Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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    [post_date] => 2008-07-12 00:00:00
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It has been 14 days since I boarded the plane from JFK to LAX. When I was sitting in my seat in coach chatting with an elderly Phillipino woman about politics, I never imagined that I would do some of the things that I have done. I have eaten foods I never thought even existed such as the Durian fruit.The outside looks like a spiky coconut. The insidelooks and smells like a rotten old omelette. I have seen amazingly beautiful sights in the most unsuspecting places;from overlooking a cliff from a temple on a hill to showingexcited little children pictures of themselves I had just taken from my digital camera.

14 days in Cambodiahave been spent and passed. 28 remain to be lived in this country.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Where am I going, where have I been?

Nikhil Mehra,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

It has been 14 days since I boarded the plane from JFK to LAX. When I was sitting in my seat in coach chatting with an elderly Phillipino woman about politics, I never imagined that I would do some of the things that I have done. I have eaten foods I never thought even existed […]

Posted On

07/12/08

Author

Nikhil Mehra

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Earlier I was walking around Battambang, like every other place in Cambodia it is interesting and unique. I had no direction or destination I was just walking, taking in the sights sounds and smells, using all of my senses for that matter. I walked past the market, looking for something that was so commercial. A large newly constructed building caught my eye, because this is not something that you see very often in Cambodia. Each balcony of this building had a minuature palm tree and a table with chairs. It looked quite out of place, sprouting up from the poverty stricken streets. Not so out of place however were the large Cambodia People's Party signs, with the logo that after seeing so many times, is very recognizable.The signs right outside the gate are very sybolic. It tells the people that the CPP had something to do withthis beautiful luxurious hotelbeingconstructed. To me it means that the CPP cares more about bringing tourist than feeding the people that are living in their own country. Although this will bring in tourists, whichshould in turn bring money in to the community, no one can say where this money will actually go. As I pondered who will be staying here, I began to journey further. The Large Black Figure, that resembled Buddha was intriguing. Passing the Moto Shops, Cell Phone Stores, and Resteraunts, the street was bustling with life and the people were extremely happy. I was no longer intrigued by the large statue, there were too many people there and the road was to scary to cross. I decided to go to down the Dirt road that intersected, with the road I was on. It was a drastic change from the very commercialized street that I was now on. Although Knew there was no real danger I was still a bit afraid of what was to come. As I ventured down the streetI took a turn needing to stay close to a street that I knew. I encountered the worst smell that I have encountered the whole trip, which is a great feat considering that by American standards there are some pretty awful smells. First it went through my nose and then to my mouth where it lingered like the beggars in the market. The culprit of the awful smell was a large pile of trash that stretched out the length of a city block. It is something that you dont see everyday especially less than a mile from a luxury hotel that the Government helped build.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Corruption?

Matt Moore,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Earlier I was walking around Battambang, like every other place in Cambodia it is interesting and unique. I had no direction or destination I was just walking, taking in the sights sounds and smells, using all of my senses for that matter. I walked past the market, looking for something that was so commercial. A […]

Posted On

07/12/08

Author

Matt Moore

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Today was our solo day in Battambang which meant we walked around the centre of the city alone (with the instructors always accessible). I was a bit nervous at first to walk around without the group, but I soon felt at ease as I walked through the market and the area surrounding it. I decided to go find a wat after Sam told me about it and found a monk who spoke excellent English named Puy. I spoke to him and the rest of the monks for about two hours and learned so much about Bhuddism, monks, and Cambodia in general. It was such an amazing experience to be able to find somebody who was able to give me so much insight since his English was so good.

We spent the two previous days in Battambang in a photography workshop hosted by Tim's friend Ryan Libre. Ryan is an amazing photographer who was able to teach us a great deal both about technical photography and photojournalism.

During this time we've been in homestays with families connected to an NGO we visited the last time we were in Battambang. My family lives in a small, brick house with no running water. Ben is also staying with the same family. They have been very nice and the food is amazing. Although there is a thick language barrier between us, last night some of the children were able to teach us card games and we were able to form a bond with the family by showing them pictures both from home and from the trip.

