at two different locations. We met some of the families at a Pagoda and the others at a Primary School. We were able to provide essentials to 90 families, which will go a long way. We have been living in Cambo for quite a few years now and we have had several reminders and realizations as to how fortunate we are. It’s extremely important having these smack in the face realizations as it’s so easy to get sucked into your life and how many ‘problems’ you have. However, none of my problems are worrying about putting food on the table or worrying about where we will stay as our home has been damaged. However, the Cambodians are resilient and happy people. They are super friendly and as many people say, once you have a Cambodian friend, you will have a friend for life.

 

Dynath AKA Donut and Keith

 

The boys with the police

 

It was a beautiful drive out into the countryside, especially this time of year as everything was super green and luscious. Once we delivered the goods, we headed back into town and were honored to have been part of that experience.

Priscilla and I

Stay safe, take care of one another.

Laura 🙂

 

Halloween Mosaic craft

Halloween Mosaic craft

Oh my word! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE making food mosaics. I will make it work with any theme and boy, does it work. It doesn’t matter which grade I have made them with, from K- lower primary but they all ADORE it and are 100% zoned throughout. I am also always impressed with how well they follow instructions.

As Halloween is approaching, we will start making some really rad crafts. This year we have this cool FREEBIE for you, which you can grab at the end of the post. Be sure to check out our other Halloween Freebies too (Links at end of our post).

Doesn’t it look super duper cool?

 

Mosaics are really fun to make but the end result is pretty epic. The kids love working with the different textures and are super proud to show of their creation once they’re hanging up in the class.

 

What ya making?

You will need:

  • Board (card stock)
  • White glue
  • Yellow and orange lentils
  • Popcorn seeds
  • Basil seeds
  • Sago (green)
  • Sunflower seeds

You can totally change your ingredients to whatever is available and affordable. The ingredients I used are very affordable this side and most of them cost less than $2 for each pack.

Let’s get crafting!

The first thing you will need to do is ensure that all ingredients are easily accessible to the kiddies. I really enjoy these trays that I found in the supermarket. They’re a perfect size and I must say, I am always impressed at how little mess there is at the end. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a mess but not nearly as much as one might expect.

Normally my kids would be sitting in groups and they would share trays but we’re back at school, following strict guidelines so the trays will be slightly different now. I generally have the small white glue container for each table, wonderful opportunity for the little ones to practice their squeezing (great hand workout), although I also walk around with my glue to help those who need.

We go through the rules and then work step by step making our mosaics.

 

Once they have glued the goodies, they are instructed to lift it up to let the excess fall down. We generally let it fall on the ground, which we will sweep up once finished. Even though we’re making the same craft, it’s always fun seeing how unique they each turn out.

 

We also walk through how much glue is actually needed. Teachers are well aware, there are ALWAYS one or two kiddies that feel they must use the entire bottle of glue on their masterpiece 😉 but overall, they really handle it all with ease.

This year we have made the pumpkin template, bats flying with the moon in the background and a skull template. It’s hard to choose which one I like more as I think they turned out beautifully. I am also a sucker for making these. I find it rather relaxing;) haha 🙂 I get way too excited when doing these with the kids.

Sure…making crafts can be tiresome but it’s well worth all the prep and the pure joy in the faces while making it. 🙂

  For the bats, I used basil seeds for the smaller one and black beans for the bigger one. I really like the effect it made.  

Instead of only using one ingredient for the moon, I chose to mix the yellow and orange lentils and even added some popcorn seeds. Again, I am a big fan of how they turned out.

So whether you’re a parent creating this with your little one at home or a teacher making these with a class full of eager faces, I hope you have a wonderful time. I would also love to see how they turned out and which ingredients you used. 🙂

 

FREEBIE ALERT:

Grab your Halloween mosaic template

Happy Halloween! Laura 🙂

The Life of a Cambot

The Life of a Cambot

Angkor Wat

Wow! This is rather exciting. Bonerbots very first blog post. Where shall I start?

I think the very beginning would be best. Bonkerbots is made up of my oh so handsome fiance, Keith and then, me. We are South Africans expats living in Cambodia. CAMBODIA you say, how did you land up there? Excellent question. Keith and I met many moons ago at our previous jobs, working as hairstylists. We saved up some moola and went backpacking in Thailand for 2 months. We immediately fell in love with it and felt we had to come back and live there. I think everyone who has been to the islands feels the same way. So we saved up, quit our jobs and headed to Bangkok to begin our TEFL course.

We completed our TEFL course through Chichester Collage .Once the month was up, we started teaching at a school in Bangkok. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to teach Kindergarten, whereas Keith taught Primary school. We landed up working for a year and started to get tired of the massive city and felt we needed a change. And that’s how Cambodia happened. Our boss at the time happened to run a school in Siem Reap and that’s where we have been living for the last 3 years.

Siem Reap is a fantastic ‘little’ town. One of the main things that I absolutely love about this place, is being able to ride on my bicycle around town and that it takes 5 mins to get anywhere. Now you know who we are and how we landed up here, but how exactly did Bonkerbots form? Well, it all started with the frustration of not being able to find exactly what we wanted online, in terms of resources. Or, if we did, it was often at times, rather expensive. Keith then began drawing different resources for me. It started with a split pin craft and then we began to make flash cards and mini books. Once we discovered teacherspayteachers, we felt we could bring something fresh to the table and we have loved every minute since.

Traditional Khmer Clothing

So welcome to our blog. We look forward to sharing our classroom ideas with you all.

Laura @ Bonkerbots 🙂

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