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Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011


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    [post_date] => 2011-08-02 00:00:00
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Dear China Internship Families,
This weekend marks the end of our China Internship program and students will be arriving back home to share their tales with each of you.
Nina La Ferla, one of the China instructors will be flying back home with the group. She will work with all students to ensure that they find their domestic connections or way to the Hacienda hotel. Nina will be in contact with our office if she suspects any delays or any other logistical issues arrise.
We wish all students are great trip home and please leave us a voicemessage on extension 30 if you are not able to reach us during office hours.
Sincerely,
Boulder Admin
To check on the status of the groups international flight, please refer to:
http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_US/manageyourtrip/a_d
The students are traveling home on the following Cathay flight:

Returning Flight:
August 8th, 2011
Dragon Air #KA 761
Depart: Kunming (KMG) 3:20pm
Arrive: Hong Kong (HKG) 5:40pm

August 8th, 2011
Cathay Pacific #CX 880
Depart: Hong Kong (HKG) 11:40pm
Arrive: Los Angeles (LAX) 9:55pm

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Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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Return Flight Information

Dragons Administration,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

Dear China Internship Families, This weekend marks the end of our China Internship program and students will be arriving back home to share their tales with each of you. Nina La Ferla, one of the China instructors will be flying back home with the group. She will work with all students to ensure that they […]

Posted On

08/2/11

Author

Dragons Administration

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Tomorrow we are off to Koh Tonasi, a rustic island not far off the coast of Kep, continuing the student-led-adventure that is Week 6! What’s in store for us on Rabbit Island? Delicious seafood, a laid back atmosphere, days in the river, and nights out under the stars. However, we won’t have power, or access to internet or email. So please be patient! We’ll be back on the Yak board in a few days when our group arrives in Kampot on the evening of the 5th, and will share pictures and stories with you then. Lia haey!

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Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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Koh Tonsai

I-team,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

Tomorrow we are off to Koh Tonasi, a rustic island not far off the coast of Kep, continuing the student-led-adventure that is Week 6! What’s in store for us on Rabbit Island? Delicious seafood, a laid back atmosphere, days in the river, and nights out under the stars. However, we won’t have power, or access […]

Posted On

08/1/11

Author

I-team

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The mist has been with us all day. At first an unwelcome companion, the mist has been growing on us – figuratively and literally. The higher we hike, the thicker it becomes. The jungle is starting to remind us of a scary movie, and we like it. Nobody cares too much anymore about their wet shoes, or that we need to check our ankles and legs constantly for leeches.

Where are we? On a hike up Bokor Mountain, in Kampot Province. Originally planning to do this hike yesterday, we postponed until today due to torrential downpours in Kampot – the tail end of a larger storm that recently hit the Phillipines. We heard the weather would be better today. This morning though, we woke to the familiar sound of rain drumming against our bungalow roofs. For a second, before our morning meeting, I wondered if our group would show up for breakfast with downcast eyes, still in their PJs, with dampened spirits, not wanting to hike in the rain.

What was I thinking? Each person arrived on time at breakfast, raincoat in hand, water bottle full, wearing a big smile. Our Dragon’s core value today (each day, we choose a Core Value to focus on) – COURAGE! A little rain won’t stop us - rain or shine, we’re hiking, let’s go get muddy, and extra points go to the first person who gets bitten by a leech.

Hiking up Bokor, our final destination is the top of the hill station. It feels good to hike, to raise our heartbeats and feel our breath labor a bit. About midway up, part of the group stops for a break and a drink of water. We need an energizer.

Mara, tell us the words to that song again, we say. He replies,

Pkaa oyee, pkaa saraay

Srok bong chnai

Chit snai srey

The rest of us do our best to sing this short Kmae verse that appreciates nature, homelands, and missed loved ones. We repeat after one another, laughing at our mispronunciations, remembering the dance that goes along with it. We some of Thomas's mint bar that has traveled all the way from Belgium, and pick up the pace as we snake along the trail, hiking through the mist and rain towards the top of the hill station.

The top of Bokor is draped in clouds and rain. Mist seeps through the doors and windows of the abandoned Bokor Palace. Once a high-end resort and casino during the French colonial period, it was used as a Khmer Rouge hideout during the civil war, looted in the years that followed, and is now part of a massive development scheme currently under construction in the national park. We gingerly walk around the abandoned building, armed with only our headlamps and each other. Expecting ghosts to step out from behind every corner, some of us are more courageous than others, exploring the basement and second floor.

