Kampuchea Testimony to the Power of Life

In December 2019, Fred Kauffman suddenly passed away from a heart attack. We wanted to do something to commemorate Fred and, as I went through his writings, I thought that Testimony to the Power of Life held a powerful message for Easter 2020 – which is the 30th Anniversary of Christianity being legalized in Cambodia….

Flowers of Cambodia 2019

Following up on Flowers of Cambodia from ’06 – ’09, here’s a compilation of flowers we’ve seen since returning to Cambodia. I want to highlight a few of these. I think this may be the tallest Orchid that I’ve ever seen. It was at a restaurant in rural Prey Veng province. This was on a…

First Vacation to Kep

We had our first family vacation since joining MCC last week. It was great to get away from the city and be alone together as a family. Kep is a southern province on the border with Vietnam. It was a popular French resort town during the colonial period. There are many gutted and abandoned villas…

Our Daily Bread

Throughout my life I have been deeply blessed by people and experiences which poured into me.  By the time I started what I consider to be my first “real” job post-college at Peaceful Living, I was brimming full and poured out joy and energy, knowledge and passion, upon my work and the individuals with disabilities…

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…

The week of broken things

The last 5 days have been full of brokenness.  It started last Friday.  In my eagerness to set up the partner meeting, I moved a portion of the glass table by myself.  My sweaty hands slipped and glass fell hard on my leg, cutting into my shin in two places, leaving spectacular bloody trails all…

Wounds take a long time to heal here

Wounds take a long time to heal here.  A scratch on the skin of my strong and healthy children used to heal within a day or two in the United States.  Here, it’s at least a week, sometimes more.  Perhaps it’s the air quality as thousands of cars, motos and tuk-tuks pump unregulated toxins into…

First Visit to Royal Palace

I visited the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh this afternoon as part of my orientation to Cambodia. I wanted to share some photos for the girls.

National Scarf of Cambodia

I’ve had a few people ask me about the scarf that I’ve been wearing lately… It’s a Krama! Pronounced Krah-mah. The Krama is the national scarf of Cambodia and the second most prominent symbol of the Khmer people. (The most prominent being the temple complex of Angkor Wat.) The krama is a highly durable and…