Ahhh my room! My sanctuary! When Mujin visited from the Douglas A. Campbell Foundation (which is the foundation that has supported me in one way or another since 2010), she commented that my room needed a bit of updating; that I needed to have a place to myself with nice furnishings instead of one filled with all the random kids clutter that manages to find it’s way in.
It’s easy to become comfortable with your surroundings over time, so as I looked around at all my hand-me-down furniture (a small twin bamboo bed, a well used clothes cabinet, makeshift curtains, etc…I had to agree. It’s funny how your perspective can change so easily!
Since my room was adjacent to the porch, which was added on a year ago, it wasn’t very difficult to remove the large window, which overlooked the porch, and make that space into a large doorway. Then the addition of a wall to separate my new room from the long porch, turned my once small room into 2 living spaces.
Looking from two different sides of the porch, the window is into my room and the ladder is in the space where a wall will be built.
Wall going up
The window was moved to a windowless wall. The buildings here are built with brick and cement and it’s a relatively simple process (at least for our irreplaceable handyman, Mr. Pheab!) - knock out a hole and insert window!
With a grant from DACF, I was able to buy a new bed and nice fabric for curtains and a bamboo dresser. The new window really brightens up the room!
I made some curtains to separate the two rooms.
Added a sectional I purchased 2nd hand from a family who was leaving Phnom Penh.
But as many things in life, the comforts of home are sometimes short lived…I no longer finished putting the final touches on my new “Caregivers Sanctuary” (as I named the proposal) then the construction on another DACF funded project was well underway – another renovation (the final!) and a much needed roof!
First was the loss of the old roof along the porch.
and then I had to move everything out of my lovely new suite as they started removing the roof room by room.
Where to go? Well, I had to move into the playroom (which is going through it’s own renovation of sorts)
The new addition will consist of a ‘mud room’ for the older girls bicycles as well as a place for everyone to keep their shoes. Cambodia follows the tradition of removing your shoes upon entering a room (that’s why flip-flops are imperative here – unless you like removing closed toed shoes 20 times a day)…there will also be a full kitchen and another bedroom.
Finally the new roof started going up. It’s the dry season so we weren’t too worried about rain, but the girls didn’t like the fact that they were semi-exposed to the sky.
and you can finally see how this original structure will be transformed into a structurally and ascetically pleasing building. My rooms are on the far right.
The old roof will be removed piece by piece and any usable pieces of old roof and timber salvaged for another project. Looking from the other side of the building – the new brick area is a bedroom.
And my room is getting done! They will put cement over the brick and add a ceiling.
getting closer to being finished!
The new kitchen and bedroom are next.
and lots more ceiling renovation on all of the ‘old’ rooms.
Thank you DACF for allowing the transformation of the Girls Dorm into a multi-functional home!