Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
|merry xmas its smiling at me...a christmas story|
|a korea monk couch surfing for a few days|
|the king is being cremated tom all monks in cambodia do this for a day|
|trekking to the waterfall wooo|
|me messing around at the waterfall!|
|happy chinese new years! year of the snake any one come to work with this for a snack?|
|wow time fly's 26! nothing like having a kids bday party to keep you young.|
|this was our record 6 couch surfers at once from all over the world amazing group dynamics!|
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Ahhh im soo horrible at keeping up with this blog now which is ironic bc I live in the city now and have access to electricity and internet 24 hours. So my life is in a transition state for 2013 what that means for me im not quite sure but I feel a lot is about to change for me in what I hope will be a good way! However before I go on about my current job etc I want to tell you some astounding news… my host sister finally gets it she does not want to go to America and does not want to see her husband ever again this means that my service was not a waste I got though to one human being and changed there life and prevented a life time of abuse! After this realization on her part I have been trying to spend a lot of time with her to help her though this for the next steps and to help make sure she does not end up in another abusive relationship I feel I will continue to work with her but step one to change is realizing the need to change! I am working as a consultant for project evaluation, baseline survey etc as well as a few other things on top of this im still volunteering for CWPD where I go into the office this past weekend I went out surveying with them on clean water apparently coca cola gave them funding to build wells really close to my village. The staff at cwpd did not get that I lived in a village until I went out with them and stopped by my house until then I kept getting asked question like how do I feel when I see the real Cambodia all I could do was laugh as the real Cambodia is just 2 years of my life the question they should be asking is how do I feel about living in phnom penh. Due to how much time has lapsed from my last blog I will have to just give u bullet points of everything else I guess if you want more details you will have to skype me. I have been in grad school for a full quarter about to start a new quarter this weekend my class mates have a lot of experience and I think they get along with me well there is one other foreigner in my class from Spain he is in his late 40s so basically im the only fluent Eng. speaker which we all joke around about they think I should speak khmenglish whenever possible. Its also funny because we got put into groups for projects my group members have had to be around me quite a bit so they know me well enough to ask for things in khmer but the rest of the class thinks this is funny when they see it all happen. My poltics and government class was extremely eye opening I have learned so much about Cambodian gov thanks to this class I sort of think its cool that I get to learn history etc though another countries eyes I mean even when I studied about French history in college it just is not the same to much of an American options get tossed around in the teacher. You know in Cambodia they refer to the Vietnam war as a world war 2 I found this interesting concept since to them it makes sense but to me I always think ww2 Hitler vs the world okay. Anyways of course I had my doubts about getting a master in Cambodia of all places but its like I get a trouble edu one in development and now ill be an expert or highly studied in south east Asian studies it’s a win win. However I should mention that there still is corruption at the university level with the teacher’s ill skip going into details but my class mates love to remind me there are spies all over the place. It has been i like to think good for the students to have both American input and Spanish input I know having a European perspective has been insightful for me. I also have changed class room dynamics which I also like to think is good student in Cambodia tend to be shy to share their ideas however since I don’t know how to be embarrassed (so I have been told) the fact that I talk so much has made it culturally okay for other girls in particular to share there ideas. I have started to gather research etc for my thesis I am currently looking for away to get money to fund my research this is a down side to studying in Cambodia as what ever is out there is most likely going to go to a Khmer student and not me I called USAID to see if they would support me no such luck. I should mention that me and my roommate Liz started to host couch surfers however we got so into that we have had to many people and our land lord told us no more =( very sad. Anyways we hosted about 30 people in a 3 month time period and met some amazing souls that have helped me with the whole life transition. A Korean monk stayed with us that was interesting, people traveling around the whole world on a bike they stayed with us for xmas, I met a long island who spent his life in Nepal he was in his 60s I think r oldest surfer but he was funny he still had an ny accent despite living in Asia for the 30 plus years, pretty much people from all walks of life who really just shared so much with us I hope to meet many of them again on my travels. I highly recommend that if you have a free couch or room in America to get ur self an account ill be ur reference so they know ur not a creep and host people when they travel if you cant see the world bring the world to ur house =) I even got my dad to sign up and he was surprised at how much he likes it. O yeah I turned 26!!! I not closer to 30 then 20 its odd feeling o well age is just a number its all about the state of mind and I feel like im in no rush as I sort of like where my life is headed currently. For my bday I went out to a restaurant with a few friends and then I went back to my friends house and had some jack and coke felt like I was in America haha. It was a good time got to get to know one of my classmates better as she came out with her husband. On my actual bday I went back to the village as my host sister wanted to celebrate with me and so did the kids in the village (they love cake) I made the cake my self bc cake the bakery is not good and they don’t have chocolate the horror I know but u guys will LOVE this my host mom keeps asking me for the recipe and im like its call Betty Crocker in a box but she cant seem to grasp that thing like cake can come in a box pre made for u so she thinks im some sort of baking genius lmao… yea really. Then that night I drank with jentee some more whisky and we had some more talks about life it was a great way to end my 25th year of life knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life. Well ill try to post pictures of the last 3 months of my life until next time peace out from the other side of the world!!!
