Page 7 of Shoshana in Asia Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot February 3rd 2010

Plugged in. Technology triumphs. We began yesterday with a visit to the Cambodian Women's Crisis Center, a wonderful organization that does extremely valuable work in Cambodia. They focus on empowerment, taking a holistic, community-based, rights-based approach. 30% of Cambodian women report having experienced violence by age 15. 50,000 women were laid off in 2008 when Cambodia's trade status with the US changed and they lost their garment industry jobs. This not only adds to economic stress, but may push young women into jobs that make them more vulnerable. CWCC engages in a variety of protection, prevention, and advocacy projects. They could use volunteers who are willing to make a 3-month commitment. After a snack of rambutan, lychees, tangerines, mung bean paste in lotus leaves, and banana and coconut in banana leaf,* we headed out of Phnom ... read more
Snack
The bus gets a water blessing
Rural Buddha

Asia » Cambodia » South » Kampot February 3rd 2010

I'm at a computer at the bar/reception area of my hotel. No privacy and a line. Too slow for loading photos, plus I have a preference, born of both my cultural fear of contagion and my training as an HIV/AIDS educator, not to put my USB stick into an unknown USB slot. It's beautiful here and we're seeing interesting things. I'll get you caught up as I'm able. Meanwhile, send your questions and I'll try to answer them. ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 1st 2010

Today we travel to Kampot. More later, but I wanted to get a map posted.... read more

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 1st 2010

I was too wiped out to blog yesterday. I twisted a toe when I stepped on a brick fragment hidden by ash on the surface I was stepping onto and just wanted to go to sleep. (It's pretty much better now but walking was a bit painful yesterday afternoon.) We began with a long morning by meeting children at an orphanage, though "orphans" is a bit of a misnomer. Some are orphans, some use services of the orphanage but are more like "day students," and all have at least one parent with HIV. Some members of our group rode the bus with the kids. The orphanage is supported by Indra Devi Association, which provides many services in the greater Phnom Penh area. The founder, who I think is interviewed in Bhavia's book, sat by me on ... read more
Monks entering the wat
Frangipani
A better-furnished shack

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh January 30th 2010

Wow, is that ride ever better with a good driver and without dubbed Rambo movies! Since it was the day of the full moon, we stopped at a wat and received a blessing. We were able to see the nuns preparing the food, and I had a nice, if brief, chat with a couple of nuns in French. I like to show people the photos I take of them and several of the nuns were pleased and a little embarrassed to see themselves, especially when I told them they were very beautiful (in French). We made good time but stopped frequently for good clean fun, like eating tarantulas. (Just kidding. The tarantula and cricket stand didn't seem very hygienic. Maybe later.) We arrived in Phnom Penh to find that one of the hotels professed to have ... read more
Buddhist nuns
Preparing the meal
Novice

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 29th 2010

This morning we'll drive from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. I'm not sure what the Internet situation will be at the next hotel. A note for my students: I picked up a copy of Somaly Mam's book to share with my fellow travelers--I tell you this so that when you read her book this spring, you'll know that it's something that a group of travelers in Cambodia found highly relevant. I also got a copy of Ung's First They Killed My Father, which you're not reading this time around but which I've assigned in the past. We leave in about an hour and my hair looks like a black baza's, so I'll sign off until tonight or tomorrow.... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 29th 2010

I've been enjoying meeting people who are on the trip and in the community. There are 16 of us on the tour. All of us are interested in helping the Cambodian people and everyone has been good-natured and generally pleasant. John and I have split off from the group for birding a few times. Jeffry and I and others have had some enjoyable discussions about theology and rites. Nobody's clumping, and despite the highly in-filled schedule, nobody's been irritable. Sokoun, our guide, has been telling a lot of stories about his life, growing up poor, working for the Vietnamese, playing with UXOs, and going to school. Between facts and life stories, Sokoun describes how to prepare crickets as a snack and other useful information (short answer: Pull out the digestive tract, stuff with a peanut, salt, ... read more
Python
Birding on the roof of the boat
Floating village

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor January 28th 2010

I've lost (electronic glitch/operator error) about 40 photos from my first two days in Cambodia, so I'm glad I posted the photos from the Water Ceremony at the wat. I'm going to have to catch up the human services/research/schmoozing side of this later. For now, I'll say that we began the morning at Ta Phrom Temple (the Tomb Raider one) and Artisans d'Angkor silk farm (a training program). Lunch was at Shinta Mani (a restaurant and hospitality training school), then we visited Bantey Srey Temple and the Landmine Museum. Dinner was at Peace Cafe (formerly Singing Tree, and more later on them). I'm having good luck with my bird watching--the usual drongos, swallows, mynas, sparrows, and chickens, plus Brahminy kite Black baza Grey-faced buzzard Red-breasted parakeet Alexandrine parakeet Little grebe Blue-tailed bee-eater Green-tailed sunbird I'm very ... read more
Elephant Ride
Angkor Wat
Monkey Mama

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor January 27th 2010

I can see this entry, but I'm not sure that you can, so I'm re-posting it: Today and tomorrow we're touring the Angkor Wat complex. This was a long day and I'm wiped out, with another early rise tomorrow, so this is more in the way of a placeholder to catch up later. We visited Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat today; Bantey Srey and Ta Phrom are tomorrow. We lunched at Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School, a privately funded training school. Dinner was at La Noria, where we enjoyed a shadow puppet program and traditional dances by orphans from Krousar Thmey. I'm having great conversations as I get to know the other trip participants. Some took place on an elephant. More later, including an answer to Lucretia's question about orphanages.... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor January 27th 2010

Today and tomorrow we're touring the Angkor Wat complex. This was a long day and I'm wiped out, with another early rise tomorrow, so this is more in the way of a placeholder to catch up later. We visited Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat today; Bantey Srey and Ta Phrom are tomorrow. We lunched at Paul Dubrule Hotel and Tourism School, a privately funded training school. Dinner was at La Noria, where we enjoyed a shadow puppet program and traditional dances by orphans from Krousar Thmey. I'm having great conversations as I get to know the other trip participants. Some took place on an elephant. More later, including an answer to Lucretia's question about orphanages.... read more




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