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…

Sand Mining on the Mekong

I saw this short video from The Atlantic on sand mining in Cambodia. There was sand mining when I first arrived in Prey Veng province in 2006 but I remember things dramatically increasing in scale from land based pumping or the occasional barge to fleets of barges equipped with cranes. The photos below were taken…