Saturday, October 20, 2012
HEY my blogger world I am in fact alive and doing well I have had some concerned emails as to my wear a bout’s sorry for being sort of mia for a few weeks. I Cosed a term in peace corps world meaning I completed my service yay now you guys can call me an RPCV enough though I have not returned yet haha. Anyways the reason for my lack of communication is that to cos is a lot of time and paper work so I was doing that then right after that I headed to Malaysia for a much needed break to transition into phnom penh. I am now in fact living in the capital city of Cambodia will post some pictures below starting some classes in nov more on that in a min and dealing with some random Cambodian events. Where to start okay well my vacation was interesting Malaysia is far more developed then I thought with some off the beating track places to go see. I spent sometime in Kula lumpor the cities capital where I was able to couch surf with this guy named sam who was house sitting for some social activist that is living in Singapore who I guess happened to be a million air so I guess you can say I stayed in the equivalent of Beverly hills of Malaysia haha. Once again I will tell you love couch surfing sam was raised in new Zeeland and just had a lot of connections was supper helpful great host and I met a lot of famous people though him in the short time I was there. After that I went up to Cameroon high lands which is the mt area where I took some sort of crazy jungle trek to find the worlds biggest flower lol no lie it took 2 and a half hour to find this flower and im not sure the energy it took to climb up rocks and jump over river was worth it but I guess I can say I did it =) also couch surfed there and there was another surfer there at the same time who was from Italy Naples where the pizza is made yumm she was also really cool. Then I went and spent some time with my khmer host cousin who lives in tohla her husband is Malaysian so once again I ended up being surrounded by khmer people where I ended up feeling sorry for her husband bc he does’t speak khmer. Once again I also went into I guess village life was more up scaled then Cambodia but when my host sister took me to someone’s house it was like these people who in aw then to redeem them selves bc I guess they felt that they had to make sure to impress me they took me out to dinner that night where they wore what ill bet is there finest jewelry which happens to be big ass ruby rings etc. It amuses me that they think I care bc I cant afford ruby’s and I don’t know to many Americans that can. The last leg of the trip was to the prethian island which was my fav part bc u could snorkel right off the beach scuba diving was amazing ill have to post a you tube video of where I went diving lets just say national geographic sends there people out this way a lot. Well now lets fast forward a bit I am home for a few days it pachum ben Cambodians national holliday to throw rice at dead people but bc Cambodians love to have off we had a full week off so no sooner do I move into phnom penh that I go back to the village for the holidays. Your sitting there thinking y go back well in Cambodia all the city people leave for any holiday to stay in the villages phnom penh shuts down its sort of crazy. Hence the life in between so I have one foot in phonm penh setting up shop hear while visiting the village and spending some time with my host family again which was sort of a shit show ill spare you the details on that. then to top off life in between the Cambodian King dies to explain how important this is to the Khmer people is hard bc we don’t have anything close in the us and on top of it he died on this special day of the dead so now its like proof to the Khmer people he was ment to be there king. Anyways this king has sort of been retired and his son has taken the thrown but everyone still considered him the real king. He died of hearth failure in china where he has been living for health care reason. The history of Cambodia is complex and has its ups and down but the king has been though all of them and bc he got Cambodian there independence from France he in some ways I guess can be compared to George Washington from an American perspective. On top of this be4 the Khmer rough he was a peoples king he would go out into the provinces work with the people in the rice fields, play with the school children etc. someone like my host mom age really loved him he she even played volleyball with him and I guess he symbolizes aspects of Cambodian culture that Khmer people are proud of. However due to the political climate in Cambodia I did not really no how many people where trying to keep there love for the king on the dl until he died which then impromted people to walk not drive 100 of miles to wait on the streets to see his body go by. While the gov thought only 100,000 people would show up 1 million people showed up the streets of phnom penh where lined from the air port all the way to the royal palace. I did venture over to the palace the night before where people where planning to spend the night and monks and people from all walks of live where chanting and lighting candles etc it was truly an historic to witness one I might not have appreciated if I had not lived in Cambodia so long. Right now the country is still in a state of morning however there is already speculation of what will happen now