Recent Posts

February 26, 2013

Final “Study” Week in Phnom Penh

Although students already are out on service, scattered across five provinces in eight different service sites, we wanted yet to post photos of their final week in Phnom Penh before leaving last Friday for the “accompaniment” portion of SST. It was a full week of classes and activities. Among the highlights of the week were: A group dinner at the Baitong Restaurant, on the evening we went for our riverboat ride A two-hour evening riverboat ride on the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers, sitting atop the paddlewheel boat and talking through the evening. The final week of regular Khmer language…

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February 25, 2013

Off to Service

Students all left for service on Friday morning, most meeting at and departing from the Graber Miller apartment. Some came early for breakfast, others arrived later in the morning, but all were on the road by 1 p.m. The day was not without its snags and demi-traumas (a missed bus to Ratanakiri, non-functioning phones, a purse snatched from a bicycle basket by a passing motorcyclist), but students were all in good humor as they left for their service locations. Thursday afternoon the group met at the Graber Miller home to take a final quiz, do family and academic program evaluations,…

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February 23, 2013

Audrey on Goals for Service

Students set out yesterday (Friday) for their service assignments, scattered across five different provinces in eight different service settings. Watch for an additional post about students’ service locations, and also an out-of-order post about the students’ last week in Phnom Penh. Audrey headed off, with Joel, to a remote fishing village known as Kampong Phluck, about an hour from Siem Reap, on the Tonle Sap Lake. The group visited the village the weekend we were at Angkor Wat, and the photos here are of Audrey with others — including local contact Serei — on that visit. Here are Audrey’s comments…

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February 20, 2013

Sarah L-R’s Reflections

The following reflections are from Sarah L-R’s journal, used by permission and previously published in The Record back on campus: By Sarah L-R Here in Phnom Penh I have the uncommon experience of living with a Christian family. My “parents” (they are in their 30s, and more like siblings than parents) both joined the church as young adults, which is how they met. Neither of their families are Christian. In a country that is primarily Buddhist, my family stands out. We do uncommon things like pray before meals and go to church on Sunday mornings. For me, it’s a strange…

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February 18, 2013

Host Family Celebration

Since students leave for their service assignments this Friday, last evening (Sunday evening) we threw a family celebration at the countryside home of Sreyhem and Mike Roberts. Sreyhem is an NGO consultant in Cambodia, and in 2007 and 2010 was our local family assistant. Her husband Mike is the director of IDE, a local NGO that has hosted/is hosting students on service assignments during all three Cambodia SSTs. Sreyhem continues to be an important consultant for our program, even though family responsibilities have been turned over to Neang Nana. About two-thirds of the families met at the Graber Miller apartment…

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February 17, 2013

Teacher Pantha’s Krama Lecture

Morning Khmer classes and afternoon Khmer classes continued throughout this past week, with Town/Village Studies happening on Friday and Saturday (see new blog on that from last evening). Last week at P’teah Goshen, with Corey in the group of cooks, the meal involved a lot of cheese, a food students sometimes miss. The meal included grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup with grated cheese on top, and broccoli with warm cheese sauce. At P’teah Goshen, Nate, Henry, and Lauren spent time practicing a few songs together, both in Khmer and English, and then left early to perform at Henry’s niece and…

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February 16, 2013

Village/Town Studies

On Friday and Saturday, students fanned out around central and south Cambodia for village/town studies, taking two- to four-hour trips by bus or van to designated locations in a 150-kilometer radius around Phnom Penh. The intent was to prepare them for heading out for their service assignments this coming Friday. Groups went to the following locations: Jacob M, Corey, and Sara K went to Takeo, the primary silk-weaving area of Cambodia, located about two hours south of Phnom Penh. They enjoyed some relaxed time at their guesthouse overlooking a lake. Nate, Carina, and Madeleine went back to Kep, somewhat accidentally…

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February 12, 2013

Immersing Ourselves at Rabbit Island

This is the third of three blog posts we’re putting up today — one on our lectures and language classes over the last week, and one Kate’s reflections on being in Cambodia. Please see those blogs as well. On Saturday and Sunday we took a quick overnight trip to Kep/Kaeb and Rabbit Island on Cambodia’s South Coast, where we immersed ourselves in the Natural World components of the course. It was Chinese New Year weekend, so many Cambodian and other Asian tourists also were traveling the countryside. Cambodians celebrate the Western New Year in early January, the Chinese New Year…

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February 12, 2013

Language Classes and Mosque Visit

(This is one of three blogs posted today, so please see Kate Yoder’s reflections as well as the blog post on our trip to Kep and Rabbit Island.) Over the last week students continued to have Khmer language classes each morning. The four language teachers have done a good job responding to students’ language needs, as can be seen in the whiteboard script about having glasses repaired. Corey needed to locate a small screwdriver or optometrist to do a minor repair to his glasses. One of the teachers, Mr. Chorry, regularly works with his class on Khmer script, while the…

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February 12, 2013

This blog post is by Kate, and first appeared in this week’s Record back on campus: “If You Pay 10 dollors, you can eat pork belly and drink endlessly until when you say ‘STOP!’” Welcome to Cambodia, where the English major in me is reduced to giggles by the sometimes amusing English translations that appear on street signs, restaurant menus, pamphlets, food labels and essentially anywhere there are words. Even as I type this article in a little Internet cafe off a street in Phnom Penh, an ad near the search bar in my browser warns me, “You Have (6)…

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