After a haunting tour, we emerge unscathed, and walk over to the cliff, which, on a clear day, would reveal impressive views of the Gulf of Thailand and islands dotting the south coast. Today, however, the wind is blowing chilly bursts of cloud and mist up into our faces, down into our lungs, as we step up to the edge and look outward – metaphorically into the unknown, the undefined future. We can’t see a thing – we don’t really know what’s out there.

As we enter our last week of the course, with our return home just around the corner, we are experiencing nerves, anxiety, excitement, fear, and a sense of accomplishment at the same time. A whole new set of unknowns. What will it feel like, not spending each day with this tight group of friends & traveling companions? How easily will we be able to communicate the experiences and growth, describe the new friends we have made, to family and friends at home? How have I changed? Will this change last? What am I meant to take away from all of this?

Seizing the moment, and each other’s hands, we summon our questions and emotions to the forefront of our minds. We stand in a line facing the cliff edge, and count off – muy, bpi, bey! All at once, we take a huge collective deep breath, and send out a mighty scream into the atmosphere that starts in the depths of our bellies and is fed by the misty air coming out of our lungs. This scream contains questions, frustrations, excitements, fears about going home, anticipations of what the future holds; it contains things we can articulate and things we cannot. Our first group scream is so freeing; but is not enough. We gear up for number two, and it is more powerful and delightful than the first. The atmosphere responds with even more gusts of misty air and raindrops blown up into our faces, whipping back our hair and puffing out our rainjackets.

To me, it’s a sign that somewhere, someone or something is listening. We don’t need answers at this moment… they will come in their own time, in our last week together and as we return to life back at home. We walk away from the cliff edge, feeling a bit lighter, smiles on our faces, delicate drops of water on our eyelashes. This coming week, we draw upon our individual and collective courage – we are ready for what lies ahead.

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Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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Courage on a Misty Mountain Top

Jess Miller,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

The mist has been with us all day. At first an unwelcome companion, the mist has been growing on us – figuratively and literally. The higher we hike, the thicker it becomes. The jungle is starting to remind us of a scary movie, and we like it. Nobody cares too much anymore about their wet […]

Posted On

08/1/11

Author

Jess Miller

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Both of her tiny hands could fit into one of mine. She was reluctant at first, shy in front of the giant American who was twice her size. I tried to show her my pictures, but I didn't know if she understood my broken Khmer, explaining that I had bpi bongs and bpi bong-sreys. She only knew the few English words her sisters whispered in her ear, the rest of the time speaking high pitched, incoherant Khmer. Slowly warming up to the idea of my constant presence over the first twenty-four hours, she decided to challenge me.

The second day of the solo homestay, Danaie sat by me at dinner. Forming shapes with her six year old hands, she silently goaded me forward, smiling when I attempted replication. If a finger was out of place, she quickly turned to me and pushed my hands into the correct formation. The game went on, slowly becoming more complicated as Danaie ran out of ideas. She moved onto what I later learned was the banana game, stacked fists whose fingers act as bananas, chopped down with a few quick phrases of Khmer. I enjoyed this arrangement. Without a younger sibling, I was able to adopt her for a few hours everyday to live out the what-if-I-wasn't-the-youngest-child senario.

Over the next few days, as I often slowed my bike to a stop in the muddy front yard of the village house, I could often hear the pitter-patter of Danaie's footsteps across the broken cement, her young voice greeting me with the sing song hello of Khmer children. I soon grew accustomed to letting my hands lay limp in her own, allowing her to physically create the shapes her imagination dreamed up.

By the last days of the homestay, with a little more free time, I took to reading on the balcony of the small house on stilts. Oftentimes Danaie was sent to ask me if I was hungry or wanted to shower. When I say ask, words weren't involved. With a simple hand motion, she was able to communicate what she couldn't say in English and what I couldn't understand in Khmer.

Danaie and I never had a real conversation. We never sat down and told each other about our families, our homes, or what kind of music we liked. Instead we built a relationship through the interconnectedness of our fingers, smiles and eyes. I was always nervous about the solo homestay; I had no idea if I would be able to connect with a Khmer family so removed from my own experience at home. All those fears dissapated as soon as those small hands intertwined with my own, bringing two strangers, a barang and and a Cambodian, together through silence to a smile.

