Jessie’s Khmer Rouge Interview


We’re preparing for a weekend trip to the south coast of Cambodia, where we will observe, analyze, and immerse ourselves in the Natural World components of the SST experience. Before that, though, we wanted to hear from another student’s perspective, this time from Jessie, who wrote in her journal about her experience with interviewing her … Keep reading »

Life around Phnom Penh


In addition to the stimulating weekend trip to Siem Reap (please see the three entries posted 24 hours ago on Angkor Wat, Kampong Phluck, and Skuon), our larger week has been full with more routine and once-in-a-lifetime activities in Phnom Penh. The big event in Phnom Penh over the last five days has been the … Keep reading »

Siem Reap III: Skuon (Spider Village)


This is the third and briefest of three entries from our four-day trip to Siem Reap, so please read the additional entries on Angkor Wat and Kampong Phluck. On the return trip from Angkor Wat, we stopped near Skuon, definitely the highlight of the 6 1/2-hour bus ride from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. Skuon … Keep reading »

Siem Reap II: Kampong Phluck Adventure


Among the memorable parts of the Siem Reap field trip was Saturday’s adventure to Kampong Phluck, a village built on 20-foot stilts right along the Tonle Sap. Two students — most likely Audrey and Joel — will do their service assignments at the village, teaching English and possibly basic computer skills. The village is memorable … Keep reading »

Siem Reap I: Extraordinary Angkor Wat


One of the things our Cambodia SSTers were anticipating was their visit to the ancient temples of the Angkor Wat temple complex, the subject of much academic study and the backdrop for many Hollywood Films (e.g., “Lara Craft: Tomb Raider” and “Two Brothers”). On Friday, groups of three or four students each toured the Angkor … Keep reading »

Ba Phnom Explorations

Guide Sam Ang with the group on our visit to Nokor Phnom.

Over the weekend, the SST Cambodia group traveled to Ba Phnom in Prey Veng Province, about 78 kilometers (but 4 hours) from Phnom Penh. In the first century, Ba Phnom, then known as Vayathapura (the hunting city) was the capital city of Nokor Phnom, the earlier name for what is now Cambodia. Uong Sam Ang, … Keep reading »

Khmer Rouge Week

Photo from April 17, 1975, when Khmer Rouge troops marched down Monivong Boulevard to "liberate" Phnom Penh.

This week was the most emotionally draining of the term thus far, in terms of our academic and historical focus. Nearly every lecturer in Cambodia refers to the horrific three years, eight months, and 20 days (April 17, 1975 to January 7, 1979) of the Khmer Rouge regime, and this week we heard lectures about … Keep reading »

Women’s Night Out and P’teah Goshen Night

Women's Night Out at Baitong Restaurant.

Although this week is mostly about the Khmer Rouge — with multiple field trips and lectures — we’ll hold off on posting a Khmer Rouge blog until tomorrow. For tonight (morning in Goshen), this is just a brief blog about other activities this week. Women’s Night Out was Sunday evening, and the women went to … Keep reading »

Buddhist Meditation

Students meditate at Wat Langka in Phnom Penh.

Although this week is mostly focused on the Khmer Rouge period, we began the week Monday with a presentation on Buddhist meditative practices, led by the Venerable Yos Hut Khemacaro, one of the leading monks in Cambodia. Monk Khemacaro spoke with the group for about an hour and led us in a personal meditation. About … Keep reading »

Saturday’s Fire and Sovanna Phum Event

We first noticed dark smoke in our neighborhood around 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Graber Millers had a rather remarkable Saturday afternoon, with a neighborhood fire taking 10 homes and/or businesses and threatening many others. We watched the fire unfold from our fourth-floor apartment balcony, accompanied by Sarah L-R, who happened to be here at the time. The fire was four adjoining structures away from our apartment complex, … Keep reading »