February 22, 2010

Final Week of Phnom Penh Academic Program

The final week of our SST Cambodia Phnom Penh program, which overlapped with the Chinese New Year, ended Thursday. Over the last 10 days of the program several lectures were cancelled because speakers were traveling with their families or otherwise unavailable. All over town we were treated to magnificent, circus-like acrobatic displays known as Mongsai, or the Dragon Dance. The photos here are from one Mongsai just below P’teah Goshen, at the home of a Chinese family. The dangerous act took place right on the street, stopping traffic as performers at times reached as high as 25 feet in the air, straddling small foot pads on the tops of pillars.

SST Director Tom Meyers also visited from Sunday through Wednesday, participating in lectures and spending about 1 1/2 hours with the students helping them process their experience thus far. The final week also included a second exam over lectures and an evaluation of the city academic program; language exams from the Khmer language teachers; the final P’teah Goshen Night, with taco components wrapped in soft burrito shells and a sharing of humorous cross-cultural stories; a celebration of Allison Yoder’s 21st birthday; and a Thursday afternoon service orientation at the Graber Miller home.

Students all left for service between Friday morning and Tuesday morning, with some needing to stay in Phnom Penh an extra few days for a family wedding or because of the needs of their NGO. See the following post about where students are and what they are doing in their service assignments.

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