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Week Five – Practicum

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

It is tuesday here, and its a big day for me. Sometime later I will find out where it is I am going to permanentally placed in Cambodia. I have an inkling on where it could be, and thats a town called Tramkak, which is located at the halfway point between Kampot and Phomn Penh. There are a few upsides about this location. It has an air-conditioned gas station, which is a nice place to have a cold beer at during these hot and humid days. It also has a somewhat reliable internet shop. Both positives. On the downside it was also the village that housed the other half of my training group, and I am going to have to overcome the problems that they might have caused for me while being there. Also, this fancy gas station/bar is quite expensive, so I am going to need to try to stay away from it in general.

Anyhoo, this past week we also did some practice teaching. We had some kids from our local area come to a summer camp type of thing where we got to work on our teaching here in Cambodia. We also got a chance to go through the motions of what it would be like to have a Cambodian co-teacher to work with. I got very lucky with my situation because the kids were great, and I also had a co-teacher who had worked with a previous peace corps volunteer. so really i got an ideal sitaution and the experience was not realistic, but i had some fun. i got the kids to thumbwrestle one day, then the next i got another one of them to sing a song in english. the last day i had two of the boys give presentations on how to make their favorite meals from home. that was a big deal because im sure they didnt know how to cook or thought about cooking as something they could do before that, especially one of them. at the end of the last day, they gave me a wristband that says “it all starts with hello” in khmer. another student gave me some notes that said thank you. it was a very good week, but also mind numbing because in addition to this teaching, we had another three hours of language class each day. rough stuff.

aside from all that, everything is going well. probably the favorite new thing i have eaten here is lemongrass stuffed frog, it tastes something like a sausage, so that makes me happy. probably my favorite ongoing hobby is finding “taste-a-like” foods.. things from here that taste like something from home. i have lost around 10-15lbs in the month plus of being here, mostly due to the heat and increase in health of my diet. I hope everyone is well and I love and miss you all. Talk to you soon, I think.

house

Categories: peace corps

Week Four – K Adventure

August 14, 2009 Leave a comment

I am in Phnom Pehn today. Most of the rest of our group, around 44 of us, are out exploring the countryside. I was out there as well, Svay Rieng to be exact, for one night, but then all of the guest houses in the area were booked up due to an unexpected bank conference in town. To say that was surprising would be an understatement. That area of the country is known for… only being between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Mihn City.

Anyway, for people who have asked me for pictures, you are going to have to wait a bit longer. The internet is quite slow here and for me to even send one picture its about 5 minutes in upload time, and thats time i dont have right now. On the way back a few interesting things happened. the public transit system here, is a collection of vans that they fill up past capacity, and haul ass down the national highways, probably quite dangerous. anyway, they usually have a driver and some sort of manager, and the manager of this particular one shoved himself the crowded van and stood up for around 40 minutes of the four hour ride. not a comfortable thought.

The trip to the site was a let down for the most part, but it did allow us to come back to the capitol to burn off some steam and spend a bunch of money, especially compared to what i spend to eat meals elsewhere. i hope everyone is doing well, because aside from missing home and some of the food, and a special certain someone (lauren), everything is going well here. we are kept very busy and learn an immense amount of language everyday. hopefully sometime in the near future, i will have enough free time to upload pictures of the area i am staying in, so stay tuned.

window

Categories: peace corps

Update for Everyone

August 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Hello All,

Right now I am in training in a small village outside of the town Traing. We study Khmer for four hours every morning and then go back to my host families house for lunch. We then meet back up for teaching training, which i find to be quite boring. Usually after that we head back home and eat dinner with our families. My village is very quaint and does not have the amenities that our other half of our group has. We have no internet nor do we have a fancy gas station where we can drink beers with air conditioning. I rode my bike half way to the other village and rode a taxi (tuk-tuk) to visit with my other volunteer trainees, hence the internet.

My host family is a group of farmers. The mom always stares at me like she is worried i dont eat enough, but the dad and i seem to get along well. There are three young boys that i live in the house with. two of them are grandchildren and one of them is a son. i mess with those boys like they are my own siblings and even though i cant speak the language very well, we still get by on the unspoken communication. I have my own room in the house and sleep on the floor, which means a bamboo straw mat and a mattress pad type thing. Aphids and fleas are constant visitors underneath my mosquito net.

We recently got our bikes and it has made transportation much easier. I live off the main road and everything is about a ten minute or so ride from my house. There are cows, chickens, dogs, cats, but luckily no rats that i have seen so far. my host family are good people but we do not get along as great as i would like, but its only temporary and i am hopefull for a better arrangement at my next house. I love you all and will be in touch as soon as possible. I am a day ahead so plus fourteen hours for anyone who chooses to call me.

room

Categories: peace corps