Somaly Mam Foundation

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December 11th 2013
Published: December 11th 2013
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We began our morning at Somaly Mam Foundation/AFESIP ( and, both of which are related and work on human trafficking issues. They've recently started to offer informational talks, and we were fortunate to be able to schedule one during this visit. A speaker from their Voices for Change program (survivors of trafficking) also spoke with us about her own experiences and how the organization has helped her. It was a meaningful and moving visit, stimulating much discussion about the status of women in the world.

We attempted to visit Le Rit's/Nyemo for lunch, but it seems to be closed. I hope they're planning to re-open; they're my favorite hotel in Phnom Penh. We wound up lunching at Blue Pumpkin above Monument Books instead.

The students went to the Palace and Silver Pagoda or the National Museum. Assistant K and I went up Sisowath Quay to look for ATMs and buy our bus tickets for Siem Reap. I returned to the Palace area and watched a game of Cambodian hacky sack (saiee), which is played with a fancy feathered shuttlecock. Several of my students and K arrived and joined in, along with a middle-aged Japanese woman. This was the first time I've seen women playing this game, and the mixed group srew a pretty good crowd, including several delighted Buddhist monks.

Dinner was at Tamarind, which has an extensive menu of continental, middle eastern, and Asian foods, as well as cigarettes. After my delicious friend (actually, sauteed) chicken with green peppercorns on the vine, I took one group back to the hotel while the other went to an AA meeting. We decided not to go as a group of 9 for fear of potentially overwhelming a small meeting with visitors.


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