Single Use Plastics Ban

The Khmer Times shared some news this morning that seems too good to be true. Yesterday, the Environment Ministry announced that it is preparing to ban single use plastics in Cambodia. The Thai government announced a similar initiative earlier this week. Biodegradable containers like banana leaf were used in traditional Khmer society. These were thrown…

Custard Apple

Also known as the Sugar Apple or Sweetsop, I thought for the longest time that this was Milk Fruit but it’s actually Custard Apple. In Khmer, it’s called ផ្លែទៀប (plae tieb). It’s a sweet fruit with a mild citrusy taste. It has many large seeds that are smooth and quite solid. The outer shell peels…

Cambodian Spice Pack

This morning at the local market I picked up two of what I call ‘Cambodian spice packs.’ In traditional rural life, villagers wouldn’t buy these ingredients but would have them growing in their yards. Life is a bit different in the city – though many homes still have these growing in pots – so they’re…

ឈានចេញទៅ | Stepping Out

This morning we attended New Life Fellowship. We really enjoyed the song Stepping Out that, we think, was written by their praise band. Peter walking on water is one of our favorite passages from the Gospels because of how it illustrates that a little faith is better than none. It’s true that Peter began to…

Willard Swartley

One of the books that I brought from North America is Health, Healing and the Church’s Mission. Reading this book was the extent of my interaction with Willard Swartley. The book is a wonderful – if dense – discussion of the Christian Church’s formal role in healthcare. A role that the contemporary Church has largely…

Three Languages, None Khmer

Yesterday morning at the local market in Phnom Penh a boy asked me, in English, “Do you speak Vietnamese?” I know maybe seven words of Vietnamese so I answered with, “Xin chào.” He responded in Chinese with, “Wo hen hao.” I have to thank the bookshop owner in Prey Veng for teaching me enough Chinese…

Flowers of Chiang Mai

Back in May, I shared some of my old photos of Flowers in Cambodia. While we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand last month I took a few photos of flowers there. I was still recovering from Dengue and didn’t get out as much as I’d hoped – but a few are better than none. Next…

Why Prey Veng?

Since 1981 Mennonite Central Committee has focused much of its rural efforts on Prey Veng province. But why? Prey Veng has, over decades, been one of the highest need areas that is relatively accessible from Phnom Penh. The most brutal Khmer Rogue internal purges targeted the East Zone which included Prey Veng province. Prey Veng…

Who is Ruth Keidel Clemens?

Ruth Keidel Clemens is in Cambodia right now as part of a learning tour. But who is she? She is the current International Program Director for MCC US – our supervisors’ supervisor – but her connection to Cambodia goes deeper than that. Ruth and her husband Jonathan came to Cambodia (then Kampuchea) in 1988. They…

Rain and Privilege

There are many things I love about Cambodia and I hope to devote blog posts to the fruit, the present-ness of people, the eagerness to celebrate and many more things.  But I have to start with the rain.  It’s rainy season here.  6 months of nearly daily rains that sweep across the tin roofs of…