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Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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Hand Motions Forming Emotions

Susanna Kalaris,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

Both of her tiny hands could fit into one of mine. She was reluctant at first, shy in front of the giant American who was twice her size. I tried to show her my pictures, but I didn’t know if she understood my broken Khmer, explaining that I had bpi bongs and bpi bong-sreys. She […]

Posted On

07/30/11

Author

Susanna Kalaris

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Anxiety creeps its way into my body as I walk with my sister to my new home. Sister? Well, homestay sister. Yeah sure, the leaders taught me how to prepare myself for living in a new place, but who can prepare me for meeting my brothers and sisters who I've never seen before?

Silence has overtaken us now, but its a new kind of silence. The type that lets you sit and stare at a fire with friends and soak in the moment. Soak in everything around you. This is it. I reach my new home. My mother cannot stop smiling, and somehow, neither can I.

The sun disappears over the horizon and I'm left with a new feeling of fulfillness. Of gratitude and authenticity. Night is all around us now. My mother, convinced that I am secretly fluent in Khmer, speaks to me nonstop. I nod my head and just repeat "bat, bat" trying to pretend that I understand. I am able to catch on to a few things, though. She points to herself, "Makk," mother. Then to me, "gon-bros k'gnom," my son.

And as I lay awake on the bamboo mat looking up at the mosquito net above me and listen to the sounds of chickens and pigs below me, I feel a rush of warmth and safety. This is my family and this is my home.

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Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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A smile with a side of silence

Eric Klaber,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

Anxiety creeps its way into my body as I walk with my sister to my new home. Sister? Well, homestay sister. Yeah sure, the leaders taught me how to prepare myself for living in a new place, but who can prepare me for meeting my brothers and sisters who I’ve never seen before? Silence has […]

Posted On

07/29/11

Author

Eric Klaber

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I didn’t know my heart could break for so many people who I’ve just met. But it has. I find myself surrounded by noise. Cows groaning their neck bells jingling as their led to the next place. Half dressed children, boys naked from the waist down screaming as they play together. Motos zooming by, honks and bell dings signaling they want to pass a slower vehicle. Everyday life surrounds me, but at the same time everything is still, quiet, empty.

I didn’t really know about the Khmer Rouge before I came to Cambodia. Almost nothing really. 2 million people slaughtered for having knowledge, for having questions, for being unable to do hard manual labor all day everyday on nothing but a few grains of rice. How could I not know?

I’ve made a connection with my homestay sister Darline. The strongest, fastest connection I’ve had in these many weeks in Cambodia. Every morning I leave her asking when I come back from studying at teacher Mara’s house. Every morning I’d reply, at lunch, then we can spend time together. One morning at Mara’s house we met Khmer Rouge survivors from the village we were staying in, Prek Pdao. We had been living with them this whole time. Guessing at their past, but never strong enough to ask. But now here they were allowing us to ask the questions we’d always wanted to. I kept asking myself why is it so hard to hear them talk? People were dragged away from family, from life on the very spots I walked and sat everyday. People I saw and knew and spoke with, at a time in their past could only trust themselves and feared everything in this village I and they called home. This was 40 years ago. How is life so normal? How are these sounds of business, farming, childhood, filling my ears, trying to fill the pit in my stomach the survivors’ words had created. Had Darline been born forty years early would she be sitting here in front of me or not?

The thing that struck me the most is they were angry. Of course they were. They wanted revenge. Why had I never realized the acute pain? Of course they do, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Before they walked away Mr. Von one of our homestay fathers said sometimes the memories are so painful he wants to never come back to the village. He said this before getting up and leaving concealing the tears he had begun to shed.

I want to cry too. I want to hug him and take his pain away. I want to share my broken heart with Cambodia and help each other mend. But it’s already happening. Life continues because it has to. Tribunals, new techniques for teaching history, monuments erected on killing fields, museums like Tuol Sleng. Cambodia is finding its own way to cope. Now I have to. Hopefully we can do it together.

