37th Birthday

I turned thirty seven this week. Crystal baked my traditional birthday cake – Jewish Apple Cake – to celebrate and even found a place that sells hoagies in Phnom Penh. The Jewish Apple Cake was wonderful and the staff were quite impressed by Crystal’s baking skills! During my last term it was next to impossible…

Visal Wedding – Traditional Dance

Visal’s wedding had many morning ceremonies. Charlotte’s favorite was, no surprise, the traditional dance. This style of dancing is named Apsara and dates back to the 7th century. It is a slow, intentional dance with a lot of focus on stretching and turning at certain angles. Each movement is deliberate and has a meaning, but…

Visal Wedding – Rice Porridge

Guests to the morning ceremonies at a Cambodian wedding are often fed a hearty breakfast of rice porridge. This traditional breakfast food is inexpensive and simple to make, just cook rice longer than normal in four times as much liquid as normal. Rice & Pork and Kuy Teav are more common breakfasts for sale, while…

School-kits to Kampuchea

In July, MCC East Coast published a set of cards telling the story of school-kits to Kampuchea. These are a fantastic Sunday School resource that illustrate how children (and teachers) can change the world. In 1979, Vietnam invaded Cambodia (then Kampuchea) and overthrew the Khmer Rogue regime. The new Cambodian government that resulted had very…

First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Cambodia. We decided to wait and celebrate on Sunday so that the SALT participant in the province, Anneliese, could join. Despite spending most of Saturday at Visal’s Wedding Crystal still pulled together an authentic tasting Thanksgiving meal. We ended up with a full house – 16 people – for…

Visal Wedding – Introduction

Our newest work colleague, Pou Sokvisal, got married on Saturday. He has been with MCC since early October as our new Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Coordinator. Instead of writing one long post about his wedding I’m going to break it up into a series of smaller posts each focused on an aspect of the ceremonies….

Phnom Penh Rainbow

The quickest route to Charlotte’s school goes through a construction area. They are building a Mall and apartments. On our ride home this afternoon we spotted something in the sky. Don’t worry. I pulled over to take the photos!

Monitoring and Evaluation of Cooperation with NGOs

Last week I attended my first government function since returning to Cambodia. This was a Ministry of Rural Development workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation of Cooperation with NGOs. Both of my primary partners from my first term were government entities – the Prey Veng Provincial Office of Irrigation and the Angkearhdei Primary School. I also…

Catherine saying a few words in Khmer

Hello everyone. Catherine is going to say a few words in Khmer for you. Please look forward to our next post in this series, Charlotte counts to 10 in Khmer.

Mild Cyanide Poisoning

First – let me start with the disclaimer that Catherine is okay. Fortunately ingesting seeds rarely results in acute toxicity. One afternoon last week, I gave the girls each half of a Sugar Apple (also known as a Sweetsop or Custard Apple) as a snack. They’ve eaten these many times without incident but this time,…