Page 6 of Shoshana in Asia Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 20th 2011

This morning I met C. near her guesthouse and we had a little time to catch up before taking tuk-tuk to the office of Southeast Asia Development Program (SADP). SADP supports Cambodian capacity-building has a number of programs, and Friendship with Cambodia works with them to support students who otherwise would not be able to afford university. When we entered the office, I recognized a number of the students, whom I met during the responsible travel tour last year. Today's training topic was chosen by the supervising social workers, who had also collected the students' questions and helped me with the approach and focus to be sure it was a good fit. I had 24 or 25 students all together and was very pleased with their active participation. I presented some basic information about HIV/AIDS and ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 19th 2011

After posting the last entry, I continued north to Wat Phnom. There the insect noise was amazingly loud. There were a lot of monkeys on hand as well (but not on my hand—I don't have any desire to touch wild animals, including the cat I saw creeping into the rafters of a temple). I walked back south by a different route, stopping again at Monument Books/Blue pumpkin for a lime juice and plate of fresh spring rolls. (Blue Pumpkin prepares foods to a tourism quality standard, meaning that ice and fresh fruits and vegetables can be eaten.) I located the guesthouse where I'm meeting C., the student who's joining me tomorrow. Nearby I found a clothes shop that also advertised iPod accessories. There was a tiny display of these at the back of the room, including ... read more
Co-existing at Wat Phnom
On the river
Tonle Sap River

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 19th 2011

I was unable to use the secure wifi connections in my hotel (Le Rit's) or the Blue Pumpkin cafe in Monument Books, so I was worried that my useful little ASUS netbook had reached its obsolescence. Fortunately, I was able to connect here at the tourism office on Sisowath Quay, overlooking the Tonle Sap River. This search for wireless has required the drinking of a certain number of banana smoothies and iced coffees (which is made with a syrupy coffee and sweetened condensed milk), but I've had a little walk, at least, which has been balancing after a great deal of poking around in my computer's systems. My travel, though long, was uneventful. I was curious to see if I'd make my 50-minute connection in Seoul, and resigned to a reroute through Bangkok (adding 10 hours ... read more
My room at Le Rit's
Monument Books

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle February 17th 2011

I'm off. I've had a very bad cold for several days but today feels more residual than active. I'll know if that's true somewhere over the Pacific. Today's route is a flight to Seattle, a long haul to South Korea, and a final leg to Cambodia. I hope it works, and I'm prepared with clothes, snacks, an inflatable pillow, books, a computer, and an alprazolam in case it doesn't. In fact, I have everything but my cold weather stuff sack for Seoul, my shower zories, and a baggie of toiletries in my backpack and shoulder bag; my suitcase is filled with books. Nobody at the Korean Air counter gasped in dismay at the 50-minute transfer KA gave me for Seoul. I'm still working out some gigs and activities. I'll post an overview when it's a little ... read more

North America » United States January 31st 2011

I'm getting ready for a February trip to Phnom Penh. If you're subscribed to this blog, you'll receive my updates. ... read more

North America » United States February 10th 2010

You'll notice I've back-dated this entry to when I drafted it. It's good to end a trip by cleaning up. 1. Clean your gear before you pack. Scrub the bottoms of your shoes before you hit the airport. The toothbrush you may be about to discard is a perfect tool, or use shampoo and a bandanna (then throw the bandanna in a marked Ziplock bag so you don't use it accidentally. You don't want to track pathogens, insects, or seeds across the world. Clean your knife, wash your clothes--you may get stuck in an airport where you'll be glad for a change of socks. 2. Shred identifying papers and either recycle them before you leave, or pack them out to recycle at home. 3. Give away anything you're going to throw away at home. 4. Back ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 6th 2010

The maps tell the sad story. I begin Saturday AM and arrive home Sunday PM, +15 hours. Travel tools: iPod. Lumbar pillow. Earplugs. Turkey jerky. ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 5th 2010

We left Kampot early this morning. John and I sat where we could bird and were rewarded with Indian rollers (I saw a couple flying--wow!), White-throated kingfishers, Collared kingfishers, Red collared doves, Red-necked stints, and an Eastern marsh harrier. I really enjoy these long drives when I can manage not to have motion sickness. We stopped at the Killing Fields--actually, Cheung Ek was one of many, but it was the one where prisoners from Toul Sleng/S-21 were executed. I find it a sad and uneasy place, though superficially very peaceful. The stupa contains something like 20,000 skulls that were disinterred after the war. We lunched at Lotus Blanc in their newer in-town location. This is a training restaurant for an NGO that assists poor children who were trash-pickers in the dump, which is very da... read more
Last dinner in Cambodia
Culinary delights

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot February 4th 2010

This morning we met as a group to debrief the trip a little and talk about how each of us is going to be sharing it with people. I took the afternoon off to manage some university work, take a nap, and scrub down my sandals. I the took a walk, re-dirtying my sandals, but not nearly to the degree at which they began the morning. We return to Phnom Penh early tomorrow morning. ... read more
Village view
Condom PSA
Another condom PSA

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot February 4th 2010

We began yesterday with a trip to a local school. It was airy and pleasant. The director gave us the official story about the students' low costs and the teachers' low pay. This is true on paper, but in practice, students really need to pay for “special classes” taught by their teachers for an additional fee. As we walked around, another tour participant remarked that she was looking at the classrooms and seeing S-21/Toul Sleng, the school that the Khmer Rouge converted to their interrogation and torture center. I have a similar experience when I look at giggling teenagers and imagine them in Khmer Rouge uniforms and holding guns. Lunch was pretty and all seafood, not my favorite, but I at it anyway. I did pick around the octopus and just eat the squid. After lunch ... read more
Lunch: Shrimp and vegetables
Lunch: Fish and vegetables
Cham women's savings group

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