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Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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Khmer Rouge

Megan Andersen,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

I didn’t know my heart could break for so many people who I’ve just met. But it has. I find myself surrounded by noise. Cows groaning their neck bells jingling as their led to the next place. Half dressed children, boys naked from the waist down screaming as they play together. Motos zooming by, honks […]

Posted On

07/29/11

Author

Megan Andersen

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    [post_content] => 

My pack slung over my shoulder I walk slowly down the dirt road chatting with my homestay sister. My little homestay brother, in his usual manor, runs excitedly ahead of us while host mother trails quietly behind. We are one of the last groups to arrive at Mara's parents home and we quickly join the throng of dragons students and their Cambodian families. Its time to say goodbye. Gifts are exchanged, embraces, addresses, fruit and snacks, phone numbers, last minute words of thanks and promises to keep in touch are traded as well.

It's hard to know what to say to my family.They let me into their home and life this past week, showing me nothing but kindness. They taught me how to bathe in a sarong, how to wash my feet before I enter a house, how to give food to monks. They fed me and made conversation even if the majority of it was just hand signals and misused words.I feel unable to express my gratitude towards them, a simple ah kun did not seem like enough.

My sisters made me a dress, laughing as they took my measurements, and painstakingly braided my hair before the big goodbye party. My homestay mother clucked in khmer over my mud covered clothes when I came back from a particularly messy bike ride. My small brother came to me every night with his school books to practice English. For a week I was a part of this families everyday life, I acted with them the way I would with my family at home.

Sitting in the van waving good bye to the people and the place , I hoped my gratitude showed. I hoped they saw it in the letter I left behind to them, in the small smiles and laughs we shared, in my insistence to help wash at lest one dish, in my hug goodbye. Turning in my seat to face the rest of my trip,I hope they got my message.

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Best Notes From The Field, Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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A Goodbye

Taylor Hale,Best Notes From The Field, Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

My pack slung over my shoulder I walk slowly down the dirt road chatting with my homestay sister. My little homestay brother, in his usual manor, runs excitedly ahead of us while host mother trails quietly behind. We are one of the last groups to arrive at Mara’s parents home and we quickly join the […]

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Heat, humidity and the occasional torrential downpour does nothing to dampen our student’s spirits. As instructors we feel privileged to spend the summer with 10 wonderful and insightful human beings. We write this on the day all bounced (albeit is was a small bounce!) out of bed at 4.30am to cycle to the legendary Ankor Wat and other surrounding temples for sunrise. We have trekked through the jungle to a remote village, questioned and challenged NGO’s and humbly shared homes with Khmer families. The students have bonded amazingly well as a group and each day they support one another to delve deeper into Cambodian culture. Excitement builds for the next half of the course, our students use their new skills to lead us, and we can’t wait to see where we go...

Each student brings special and different gifts to our group. They are really fantastic individuals; so knowledgeable, curious, and adventurous. It will really be hard to say goodbye in a few short weeks!

Tessa – We love Tessa’s Yaks, they reflect her great gift of creativity. She looks out for people’s well-being, makes gift for people when they are ill and choose to pick up litter on the trek – all this reflects her kind and thoughtful nature. Frequently the first one to report her scales or offer an opinion in group discussions, Tessa is an engaged member of the group but also does not shy away from solo opportunities. Tessa has developed a great set of questions to find out about landmines for her independent study project.

Christina - Contributions to group discussion and ceremonies from Christsna always use carefully chosen phrases which are filled with insight and maturity. He’s a great listener and is really interested in learning about each person on this trip – where they come from, what makes them who they are. Christsna’s calm, responsible and kind nature means he is loved by the whole group and can act as a great facilitator. We can’t wait to see the film that he is developing for his independent study project and love seeing his Khmer take HUGE leaps forward each day. We could hardly contain our happiness in seeing Christsna’s face when he returned back to the group after meeting his family in Battambang.

Eva - Quick thinking, smart and always thinking deeply about the issues, Eva asks philosophical questions and challenges perceptions within the group. In NGO meetings her questions and conclusions are always so insightful. Always smiling and bringing optimism Eva is getting deeper into Cambodia culture for her independent study project by research Cambodian traditional folk tales… we look forward to an evening of storytelling. Never afraid to try out a Khmer sentence or phrase, or to just be herself in any situation, she brings a new level of authenticity to the group. Eva stepped out of her comfort zone early in the course, taking a short vow of silence each day to work on absorbing all that was going on around her.

