Tampoun Villagers in Ratanakiri

Bailey in her teaching room

This is the first of three posts we’ll be putting up today before heading out for another trip in the morning to see two more pairings of students. Last week the Graber Miller family took a six-day excursion to Ratanakiri Province in Cambodia’s uppermost northwest, adjacent to both Laos and Vietnam. There we saw Corinne, … Keep reading »

Stephanie Hollenberg in Prey Veng Town

Stephanie with directors at Veterans International

Stephanie Hollenberg has three work sites in Prey Veng town, about 2 1/2 hours outside of Phnom Penh. Although her work placement(s) got off to a bit of a rocky start, she’s settled in now to three really excellent service settings, doing work she enjoys. Arrangements for the initial orphanage where Stephanie was scheduled to … Keep reading »

Kelly and Phil in Mesang District

Kelly and Phil at ODOV

Kelly Frey and Phil Stoesz are living and working in Mesang District, a quite rural region of Prey Veng Province (already rural itself), which is located adjacent to Vietnam. Both SSTers work at Organization to Develop Our Villages (ODOV), a non-governmental organization funded by Mennonite Central Committee and other entities. In their first week in … Keep reading »

Annie Martens in Svay Rieng Province

Annie at Restaurant

Annie Martens is living and working in near Svay Rieng town, only one province away from where she grew up when her family was serving with Mennonite Central Committee in Cambodia. Annie works with International Development Enterprises (IDE), a non-governmental organization that works with agricultural and sanitation projects. IDE’s director is Mike Roberts, spouse of … Keep reading »

Meanwhile, Back in Phnom Penh

Preparing the spring rolls

The Graber Millers enjoyed a momentary respite the first week after SSTers left for their service assignments. Ann and Keith took the opportunity to do a five-hour Cambodian cooking class at The Frizz near the National Museum. With Mennonite Central Committee volunteers Ron and Roseann Sachs and five other random people, they learned how to … Keep reading »

Serving/Accompanying Across Cambodia

Bantey Meancheyers

Between Friday and this morning (Tuesday), all 19 Cambodian SSTers ventured out to their service assignments, and they are now scattered in all four directions across Cambodia. For some, service began almost immediately, with their villagers asking for English lessons or giving out additional task assignments just after their arrival. For others, service was a … Keep reading »

Final Week of Phnom Penh Academic Program

Chinese New Year II

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, … Keep reading »

Sunday Evening’s Family Event

Greetings upon arrival

Sunday evening we celebrated the first half of SST, and especially the graciousness of our hosts, with students’ families. About 85 people, including all of the students and representatives from all but three of the host families, took place at Sreyhem Roberts’ beautiful home about seven kilometers outside of Phnom Penh.

Dancing the Day Away

Learning to dance

Khmer teacher Prum Sisopantha offered students one of their most entertaining and practical lectures Wednesday afternoon this week, helping students through some of the most basic steps and hand movements in apsara dancing and modeling usage of the krama. The cotton krama, a large, usually checkered-patterned scarf, is ubiquitous in the city and even more … Keep reading »

Weekend Village Studies

Annalisa, Jake, and Kelly in Kampong Chhnang

All 19 Cambodia SSTers fanned out across the provinces Friday and Saturday this week, getting a taste for independent, small-group travel and for provinical life. In many SST locations, these “village studies” have been a staple for the last 40 years as a way of preparing students for their countryside service assignments. Students have the … Keep reading »