We also went back to the MJP last night to thank everyone who helped us be able to go on the jungle trek in Pailin. We had so much fun up in the mountains getting muddy and learning about the ecosystem. It was especially amazing because we were the first group that was able to trek in that part of Samlot National Park.

Tonight we are staying with our families and tomorrow we are heading to Siem Reap to see the Angkor temples. After that we should be heading to Phnom Penh and then to Prek Pdao. We'll yakyak when we can.

Lorne

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Monks in Battambang

Lorne Schweitzer,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Today was our solo day in Battambang which meant we walked around the centre of the city alone (with the instructors always accessible). I was a bit nervous at first to walk around without the group, but I soon felt at ease as I walked through the market and the area surrounding it. I decided […]

Posted On

07/12/08

Author

Lorne Schweitzer

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Suwesudai! Greetings from Battambang! We've posted a few group pictures taken over the last 2 weeks - hope you enjoy!

The first pic was taken after the opening ceremony on our first day in Phnom Penh. The three monks in the photo offered to perform a blessing ceremony to wish us safe travels throughout Cambodia and good luck in our lives. Feeling safe and readyforour travels we started heading northwest.

The second pic is taken during a wat-stay that you might have read about in previous students posts. Following our visit to Sustainable Cambodia in Pursat we stopped in a small village between Pursat and Battambang. The monks fromthe local temple complex in this village kindly allowed us to join them for an eveningof meditation, journalling and much needed rest.

The final photo was taken in the Cardamom Mountains with rangers from the Maddox Jolie Pitt Foundation. We spent the day hiking the mountains and learning about the dramatic history of this area, conservation effortscurrently undertaken by this foundation andhow conservation is linked to development. It was an amazing experience for all of us.

We'll hopefully be able to continue to post photos throughout the trip to keep everyone connected. We hope our friends, parents, relatives and other loved ones back at home are having a great summer too!

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Group Pictures!

Allana Hearn,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Suwesudai! Greetings from Battambang! We’ve posted a few group pictures taken over the last 2 weeks – hope you enjoy! The first pic was taken after the opening ceremony on our first day in Phnom Penh. The three monks in the photo offered to perform a blessing ceremony to wish us safe travels throughout Cambodia […]

Posted On

07/11/08

Author

Allana Hearn

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We are in Battambang for another taste of city life and a quick re-fuling stop to pick up the essentials (Purell, laundry detergent...) before leaving for the remote town of Pailin to the east. We are testing out our Khmer with more and more certainty...("Khnyom som bii jaek. Tlai ponman?"... "I'd like two bananas please. How much does that cost?")and wearing our kromas proudly.

-Luisa

[post_title] => Khnyom som bii jaek [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => khnyom-som-bii-jaek [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=54165 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 450 [name] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 [slug] => cambodia-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 450 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 107 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 450 [category_count] => 107 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => cambodia-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/cambodia-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 )

Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Khnyom som bii jaek

Luisa Elizabeth Sperry,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

We are in Battambang for another taste of city life and a quick re-fuling stop to pick up the essentials (Purell, laundry detergent…) before leaving for the remote town of Pailin to the east. We are testing out our Khmer with more and more certainty…("Khnyom som bii jaek. Tlai ponman?"… "I’d like two bananas please. […]

Posted On

07/7/08

Author

Luisa Elizabeth Sperry

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Pur Sat was perhaps one of my favorite places that I've been so far on this trip. It wasn't so much about the place, but rather the people, specifically, the children, that made it such a memorable experience. Sustainable Cambodia, a NGO that does just as its name implies, allowed us to interact with students similar to our own ages. I spoke with the students in khmer as well as english, and both parties gleaned from each other what we could about our vastly different cultures. This included but was certaintly not limited to: dancing traditional and contemporary Khmer dances, singing, playing games, and asking questions that turned out to be quite embarassing at times but werenonetheless humorous. I was certainly impressed with their refined English. As a whole, the experience was both enlightening and tremendously enjoyable and I believe that the hardest part was departing from them. Uttering farewells and goodbyes was so difficult for me to do. The very thought of germinating such deeprelationships and then leaving, whilefully knowing that the chances of ever seeing them again was slim to none,was,for lack of a better word, painful. And while it may well be possible that I'll never see those kids again, I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I had to get to know them. The next day I, undoubtedly, left with a heavy heart for Battambang.