Eric – A strong and confident leader in the group, Eric has a strong sense of his core values and beliefs and can articulate this really well which really help to frame the ideas of the group. Eric has taken amazing initiative with his Independent Study Project about healthcare and has visited several hospitals already. He really worked to support the Khmer students who joined us to integrate into the group. In any homestay or gathering, Eric can be found surrounded by the local kids, playing games, telling jokes or just hanging out.

Suzanna - Constantly smiling, Suzanna has great skills in remaining positive through thick and thin. Suzanna’s academic understanding the issues is supported by her detailed knowledge of global affairs and we are thrilled she brings this level of expertise to the group. She’s quick to offer her opinion or viewpoint to the group during lessons, is articulate when explaining her thoughts, and encourages others to voice their opinions as well. She has made a great commitment to learning the language and remembers words with ease. Suzanna is developing her independent study about the impact of international funding on local NGOs.

Megan – A trooper. Megan brings a great wealth of maturity and calm to the group, keeping detailed records of all we do and bringing great initiative to her group roles. She is doing an inspirational job of looking outward and really making the best of opportunities we provide to get in deeper to the culture, which sets a benchmark for the rest of the group. Megan has developed a great set of questions ready for the week solo homestay to get a deeper understanding of women’s role in the home for her independent study project. Lately, Megan’s stood out as a natural leader in the group, often taking on the facilitator role in student meetings, organizing data and delegating tasks well.

Thomas –Thomas always looks at how to do thing differently and this brings new insights and a sense of adventure (and falls in to the river!). He has bought a real sense of responsibility and commitment to his team roles and delivered all the things the group have needed, managing budgets and communication in a really organised way.Thomas is always ready for more, and keeps the group smiling with his animated contributions to group discussions, GAL’s of the day, and impersonations! For Thomas’ Independent Study Project he is keen to learn about village structures through interview with the village chief and commune council, he is also drawing on theoretical development tools to frame his research.

Rachel – Another trooper! Rachel has a deep understanding and passion for Global Citizenship and it always keen to learn more and challenge ideas presented to the group. She has already started to think about how she will use her Independent Study Project about NGO management over the coming year back in America.She’s been a strong group member, involved in all components of the course through thick and thin. Her insights are always valued by the group, students and instructors alike, and the Dragon’s Cambodia Educator course members were impressed by her debating skills during our group dinner last week!

Tay lor – Taylor is always keen to try new things and is taking more and more initiative within the group as time goes on which is supporting the students to work towards the student led part of the course. She’s bonded well with all group members, and did a great job during her ceremony role, as well as making the Khmer VCD students feel welcomed and part of the group. We enjoyed celebrating her birthday in Siem Reap! She managed to meet and discuss with WWF as part of her independent Study Project and is researching more wildlife protection agencies.

ChloeChloe is a real emotional support to the rest of the group and always looking out for group happiness and how people are doing. Chloe really supported and related to the Khmer students, who joined us for a week. The ceremonies she developed showed a real sense of insight and self awareness.Chloe’s been able to bond well within the group, becoming more and more confident in the last few weeks, both within the group in her leadership roles, and outside of the group, during our debates with the Cambodia Educator course in Phnom Penh. Forher Independent Study ProjectChole is going to look at traditionalKhmer cooking and is getting more and more involved in kitchen activities in her week long home-stay.

Please keep reading our Yak Board for more news from Cambodia Summer 2011…Sarah, Jess and Mara

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Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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Our Wonderful Team of Ten!

Sarah Galvin, Mara Pho, Jess Miller,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

Heat, humidity and the occasional torrential downpour does nothing to dampen our student’s spirits. As instructors we feel privileged to spend the summer with 10 wonderful and insightful human beings. We write this on the day all bounced (albeit is was a small bounce!) out of bed at 4.30am to cycle to the legendary Ankor […]

Posted On

07/27/11

Author

Sarah Galvin, Mara Pho, Jess Miller

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2011-07-26 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

How do I convey the feeling of an icy bucket shower at noon?

The initial shock

The delayed pleasure

Like the first day in Phnom Penh.

How can you taste the rambutans and bananas?

Will they be the same without the hammock under the house, safe from rain?

Without the two kids asking you words in broken English?

Pen?

Mouth?

Flower?

