Photo of the Week
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Greetings Cambodia students and families!

Less than one month from today, we'll be touching down in Phnom Penh. Hard to believe, isn't it?!

We couldn't be more excited to embark on this journey with you, and hope your pre-trip preparations are coming along well.

Six weeks in Cambodia may seem like a long time, but your instructors have 6 years worth of ideas about places to visit, people to meet, projects to pursue, mountains to climb and deep-fried spiders to eat...or not.

It's been a struggle, but with help from Ryan Koupal, our inimitable Program Coordinator, we've managed to distill these ideas into a tentative itinerary.

We'll plunge into the details in a moment, but first we need to emphasize that this itinerary is very much subject to change! We've deliberately chosen an itinerary that leaves lots of room for serendipity and spontaneity - as well as your input and ideas!

Please feel free to Google the stuffing out of each place listed on this itinerary and start thinking about specific issues that you want to explore.

We'll be going to some remote areas, so don't get nervous if you can't find places like Prek Pdao on the map. Rest assured, it's a beautiful place and the people there will be glad to see you.

On to the itinerary!

28-Jun Los Angeles

Welcome! Meet the group, final prep, try for a good sleep!

29-Jun Los Angeles

An interminable flight to Hong Kong.

30-Jun Phnom Penh

Cambodia at last! Rest, welcome dinner, get situated.

1-Jul Phnom Penh

Trip to the market, explore Phnom Penh, language and culture discussion.

2-Jul Phnom Penh

Journey to the Killing Fields and Tuol Seng prison, evening history discussion.

3-Jul Pursat

Travel by train to the rural province of Pursat, in western Cambodia.


4-Jul Pursat

Explore issues of rural development in Pursat with the organization Sustainable Cambodia.

5-Jul Pursat

Village visits, possible temple visits, discussion of traditional Cambodian culture and community values.

6-Jul Pursat

What is development? Interviews with locals, begin considering Independent Study Projects, examine rural health issues.

7-Jul Pursat

Possible village home-stay.

8-Jul Pursat

Possible village home-stay.

9-Jul Battambang

Short but rugged journey to Battambang, Cambodia's second largest city.

10-Jul Battambang

Town and country - compare and contrast urban Cambodia with life in the countryside.

11-Jul Battambang

Take a ride on the bamboo train!

12-Jul Siem Reap

A boat trip through channels of the Tonle Sap to Siem Reap. Adjust to the tourist zone and take advantage of Internet access to send reassuring messages to friends and family. Possible sunset trip to Angkor Wat!

13-Jul Siem Reap
A full day at Angkor Wat! We'll take our time at the biggest temple, but also explore lesser known ruins, getting around the ancient temples by bicycle.


14-Jul Siem Reap

Another day marveling at Angkor (and resisting the temptation to eat pizza in the tourist cafes of Siem Reap).

15-Jul Phnom Penh

Morning at Angkor, including a sunrise from Phnom Bakheng, followed by an afternoon bus to Phnom Penh.

16-Jul Phnom Penh

A meeting and discussion with Cambodian politicians and / or election monitors about the upcoming election.

17-Jul Kiriwong

Back to the countryside...a village home-stay.

18-Jul Kiriwong

Temple camping trip and village home-stay. ISP focus.

19-Jul Kiriwong

Village home-stay.

20-Jul Kiriwong

Village home-stay.

21-Jul Phnom Penh

Election countdown! How is Phnom Penh gearing up for the election?

22-Jul Prek Pdao

Welcome dinner in Prek Pdao, the home-village of our friend Mara. Meet home-stay families.

23-Jul Prek Pdao

Village home-stay, ISPs.

24-Jul Prek Pdao

Village home-stay, ISPs.

25-Jul Prek Pdao

Village home-stay, ISPs.


26-Jul Prek Pdao

Village home-stay, ISPs.


27-Jul Prek Pdao

Election Day! Village home-stay.

28-Jul Prek Pdao

Final home-stay night, farewell dinner.