that the king is dead bc his son does not really hold power. A lot of people seem to think Vietnam will go to war with Cambodia for land though I honesty had no idea the king held so much power as to keep Vietnam at bay all this time but who knows I guess ill wait and see what happens as Cambodians tend to be pretty negatively biased about boarding countries. While all of this is going on I still had to go in and take a test to get into the development classes at royal university of phnom penh which took all my time today. I might have mentioned I am taking some classes in development but its pretty competitive to get in the program is designed by some NYU professors and evidently from today there are a lot of people trying to get the opportunity to get into the program so I am keeping my fingers crossed I get in though me speaking eng I think does help and my American status doesn’t hurt either. This is pretty much how life in between goes however I can honestly say I am loving life out of peace corps and it will make you all laugh to know that I have taken on a truly Asian life style I bought a new city bike I named it k pop bc it reminds me of a Korean pop star song and now ride my bike all around the city to get places and I have not been hit by a moto or a car yet! I think if I truly can master traffic in phnom penh I really might be able to do this in nyc but only time will tell on that part haha. Well until next time peace out from the other side of the world!!!!
|my host mom making on som a dish to bring to the wat|
|if this is not a bad ass nun i dont know what is|
|the night be4 the kings body arrived in cambodia people lined the palace to respect him|
|the back balcony to my apt!|
|my new room in the city =) im working on saving up for a bigger bed and mattress|
|the kitchen with modern appliances =)|
Friday, September 14, 2012
Okay so I know im not exactly the most nationalistic person ever however I am going to take amount to reflect or give my stance what I value you about the symbolism behind what America is supposed to represent. In light of recent events in Libya and Egypt while most deff tragic it gave me the chance to stand up in the face of adversary. What I mean by this is Cambodians for the most part are extremely pro American and my host family is no exception and with all the breaking news focusing on the religious fundamentalist of Islamic faith attacking American embassy this out ragged my host mom. So much so that she went off on a rant how she was never going to talk to the cham’s that what they call Islam/Muslims in Khmer she went on to say she hated them! Now I could have take this opportunity to jump on some bandwagon but for once I felt the need to really make someone understand what America is supposed to stand for and that the ideal qualities our country was built on concepts like equality and freedom. So instead I sat down with her and explain that I don’t hate them even if I was to come contact with an extremist I would not hate them but feel sorry for them that they want to judge me as American with out knowing me as a person. That to hate a small group of radicals and put the majority in that group is not what America wants to stand for and I have to put my self in that category. we went back in forth for a while I of course could not say this as eloquently in Khmer as im talking to you about but never the less she sort of understood by the end of the conversation but she just wanted to reiterate to me Khmer people would never do that! I just was like yeah yeah yeah but in reality we all want to believe the country culture subgroup or whatever is an outliner in the ability to commit violent acts but sadly it is not true most of another or us at one time will have been associated with a group of people that has acted violently. While I might not wake up everyday thanking “god” I am American I do want to say publicly that the symbolism however lost it has gotten in recent history is still something I try to hold on when I define my self as American and today I got the chance to prove it. As for my safety I am fine I live in a village with a lot of Islamic people none of them are pissed at America from what I can tell and pretty much the entire Cambodian army/police force is stationed out side the US Embassy. So as disturbing as it is that this event has made it into political war for the record im living in another country and there is being extra preventive measures to protect the embassy our gov is not just pretending everything is fine. till next time peace out from the other side of the world!
Monday, September 3, 2012
so you might remember my rape culture rant where i posted some epic youtube video talking about lying. you also might have forgotten some of what i wrote but for this blog case and point i said that come football season that different college teams would use the penn state thing as a joke... if only i was wrong sadly no =( check out this link http://jezebel.com/5938687/ohio-state-fans-kick-off-football-season-with-horrible-shirt-mocking-penn-state-victims. but hey now i can add Legitimate Rape to my next session on rape culture. this is what i predicted now i ask you my loyal followers all 20 of you what does this say about american sports or american culture as a whole?
Till Next Time Peace Out From the Other Side of the World!!!!
Till Next Time Peace Out From the Other Side of the World!!!!