The last social event of this month was a monthly dinner party. It was so excited that a lot of our volunteers and all staffs joined this party. It was on 25th June 2010 in the evening we started from 7:00pm. Most of volunteers decided to walk to restaurant as it was located nearby the apartment, except some volunteers who had finished their work around 7:30pm they used motor taxi to go to restaurant.
There were a varieties of food in the party served with soft drink, we listened music and ate. Then, some of our volunteers who finished their eating moved around and had a conversation to each other while some of them were watching a world cup live and some of them still enjoying eating. The last, we enjoy dancing altogether. As we had a big space it is easy for us to move and dance happily.
I am sure that all volunteers really had a good time as a good weekend. Thank you so much for your participation. I hope that next month we will have it again and hope all of you will enjoy one again:-).
On Thursday 24th June 2010, Cambodian country officially celebrated to opening of country's first sky highway bridge which was named Spean Akas Kbal Thnol in Phnom Penh.
The main purpost of the bridge building is to ease traffic congetion in Phnom Penh. The goverment of Cambodia has annouced that there will be more road that we need to enlarge and more brige will be contructed for the sake of public transportation means.
(Photo by Phnom Penh Post)
On 12th June 2010, we made a Dirty Weekend at Meak Chheu orphanage. We had a happy time and really did a good job. Starting from 8:00am to 3:00pm we spent our time planting trees with children at the placement. There were 7 people from Projects Abroad (Rosamund, Piet, Ai, Clare, Matt, Jette, Seang) who joined this activity. Once we arrived, we had a walk around to see the fish, pig, cow and chicken farms which were established by the placement in order to support the daily meals for children there. And some of the crops and pigs will be sold to raise funds.
After walking around, we stopped by the volleyball court that also was established by Projects Abroad, we had planned to plant the trees and grass around that area. But as the sun shone and it got quite hot in the morning, so we decided to plant only the trees and leave the grass for the children to grow immediately after the rain fall. The trees we had were 5 mangos, 5 coconut trees and 1 kind of flower tree. It was so exciting; we started to dig the soil and then we watered the soil and added a fertilizer; then put in the coconut tree and covered it with the soil. One by one, we did it in teams and it was so much fun even though the weather so hot. After we did 5 trees, we relaxed and had a lunch for around 1 hour. Then, we started again to finish it.
Finally we planted all the trees successfully with a smile and hope that all those trees will grow up soon. Then, we took a picture all together. I would like to thank too all volunteers and one of our colleagues from Sri Lanka, Jette Romey, who visited us and spent time to get it done. They are all so strong and stand for this activity. Special thanks to you so much.
I arrived in Phnom Penh on May 1, 2010 from Vancouver, Canada. I had spent the last four months at the University of Victoria researching Cambodia’s turbulent political past, but I had no idea what to expect once I arrived. The city was full of interesting contrasts, particularly since poverty and wealth seemed to co-exist side-by-side. My first day will filled with meeting all of the wonderful volunteers, a great lunch and an afternoon trip to the Tuol Sleng Museum as well as the Killing Fields. Understanding Cambodia’s status as a new democracy helped to place its historical past and current status into perspective, and gives light to the strength of the people living here.
I began my work on Human Rights as an Intern at the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), working on Labour Law. Research for my report (‘Labour Rights of Cambodian Overseas Workers in Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea’) has allowed me to meet with various lawyers and directors from non-government organizations (NGOs) such as LICHADO and CARAM Cambodia, as well as conduct primary interviews garment factory workers here in Phnom Penh. Understanding the repercussions of poor oversight and monitoring mechanisms as well as the direct role of power-relationships between the government and private sector has contributed significantly to my understanding of why the gap between the rich and the poor in Cambodia continues to grow. The Labour Unit at CLEC has been tremendously helpful and proactive in ensuring that I gain the most from my internship with their organization and I feel very lucky to have received such a great placement.
The weekends allow for time to travel. In the span of a month, I have been to Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Kratie. The beaches in Sihanoukville were absolutely breathtaking. Staying in huts 5 meters from the Ocean and dipping into the warm waters from the Gulf of Thailand is a memory which I’ll never forget. We also got to go to a Toga Party! Siem Reap was also beautiful; full of culture and history, this city is well worth the long bus ride. Make sure you visit the night market and treat yourself to a fish massage! In contrast to Siem Reap, Kratie doesn’t see very many tourists. It is filled with lush greenery, cows, and locals who are very interested in foreigners. I would highly recommend renting bicycles and cycling around Koh Trong Island!!
The city of Phnom Penh and the country of Cambodia overall are filled with stories and beauty. The people themselves are extremely friendly and are more than happy to chat with you (something which is generally uncommon in Western societies...). Your day will be filled with eating new fruits, vegetables and curries, watching group fitness outside the DrinkMart, meeting new people and partaking in a lifestyle that may be very different from your own. Every day is ‘same, same but different’
Two months in Cambodia seemed like a long time to be away from my family and friends back in Europe. I remember thinking “What am I getting myself into?” as I was settling into my new accommodation, which was deserted at my arrival in the early morning. I felt lonely and I felt insecure. Who were my roommates? Would I make friends easily? Will I get used to the culture shock?
The answer was YES. After just a few days in Phnom Penh I started feeling more at ease with my surroundings and I even found myself feeling “at home” sooner than I expected. The staffs were always there and helpful, smiling and offering whatever they could to help. My first month’s placement was at the Southeast Asia Globe Magazine and I was to be a journalist intern. Having very little experience in that field I was both excited and apprehensive of what was to come. On my first day on the job I got to go to a press conference at the Australian Embassy with my boss and I remember thinking: “Wow this is some serious stuff!” It was a nice start to what was going to be an otherwise office-confining month. My daily work consisted of researching the web for international news that wouldn’t be old a month later and that was relevant for the Mekong region…needless to say that was quite a difficult task. I then got to write some short news stories, which were published in the next month’s issue along with an interview I had done via email with a young and successful Vietnamese chess-player. As the days flew by, I did more and more things both on my own and with others. One weekend five of us volunteers went to Sihanoukville and had a blast. We stayed at Otres Beach, a beautiful beach but very quiet and far from the lively town centre and Serendipity Beach, all we did there was swim, drink, eat and laze in the sun…as well as getting harassed. I left one day earlier than the others to go to a wedding. My boss’s wedding. Oh my! I wish you all to experience a Cambodian wedding, it was both fun and I met a lot of new people, which would later land me other invitations to exciting events such as a CEO networking party! If I am not travelling in the weekends I usually just enjoy the time off by exploring Phnom Penh markets, like Central Market, Russian Market and also the Night Market on Riverside.
I have been here for exactly a month so far and on Easter Monday I start my new placement at CFC orphanage. I am looking forward to the change from the office and being around kids and caring for them. Of course I also plan to do more travelling to both Ratanakiri Province and to Siem Reap. It is funny to think about the fears I had when I arrived, wondering what I had got myself into. I have learned that with an open mind you can do so many more things than if you just sit and feel miserable for yourself and being homesick. Sure those times hit a few times, but luckily I have got a strong group of good friends here that now feel more like family. Now after a month of being here I am constantly thinking: “Wow…two months is not enough!”
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