29-Jul Phnom Penh

Back to Phnom Penh, e-mails, maybe even a hot shower if the group is well behaved. :)

30-Jul Kampot

South to the riverside town of Kampot in the shadow of Bokor mountain.

31-Jul Kampot

Student directed itinerary! Options include visits to pepper plantations, trekking in Bokor National Park, trips to the fishing village of Kep, perhaps a boat trip or a visit to caves of Kompong Trach.

1-Aug Kampot
Student directed itinerary.


2-Aug Kampot

Student directed itinerary.

3-Aug Kampot

Student directed itinerary. ISP presentations.

4-Aug Kampot

Student directed itinerary. ISP presentations.


5-Aug Kampot

Student directed itinerary. ISP presentations.


6-Aug Kampot

Student directed itinerary. ISP presentations.


7-Aug Phnom Penh

Return to Phnom Penh. Group reflection / discussion.

8-Aug Phnom Penh

Our last day in Cambodia and prepare for a long flight home!

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Rough Itinerary!

Tim, Allana, Alex and Mara,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Greetings Cambodia students and families! Less than one month from today, we’ll be touching down in Phnom Penh. Hard to believe, isn’t it?! We couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey with you, and hope your pre-trip preparations are coming along well. Six weeks in Cambodia may seem like a long time, but […]

Posted On

06/4/08

Author

Tim, Allana, Alex and Mara

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I have been having trouble getting in to see my travel doctor, and it occurs to me that it may be too late to receive the full series for Japanese Encephalitis. How many of you received this vaccine?

I hope to see the travel doctor in the next few days, and he will talk to me about how important he feels it is that I be vaccinated for it.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Japanese B Encephalitis Vaccine

Adam Brooks,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

I have been having trouble getting in to see my travel doctor, and it occurs to me that it may be too late to receive the full series for Japanese Encephalitis. How many of you received this vaccine? I hope to see the travel doctor in the next few days, and he will talk to […]

Posted On

06/3/08

Author

Adam Brooks

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    [post_content] => I'm beginning to look through my stuff to decide what i need to buy. I was looking at the packing list and it talks about hiking shoes and mountain shoes. Is it really necessary to get some heavey duty mountain shoes from an outdoorsman place or will a sturdy pair of Nike sneakers suffice?
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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Shoes…

Nikhil Mehra,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

I’m beginning to look through my stuff to decide what i need to buy. I was looking at the packing list and it talks about hiking shoes and mountain shoes. Is it really necessary to get some heavey duty mountain shoes from an outdoorsman place or will a sturdy pair of Nike sneakers suffice?

Posted On

06/2/08

Author

Nikhil Mehra

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2008-05-29 00:00:00
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Attention all Summer Participants and Parents:

We hope you’re all as excited as we are!

A final piece of mail with final reminders, detailed LAX arrival instructions and handy wallet-sized contact cards will arrive in your mailboxes soon. So even though you’ll have this in-hand shortly, we’re posting it on the Yak Yak board as well, to quell any worries and preempt questions about how this will work.

Students Flying to Los Angeles:

When students arrive in Los Angeles they are asked to proceed to baggage claim, gather their bags and then exit the terminal and wait under the RED SIGN FOR OFF-AIRPORT COURTESY HOTEL SHUTTLES. Students will board the HACIENDA HOTEL SHUTTLE BUS to the Hacienda Hotel. (This bus loops around the airport every twenty minutes.)

Students Driving to Los Angeles:

Go directly to the Hacienda Hotel, at 525 N. Sepulveda Blvd, which is just south of the airport. Please arrive at the hotel by 3:00 PM on the start day of the program. The course begins when students arrive at the hotel and we will have staff members in the lobby to direct arriving students. The easiest route to the hotel is via I- 405, taking I-105 West toward El Segundo, then exiting on the Sepulveda South off-ramp; heading south on Sepulveda, the hotel is four blocks from I-105, on the right. If you have any problems, please call the Hacienda at 310-615-0015.

If any issues arise on the day of travel to Los Angeles - delays, missed flights, etc., please call the Dragons office: 800-982-9203 or 303-413-0822. You can also call the Hacienda Hotel, and ask for a Dragons representative.