However, wenever made it that far. We stopped at a village, where we were, quite possibly, the first foreigners the inhabitants had ever seen. It was a mindblowing experience for me. I guess I never realized that I would ever experience such a notion, and I'm absolutely elated at the fact that I was wrong. The children, as usual, were curious and excited atour arrival and appearances. The local Wat, I believed it was called Golden Mountain, although I could be mistaken, sheltered us for the night. The hospitality we received was wonderfully generous and sleeping in front ofBuddha was perhaps one of the most spectacular and awe inspiring things I've ever done and felt. I just thoroughly adored the event. The next morning we left for Battambangvia the Bamboo train.

Battambang, a vibrant city teeming with easy smiles and motos. While meandering through the winding streets and alleyways, a sense of nostalgia for the times when communal practices were common place overwhelms me. Just last night, when exploring the verdant park, I observed a group of Cambodians, dancing in the open, unafraid of judgement from such onlookers as myself. I wish that these congregations existed back home-- the sheer energy and contenment written across their faces was, at the least, memorable. With each passing moment, I'm enjoying Battambang more and more.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Pur Sat, the village, and Battambang

Elizabeth Reeser,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Pur Sat was perhaps one of my favorite places that I’ve been so far on this trip. It wasn’t so much about the place, but rather the people, specifically, the children, that made it such a memorable experience. Sustainable Cambodia, a NGO that does just as its name implies, allowed us to interact with students […]

Posted On

07/7/08

Author

Elizabeth Reeser

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2008-07-07 00:00:00
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Light broke early so there was no chance of us catching a glimpse of the sunrise. Nevertheless we cleared our things from the Pagoda and made our way to the steps at the base of the hill oppsite us. Then we started the climb. The drum of our sandals against the stone as we ascended was almost enough to put me back to sleep. At the top my eyes scanned over the Wat. It seems so strange to stay of such a beautiful building, but it seemed common place. The building echoed the charm and mystery of the other Wats but in its on right was nothing special. A circled to the other side and grabbed a seat. Looked away from the Wat for the first time. I shook my head, startled at what I saw, trying to clear the fog. The entire valley was before me. The landscape flat, streching into the distant mountains. I could watch it all at once. I just let my eyes wander up and down the gaps snakeing through the trees. My mind spun backwards to an old memory. It was in my eight grade year when I first climbed the mountain behind my middle school. It started as just a hike but I will always rember The Rock. The Rock was just that, a rock. This Rock jutted from the very top of the mountain over the valley. It was from this rock that I first saw that valley laid in front of me just as this one was now. It was not the view, however, that I remeber, but the claritythrough which I now percieved the country before me. That is just as true now.

[post_title] => Calm [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => calm [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-07 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=54167 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 450 [name] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 [slug] => cambodia-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 450 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 107 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 450 [category_count] => 107 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => cambodia-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/cambodia-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 )

Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Calm

Julian LeCraw III,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Light broke early so there was no chance of us catching a glimpse of the sunrise. Nevertheless we cleared our things from the Pagoda and made our way to the steps at the base of the hill oppsite us. Then we started the climb. The drum of our sandals against the stone as we ascended […]

Posted On

07/7/08

Author

Julian LeCraw III

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Greetings from Battambang, a lively and colorful city where we have spent the last two days.

I am writing to express how absolutely thrilledthe instructorsare to have foundourselves in Cambodia with this group of students. Each one has demonstrated immense maturity, curiosity, and drive. We have watched, every day, as the students challenge themselves and each otherto step out of their comfort zones. They have been phenomenal atseeking outCambodians to chat with, at trying new and unusual foods, at opting for the more local form of transport (you can read some of their yaks about the bamboo train!), and in supporting each other along they way.

They have been extremely independent too. We have been using "roles of the day", to assign students specific responsibilities- budget, transport, lodging, water, etc. They have taken these responsibilities on with a gusto, and with all the seriousness required to lead a safe and fun program.

