๐™บ๐š‘๐š–๐šŽ๐š›๐š’๐šŒ๐šŠ๐š— ๐™ต๐šŠ๐š–๐š’๐š•๐šข ๐™ฐ๐š‹๐š›๐š˜๐šŠ๐š #๐Ÿท๐Ÿป ๐Ÿซ ๐’๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐’๐œ๐ก๐จ๐จ๐ฅ ๐Ž๐ฎ๐ญ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ฌ ๐ŸŽฌ

in #travel โ€ข 11 months ago (edited)

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My wife (@sreypov) and our two daughters (@kidsisters) are the first Cambodians to ever enter Suriname, at least that is what the Suriname Immigration Department told us as they were processing our residency visas. Now Sakada and Sakana are studying in the Suriname public school system, and a lot of memories are being made.

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โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š ๐ŸŽฌ ๐Ž๐”๐“๐“๐€๐Š๐„๐’ ๐ŸŽฌ ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’›โค๏ธ

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SakanaHomies.jpg Sakana made three friends on her first day in school ๐Ÿ‘’

ย ย ย ย ย We've been away from Cambodia more than 6 months, and our girls have been out of school for even longer. In Ecuador it was impossible to place them in a public school before we had residency visas, and we ultimately were never able to obtain residency visas.

ย ย ย ย ย Sakada and Sakana have been bored to death and eager to make some friends for far too long, so we are overjoyed to see them fitting in here in Suriname quickly despite the language barrier. During the first days we were worried that they might be bullied, ignored or have trouble making friends.

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SakadaClass.jpg This was taken on Sakada's second day - not as outgoing as her little sister in the beginning ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

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ย ย ย ย ย These worries passed within the first few minutes of seeing how the local Surinamese kids interacted with our daughters. They were so respectful and welcoming, and no less than 4 or 5 of their classmates helped them settle in, and communicated a bit in English with them to explain the morning routine. Sakada would've been ready for 5th grade in Cambodia, but the Suriname Ministry of Education placed her in 4th grade as she speaks very little Dutch.

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WithTeacher.JPG Sakada's teacher speaks some English, so keeps her desk nearby ๐Ÿช‘

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Watching De Yard.JPG Sakana pensive on her first day - sizing up the yard ๐Ÿค”

Permission.JPG Day's done and Sakana thinks she needs permission to go home ๐Ÿค

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ย ย ย ย ย Sakana, being only 6 years old wasn't as much of a concern, and the Ministry of Education placed her in 1st grade, her corresponding Khmer grade level. In 1st grade she doesn't have as big of an educational gap to close as her sister Sakada does. One of the funniest things Sakana's teacher taught her on the first day was the fist-bump. Cambodian children greet their teacher with a sampeah, a namaste-like greeting with hands pressed together in front of the chest in a prayer-like posture, so the fist-bump is quite amusing.

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StillWriting.JPG Sakada's first day was also the first time seeing cursive writing โœ๏ธ

SisterSupport.JPG Sakana has come for backup and emotional support ๐Ÿ†˜

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SakanaTeacher.JPGPretty easy to spot the ear-to-ear grinning Cambodian in this classroom ๐Ÿ˜

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ย ย ย ย ย You have to imagine the cultural shock of going from conservative traditional Cambodia to the outgoing and energetic personalities of the Caribbean. Sakana told me she has never seen a stronger teacher than her Suriname 1st grade teacher. She's quickly become a beloved exotic classmate, as not many foreigners move to Suriname, and her cheeks are pinched here with the same voracity as in Cambodia.

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ClassroomEquip2.JPGI learned the "sensomotorisch" by checking out this station ๐Ÿ’ก

ย ย ย ย ย I am really surprised at the amount of educational materials provided within the public school system here. It's about the same quality of education as a mid-tier Cambodian private school, so we are thankful for that. Here in Suriname private school is very expensive and beyond our means, and the cost of living can't be compared to Cambodia.

Classroom Equip1.JPGA well-equipped classroom makes happy parents ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ

ย ย ย ย ย The school day is a bit short by international standards, starting at 8:00am and ending at 12:30pm. We can't complain though, because in Cambodia there are two sessions each day. This means two daily commutes back and forth to school, which made running our employee-less mini cafe quite difficult during the weekdays.

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3Kids.JPGI guess "rabbit ears" are a worldwide threat, perhaps called "konijnenoren" here in Suriname ๐Ÿฐ

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ย ย ย ย ย As you can see, there are many more pictures of Sakana. Sakada is now 10 years old, and she's already got that teenage attitude, wanting to just say bye to me outside the school gate and walk to class solo. I can tell when I take pics of her that I'm embarrassing her in front of her friends. Not only this, but 4th grade isn't as casual as her little sister's class, and I feel I don't want to interrupt class or upset the teacher.