Dragons staff can be identified by their WTB Dragons t-shirts. Students, please wear your Dragons shirt as well for easy identification!

If you haven’t done so already, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR DOMESTIC FLIGHT DETAILS through your My Dragons account, by email or by fax. Fax: 303-413-0857; e-mail: info@wheretherebedragons.com.

We can’t wait to meet you in person!

See you soon,

Dragons Admin

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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IMPORTANT – Los Angeles Arrival Instructions

Dragons Admin,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Attention all Summer Participants and Parents: We hope you’re all as excited as we are! A final piece of mail with final reminders, detailed LAX arrival instructions and handy wallet-sized contact cards will arrive in your mailboxes soon. So even though you’ll have this in-hand shortly, we’re posting it on the Yak Yak board as […]

Posted On

05/29/08

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_date] => 2008-05-28 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Allana, Tim, and Alex:

I noticed that a mosquito net was not included on the packing list as one of the recommended items. My doctor strongly advised bringing one, however, and I already have one from previous travel. What would you suggest? Is it a good precaution to bring one along or is it superfluous?

Getting more excited every day!

-Luisa

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Mosquito net?

Luisa Sperry,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Allana, Tim, and Alex: I noticed that a mosquito net was not included on the packing list as one of the recommended items. My doctor strongly advised bringing one, however, and I already have one from previous travel. What would you suggest? Is it a good precaution to bring one along or is it superfluous? […]

Posted On

05/28/08

Author

Luisa Sperry

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Hey Guys,

So, I am carrying on the tradition that a second year student started last year. It is called the one set of clothes option. Everything is cheaper in Cambodia. You can find backpacks for $15 that cost upwards of $90 here, etc. I am going to bring 2 shirts and 1 pair of lightweight pants. I am going to buy the rest in Cambodia. I invite anyone who wants a fun day of learning some khmai and en masse interaction early in the trip to join me. I plan on making an outing to the market down the street from our guest house hopefully on the first or second day of the trip to buy what I need. It would be a great day of bonding and (i can't believe that i am saying this) shopping.

Sincerely,

Ben

P.S. Better to buy toilletries and underwear here.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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The One Set of Clothes Option

Ben Wilsker,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Hey Guys, So, I am carrying on the tradition that a second year student started last year. It is called the one set of clothes option. Everything is cheaper in Cambodia. You can find backpacks for $15 that cost upwards of $90 here, etc. I am going to bring 2 shirts and 1 pair of […]

Posted On

05/26/08

Author

Ben Wilsker

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    [post_date] => 2008-05-25 00:00:00
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Upcoming Elections

During our trip this summer we will witness a very eventful and busy time in Cambodia. Prime Minister Hun Sen has called a parliamentary election to take place on July 27th. We are a lucky group of Dragons travelers, as the upcoming elections create a space for greater understanding not only of politics and corruption in Cambodia but also of issues which are pertinent and important to Khmers today. I encourage you to check out the websites of the three main political parties and view their platforms.

CPP: http://www.thecpp.org/

FUNCIPEC: http://funcipec.org (I’ve been having problems with this site though)

Sam Rainsy: http://www.samrainsyparty.org/index.html

You will receive so much more insight this summer if you are aware of the political situation around you. More great sites to check out:

www.cambodiadaily.com Daily Cambodian English newspaper (check out online what has been happening lately with the Cambodian daily and the sub-paper The Burma Daily)

www.phnompenhpost.com Daily Cambodian English newspaper

www.khmerization.blogspot.com I already posted this site…more encouragement to check it out ;-)

www.khmernews.com

http://www.voanews.com/khmer/politics.cfm

Good luck with your exams and final essays, I know you have a lot of school work right now but I guarantee the more knowledge you have before you arrive the more insightful you will be once you arrive!

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Upcoming Election

Allana Hearn,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Upcoming Elections During our trip this summer we will witness a very eventful and busy time in Cambodia. Prime Minister Hun Sen has called a parliamentary election to take place on July 27th. We are a lucky group of Dragons travelers, as the upcoming elections create a space for greater understanding not only of politics […]

Posted On

05/25/08

Author

Allana Hearn

WP_Post Object
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Hello Dragons!