More than anything else, though, the students are traveling with their eyes and ears and hearts wide open. They have taken the time to really look around them, to ask the deeper questions about what they are experiencing, and to sit with all the powerful emotions that come with traveling in a place like Cambodia.

We arevery, verylucky and we cannot wait for the journey that our students will take us on over the next five weeks!

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Our fantastic students!

Alex Kendall,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Greetings from Battambang, a lively and colorful city where we have spent the last two days. I am writing to express how absolutely thrilledthe instructorsare to have foundourselves in Cambodia with this group of students. Each one has demonstrated immense maturity, curiosity, and drive. We have watched, every day, as the students challenge themselves and […]

Posted On

07/7/08

Author

Alex Kendall

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We stopped on the fringe of a small village in Pursat, between interminable rice paddies and a collection of small homes. It was a cozy spot, under shadowing trees, just far enough away from the villagersand the paddies to not feel too intrusive.I felt comfortable there, cool and protected, but isolated and exclusive.

SoI wentback into the village with Ben, where we approached a young boy wearing green shorts and a wide smile.

He turned around and climbed up a palm tree which stood next to his home, turning around every so often either to just smile at us or to kindly pose for the pictures we were taking. I'm not sure which, but I knew the smile was real. When he reached the top, he sat for a while, resting, masked by the large green leaves. And then he chopped abundle of palm fruit, and they thudded to the ground near to us. His mom came quickly over with a large knife and chopped open the fruit, as a young girl came up to watch. She was more cautious than her mother and brother. The mother gave us two palm fruits. It was the most gracious present I have ever received. Two palm fruits. It made me incredibly happy and incredibly sad, as many things do here. We accepted them and thanked them, amazed at their sign of affection. I then had that wide smile, the one you know is real and you can't mask behind anything.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Palm Fruit

Samantha Moog,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

We stopped on the fringe of a small village in Pursat, between interminable rice paddies and a collection of small homes. It was a cozy spot, under shadowing trees, just far enough away from the villagersand the paddies to not feel too intrusive.I felt comfortable there, cool and protected, but isolated and exclusive. SoI wentback […]

Posted On

07/7/08

Author

Samantha Moog

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We woke up early the next morning and I arranged some Tuk Tuks to take us to get a pickup truck. Although they took us to a bus first, we eventually convinced them that, regardless of the fact that there were twelve of us (Sam and Luisa had dehydrated themselves badly and had to go to SOS), we wanted to squeeze into a pickup truck. We reached the market where they again tried to convince me (I was in charge of transportation for the first four days) that we wanted to travel a different way. I think everyone genuinely enjoyed the pickup truck ride. We sang songs and got pelted by freezing rain for a little while (the freezing rain was non-persistent) before pulling over for a short rest. I, having been a wee bit on the sick side, decided to take a ride in the much less bumpy cab. When we arrived at Porsat we went to the same guest-house we stayed at last year and found some rooms for the night. The next morning we headed out to see Sustainable Cambodia, a NGO, which deals helps with bottom up development in rural communities. They help build rice banks so that villages don't have to sell their rice dirt cheap at the harvest, but instead can save it and sell it when rice is at a premium. They build pre-schools for the younger children because many mothers stay inside to take care of their young children when they could be planting or harvesting their rice. This increases the yield (because they can gather more during the time when the rice is best) and makes the work less time consuming. Among their many endeavors, their high school and middle school is the most impressive. In Porsat (sorry for the wrong spelling last time) town they have a school staffed by both paid staff and volunteers (two of which will be past Dragon's students) to teach the children a variety of subjects. We visited some of the villages to see the preschool and we saw the rice bank, but the gem of the day was when we played games with the older kids at the school.


There doesn't seem to be a day that I am not on a time restriction! Alas, I have to go. More to follow!

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Sustaining Cambodia

Ben Wilsker,Cambodia, Summer 2008

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We woke up early the next morning and I arranged some Tuk Tuks to take us to get a pickup truck. Although they took us to a bus first, we eventually convinced them that, regardless of the fact that there were twelve of us (Sam and Luisa had dehydrated themselves badly and had to go […]

Posted On

07/6/08

Author

Ben Wilsker

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