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GymDay.JPG Gym day means wear a gray shirt and blue shorts to school ๐Ÿ‘Ÿ

ย ย ย ย ย There is a 30-minute gap each day between 12:30pm, when Sakana finishes 1st grade, and 1:00pm, when Sakada finishes 4th grade. Sakana and I usually spend this time devouring what food she didn't finish in her tiffin, talking about the day's lesson and sharing any hot gossip picked up on the schoolyard.

SakanaSolo.JPG ATTEEEEEENTION! Ready to sail and/or learn โ›ต

DeYard.JPG Dabbin' inna de yard fi di camera mon' dem ๐Ÿ•บ

SakanaStoked.JPG Who is the most excited person in this room? ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

ย ย ย ย ย Sakada doesn't fully understand how Rastafari are viewed in the Caribbean yet, so she can't see why some of her black classmates come to me to pay respect everyday. She'll eventually figure out why the Surinamese are so interested in a Cambodian/Ginger Rasta Family.

SneekPeek.JPG Only incognito photos to avoid big sister embarrassment ๐Ÿ˜–

ย ย ย ย ย Until Sakada figures out I'm actually a hip Dad in Suriname, I've resricted myself to distant photos and brief interactions with her classmates. Even little Sakana wants to ditch me at the gate some mornings. I guess @Sreypov and I should be proud they feel so independent and confident after only a few weeks in school.

ByeBye.JPG This little one sees us out the gate everyday ๐Ÿ‘‹

ย ย ย ย ย Now our girls need to work on learning their friends' names, using basic Dutch phrases with their teachers and learning the Suriname national anthem in Sranan Tongo and Dutch. Things will come in due time, and we rest well knowing this cross-cultural school experience is giving them so much life knowledge.

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๐“๐‡๐€๐๐Š๐’ ๐…๐Ž๐‘ ๐‘๐„๐€๐ƒ๐ˆ๐๐†
๐ƒ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ค๐ง๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐’๐ฎ๐ซ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ฌ?
๐๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž ๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐›๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ.
๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ, ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฏ๐จ๐ญ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ž๐ฆ.
๐…๐จ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฐ ๐ฆ๐ž @justinparke

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ษช sแดœแด˜แด˜แดส€แด› แด€ษดแด…/แดส€ แด…แด‡สŸแด‡ษขแด€แด›แด‡ แด›แด
@joshman โœญ @canadian-coconut


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You are such an adorable man. I mean your kids are divine, I am stoked they are in a good school and happy... but the love for your beautiful girls SHONE from this post..

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Give thanks @riverflows for the kind words.

ย ย ย ย ย We do love them very much. Growing up isolated on an Indiana popcorn farm, I always wished my parents would've been world travelers and exposed me to cultures and languages at a young age. @srepov and I are providing the closest thing we can to that by being international migrants/immigrants. The youths are the future.


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They ARE the future and your kids are going to be soooo awesome!

Your daughters are so sweet! :)

Thank you @gabrielatravels, they are growing up too fast.


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Great post.
Thanks for sharing with the community. Your experiences are inspirational.
Respect
s-irie

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Give thanks for the recognition @super-irie.
Just trying to give one of my favorite Steem communities some good content.


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Your story is genuinely uplifting! I'm glad that your daughters are having fun while adapting... And it makes me proud to hear such a positive story coming from Suriname! You have no idea, it brings back so many memories... The uniforms have stayed the same since I used to wear them! Thanks for sharing

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Thanks @gvkanten.
I assume you are a Surinamer or grew up here at least.
If so, you are the first one I have encountered on the Steem blockchain.


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Haha yes I am and I did...
Cool! There is a chance I might be the most active at the moment but there are others, check out @jeanlucsr (he got me here), @JillJoyl81 and @DiegoAmeerali. And I'm sure there are more :)

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Will do @gvkanten, thanks again.


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You must be so glad that your daughters are back in school my friend and it seems that they will get a very good education there.
Also the benefit of learning about other cultures will have many positive results for them. They seem to be fitting in and their future looks great!
Blessings!

Thanks @papilloncharity, keep up the good work over there.

ย ย ย ย ย The amount of personal and spiritual growth the girls have acquired in the 6 months since leaving Cambodia is overhwelming at times. They are learning so much so fast.


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Wonderful for the children my friend and we hope that it will prepare them well for a great future!
Blessings!

Hiya, @itchyfeetdonica here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made into our Top 3 in Daily Travel Digest #678.

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hello children make friends right away, we have the problem the elders,

how beautiful they are and they sure enjoy it a lot

Happy day

Thanks @txatxy.
Your words are very true, sometimes the youth can teach the elders.


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