I'm really excited to meet you all and see the Yak Yak start to fire up. Keep the questions.introductions.ideas coming. We are about to embark on an epic adventure.

I'm including a few links to articles about Cambodia that I want you to check out as part of the process of preparing for this journey.

But first, here's a piece of travel wisdom that I encourage you to keep in mind as you learn about Cambodia:

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

On to the links...

A good, more-or-less unbiased overview of Cambodia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodia

How to show proper respect (MUST READ!):

http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/cambodia.html

Video: A cool video of flying over Cambodia with music by the Cambodian band Dengue Fever

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZSJJmtSoPlk

Finally, one more good quote to meditate on:

"A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” - Moslih Sahdi

-Tim

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Cambodia: Introduction

Tim Patterson,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Hello Dragons! I’m really excited to meet you all and see the Yak Yak start to fire up. Keep the questions.introductions.ideas coming. We are about to embark on an epic adventure. I’m including a few links to articles about Cambodia that I want you to check out as part of the process of preparing for […]

Posted On

05/16/08

Author

Tim Patterson

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    [post_content] => 

Hi everyone!

My name is Luisa Sperry. I’m seventeen and from New York City. I’ve really enjoyed reading a little bit about all of you. So, a little bit about me…

During the school year, I spend almost all of my free time dancing. I dance in the junior pre-professional division at Alvin Ailey (ballet and modern, mostly). I’m also an avid skier and rock climber, as well as an occasional yogi. J I am in the human rights club at my school and have taken part in a lot student activism for Darfur.

I have spent the past two summers in northern Tanzania. Last summer I helped to build a classroom at the primary school in the village where I was living. Somewhere in between carrying bricks, mixing cement by hand, and trying to pick up a few words of Swahili, (and drinking goat’s blood with the Maasai!!!), I made some truly amazing friends. I quickly became inseparable from several of the local kids who never ceased to be amused by my ridiculous attempts at Swahili. I think that is what I am most excited for this summer- having the opportunity to meet so many new people. I have never done a home-stay like the one we will be doing, which I am hoping will be one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of the trip. I chose Dragons because of its commitment to encouraging its students to push themselves to their limits, to explore the new and unfamiliar, and venture off the beaten path. I chose Cambodia because of its remote nature and its rich and, at times, turbulent history. I am very excited for this trip- my first one ever to Asia.

Allana, Alex, and Tim: I wanted to let you know my particular interest for independent study. I am really interested in medicine and public healthcare systems. (Last summer when I was in Tanzania I did some independent study visiting local clinics.) If it is at all possible, I would love to be able to volunteer in a clinic. I am excited to hear about what sort of opportunities you think might be open to me.

Can’t wait to meet all of you! I know it will be an incredible summer!

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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A little bit about me…

Luisa Sperry,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Hi everyone! My name is Luisa Sperry. I’m seventeen and from New York City. I’ve really enjoyed reading a little bit about all of you. So, a little bit about me… During the school year, I spend almost all of my free time dancing. I dance in the junior pre-professional division at Alvin Ailey (ballet […]

Posted On

05/14/08

Author

Luisa Sperry

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Whats Up

Im Matt, I currently live in Montana, where I have been going to boarding school for the past two years. I just recently graduated from school, and am preparing to move back to Atlanta on Friday. I haven't done much traveling outside of the country, but am excited to learn alot in Cambodia and from you guy's that have traveled more.

I have only briefly read about the culture in Cambodia, but I hope to read more before we leave. I can't wait to meet all of you guys.

Matt

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Hello

Matt Moore,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Whats Up Im Matt, I currently live in Montana, where I have been going to boarding school for the past two years. I just recently graduated from school, and am preparing to move back to Atlanta on Friday. I haven’t done much traveling outside of the country, but am excited to learn alot in Cambodia […]

Posted On

05/14/08

Author

Matt Moore

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