Recent Posts

January 20, 2013

This week was full, as always, with a number of lectures, field trips, and transitions. Thursday afternoon we visited Cambodia’s National Museum, which houses artifacts from the last 15 centuries of Cambodian history. Many of the museum’s holdings pre-date the Angkor period, going back to the 6th century or earlier, back when Cambodia’s religion was Brahmanism. The museum, located adjacent to the royal palace, also has a beautiful garden in the center, and students enjoyed feeding the fish there, observing a group of young Buddhist monks exploring the museum, and relaxing by the ponds. The museum is also located directly…

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January 17, 2013

Sara’s Reflections

The following post was written by SSTer Sara K and published in this morning’s Record back on campus. We are posting it here as well so family and friends can have easy access to her words, which she shared with the group last evening: By Sara K After one bus, two planes, three movies, four foil-wrapped meals, and 23 hours of travel, our group arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport at 10:00 pm Thursday to muggy air and a 12-hour time difference. That was five days ago. I have never felt so many different extreme emotions in so short a…

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January 17, 2013

First P’teah Goshen Night Wednesday

Last evening (Wednesday evening) was the first P’teah Goshen gathering. Ann cooked up two batches of homemade chili (one a vegetarian version, one with meat), and that was supplemented with hard-to-find tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, salsa, crackers, bananas, and ice cream. Students gathered at the Graber Miller apartment (P’teah Goshen) shortly after our afternoon lecture about the French Protectorate and Cambodian Independence, and stayed through the evening. In addition to the meal, the evening included a reflection by Sara K that was based on a perspectives piece she wrote for this week’s Record. The group sang hymns together, evaluated some…

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January 16, 2013

Classes began Monday morning at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, with Vice-Rector Ponn Chhay welcoming us to campus. Immediately following our welcome ceremony, students broke up into two classes with Khmer language teachers Touch Phara, Prum Sisaphantha, Thea Sok Meng, and Teacher Chorry. In one of the classes students are learning some Khmer script along with spoken Khmer, and all are highly motivated to improve on their language skills. Monday we also had lunch at RUPP’s campus, ordering in Khmer, then took a break for about two hours before our afternoon lecture. Students found a beautiful oasis in the…

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January 12, 2013

Orientation and Off to Host Families

The last 24 hours have been exceedingly full for the Cambodian SSTers, with ongoing recovery from jet lag (switching their nights and days, with a 12-hour time difference from Goshen), a whirlwind orientation at the Hotel Frangipani, going home with their host families, their first night with their Cambodian hosts, a visit to the Graber Miller home (P’teah Goshen), and then an afternoon event known as Edutainment, with about 20 Cambodian students who want to learn English and half of our group (tomorrow the other half will go to Edutainment). Students weathered these transitions remarkably well, thanks to the 19…

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January 10, 2013

Students Arrive Safely in Phnom Penh

Students arrived safely in Phnom Penh this evening, a bit bedraggled after the 29-hour journey but awfully chipper, nonetheless. After receiving their welcome packets and taking a look over the city from the rooftop view, they’re now resting in a downtown hotel. Tomorrow morning we’ll have a lovely buffet breakfast and then a swim and orientation session, lunch in the restaurants around the hotel, and then continued family orientation with our local assistants, Neang Nana and Sen Marya. Nana and Marya will talk about living with Cambodian families while we take a driving tour of the city. At 5 p.m.,…

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January 5, 2013

2013 SST Cambodia Preparation

Since early December, the Graber Miller family has been planning for the arrival of 19 Cambodia SST students, arranging the academic schedule, booking buses and field trips, purchasing mosquito nets, getting banking sorted out, exploring the city, researching service locations, and securing host families, all with the help of our local assistants. Neang Sovathana (Nana) is our new family assistant, and Sen Marya (Marya) continues as our program assistant. Nana, a Buddhist, is a 20-something NGO volunteer and social/political activist for various human rights causes, and Marya, a Cham Muslim who was recently married, also works for NGOs as well…

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April 7, 2010

Within the next three hours, the first five Cambodia SSTers will be returning to campus. Kelly, Phil, Seth, Trisha, and Jake boarded their Korean Airlines plane at about 11 p.m. last evening for their two lengthy flights back to the States. Fourteen of their peers stayed behind to travel in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan. The Graber Millers will return to Goshen on Saturday. We all said farewell to each other last evening after a delicious Thai/Cambodian meal at the Lemongrass restaurant, and then a few of us dined on USA Donuts this morning in honor of the…

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April 4, 2010

Reorientation Events, Day II

Easter Sunday was the second day of project presentations and reorientation events for Cambodia SSTers. The highlight of the day were afternoon project presentations. Charlie, who with Jake spent the six weeks of service in a Cham Muslim village in central Cambodia, led us in the Muslim Call to Prayer and the bodily movements of Islamic prayer.

April 3, 2010

All of the Cambodia SSTers returned to their Royal University of Phnom Penh classrooms Saturday morning for final language testing, meeting with their teachers for discussions about what they did in the provinces. Nearly everyone showed marked improvements in language abilities after being more deeply immersed in Khmer culture over the last six weeks.

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