How do I teach you about genocide?

Mass graves, abandoned prisons, 6,000 skulls

up

and up

and up.

Could you understand?

How can you hear the guitar?

Floating through the door from the

guesthouse balcony?

The traffic from the streets?

The roosters in the morning?

How do I describe the fickle weather?

The extreme heat, a sauna,

that turns to windy rain

that drops from the sky in a blanket of cool.

How can I show you Cambodia?

Weeks: 3, 4, and 5 [post_title] => How Do I Post a Yak [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => how-do-i-post-a-yak [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2011-07-26 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=43344 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 323 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-and-peace-summer-2011 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 323 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 251 [count] => 65 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 18.1 [cat_ID] => 323 [category_count] => 65 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-and-peace-summer-2011 [category_parent] => 251 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2011/cambodia-studies-in-development-and-peace-summer-2011/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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How Do I Post a Yak

Tessa Bauer,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

How do I convey the feeling of an icy bucket shower at noon? The initial shock The delayed pleasure Like the first day in Phnom Penh. How can you taste the rambutans and bananas? Will they be the same without the hammock under the house, safe from rain? Without the two kids asking you words […]

Posted On

07/26/11

Author

Tessa Bauer

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2011-07-25 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => The afternoon rain is starting to let up and a cool breeze is blowing through Mara’s house. The students are with their homestay families, and there’s nowhere that we’re rushing off to go this afternoon or evening. Sitting on the concrete steps leading up to Mara’s house, protected from the rain, I spend 20 minutes watching the palm tree leaves blow in the wind and trying to follow the pattern of raindrops in a puddle forming on the front lawn, not really thinking about anything in particular, and enjoying the calm and peaceful atmosphere. 

This week long homestay in Prek Pdao, Mara’s home village, is a chance for the students (and instructors!) to slow down a bit and recover some energy, really work on language skills, and to experience Khmer life at its most genuine level. Sarah, Mara and I visited with each of the homestay families yesterday. Neak gruu thmey? They all ask to Sarah and I. Jaa, jaa, we say, smiling. We are the new teachers. I think they miss the other Dragons’ instructors who have come before us! Sarah and I are sharing a room at Mara’s parents house, and they are wonderful. His mother has a great laugh! J His sister has made us meal after meal of delicious Khmer food, and his father has welcomed us warmly into their home. Being here, it is easy to understand where Mara's humility, generosity, and kind nature come from. What a great family!

Far from the busy streets of Phnom Penh, and the crowds at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, life here in Prek Pdao moves at a different pace. Woken at 4am by rooster crows, the neighborhood kids slowly roll by on their bicycles on the way to school, we eat breakfast and relax in hammocks alongside the family’s cattle, chickens, dogs, and cats. Language lessons, Khmer Rouge history, and planning English lessons to teach later this week to the students in Prek Pdao are our biggest tasks to accomplish. Plae ceik are never far from our fingertips.Today marks the end of our 4th week together – hard to believe time is moving so quickly! The students are busy planning our next adventure – a week of travel in the south of Cambodia. They’re responsible for all the details… lodging and transportation, what we do, and why we’re doing it. Not only planning the where, but the why – we’ll continue to experience Cambodia in authentic ways that stay within our shoestring budget - sunsets that light the sky on fire, lazy river days, fresh seafood, arts and culture await us in weeks 5 and 6. Bring it on! [post_title] => After the rain in Prek Pdao [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => after-the-rain-in-prek-pdao [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2011-07-25 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=43386 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 323 [name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011 [slug] => cambodia-studies-in-development-and-peace-summer-2011 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 323 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 251 [count] => 65 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 18.1 [cat_ID] => 323 [category_count] => 65 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011 [category_nicename] => cambodia-studies-in-development-and-peace-summer-2011 [category_parent] => 251 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2011/cambodia-studies-in-development-and-peace-summer-2011/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011 )

Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

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After the rain in Prek Pdao

Jess Miller,Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace, Summer 2011

Description

The afternoon rain is starting to let up and a cool breeze is blowing through Mara’s house. The students are with their homestay families, and there’s nowhere that we’re rushing off to go this afternoon or evening. Sitting on the concrete steps leading up to Mara’s house, protected from the rain, I spend 20 minutes […]

Posted On

07/25/11

Author

Jess Miller

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