Saturday, December 17, 2011

A long December

So far December has been a pretty dull month in terms of traveling about and visiting places in Cambodia.  At the beginning of the month I did get to go to Angkor Wat (some of you may have heard of them) for the annual half marathon, but other than that most of my days have been spent lulling around my site and getting to know my community better.

I have met some interesting folks though.  One of the teachers at my school has a beautiful farm in the countryside where she grows (what else?) rice.  I planned to visit her farm for a short afternoon and ended up spending the whole day there. 

I have discovered that in Cambodia it is often very rewarding to go off the beaten path and see how the rural people live because Chhouk is by no means a large town, but it varies vastly from the rural countryside of Cambodia.

On a different note I started my club and am now teaching a writing class at the school.  It’s going well and the students seem to enjoy it but I am having problems getting them to stretch their imaginations.  One exercise I have found works well is to write a list of adjectives on the board and have students write a question using an adjective from the list.  Then I redistribute the questions and have different students answer the questions.  It usually turns into a pretty lively activity.

I have also started planning for my garden at school.  This has been a big project that my school director wants me to get underway so naturally, I have been putting it off.  However I now have a list of supplies that I need and will begin fundraising next week.  Wish me luck.

Thanksgiving was a success and our lovely K4s in Kampot cooked us a killer Thanksgiving feast, but it was bittersweet because one of the volunteers I have gotten close to was sent to Bangkok for an angiogram (heart) and missed the holiday.

Up next is a vacation to Monkey Island off the coast of Sihanoukville for Christmas and for my Birthday I do not believe I will be doing anything special which is fine by me.

One disclaimer I would like to make about my blog is that now I have been in Cambodia for almost 5 months I am beginning to see a lot of things here that no longer surprise me.  I realize that to the outside viewer many of the things I walk by on a daily basis and used everyday would require a detailed explanation of why? and how? but as I progress towards integration (I use the word ‘progress’ because no matter what I do I will never look like a Cambodian) I begin to see things as normal or tradition when I know they are not (at least to some of the target audience of this blog). 

So please if there are any questions about what I post do not hesitate to prod deeper as I’m sure I have overlooked many chances to explain various concepts or events

Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Pics

My house

My kitchen

Jelly (she got ran over)

This is an interesting picture because the apparatus you see before you is a dud B52 bomb that was dropped on Cambodia during the Vietnam war to try and stem the supply route of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  Today it is used as a bell to signal the beginning and end of class.

My school and students preparing to clean the school.

different angle of my students

Avg. Cambodian classroom.

Principals office, library and a few more classrooms.  Taken facing the opposite direction of the picture with the students seen earlier.