Sunday, November 6, 2011


Learned about Jim Thompson and his involvement in the silk trade and his mysterious disappearance!

This is the living room of his house, it was soo pretty and open!
Really fierce statue outside of Wat Pho
Beautiful gold reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok

And here is another part of Bangkok, the giant raised walkways and subway tracks dominate the skyline

This is Bangkok - its pretty big and busy!

One of the fire throwers! They were really fun to watch

Shelley and I sending up a lit paper lantern, the heat from inside the lantern sends it floating up into the sky!
Really nice craftsman that dives for shells and then sands them into jewelry

Daw, one of the ladies that gives massages on the beach with some of the island children!

One of the beaches of Ko Samet


It was so strange to get on a plane and jet over to Bangkok, but it was fun! Somehow Shelley and I met up at the airport, despite the fact that it is soo massive and wholly overwhelming, especially after getting used to the pace and lifestyle of Phnom Penh.

Its always funny how traveling can involve so many modes of transportation, from the subway to a bus to the back of a pickup truck to a boat to an other truck! Gezz I’m tired about just thinking about it. Now I often get frustrated when traveling to unfamiliar places and on busses for unknown periods of time, but its all a learning experience and I made it there and back in one piece!

I enjoyed relaxing on the beaches of Ko Samet for 3 ½ days with Shelley. I enjoyed just lounging around, reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and taking dips in the ocean. One day we took a boat to some other near by island and went snorkeling! At night time we camped out at one of the many beachside bars/restaurants and watched the local islanders put on a fire twirling show!

I spent one day in Bangkok at the end of my trip, and what a change of pace it is from both the island and Phnom Penh, it is such a big city! I went and saw the Jim Thompson house – which was delightful and I just wanted to move right in, and then the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Po! I also took in the spectacle of some of the massive shopping malls they have! Their food court seemed to go on for miles!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Awesome Asian Experiences!

Cambodia in the rain-when it rains here it rains hard!

Cambodia in the sun! tho due to all of the rain there is a lot of flooding in the countryside and in some of the cities.
One shot of many of really cute kids in one of the villages I visited!

This is sticky rice cooked in a bamboo tube with a bit of coconut juice and beans, you literally have to rip the bamboo apart to get to the rice!! It was soo fun to eat!

Met with this wonderful farmer (Middle) and one of the IDE field staff women (right)

These are her cows!

Fun masks at the market!
This was the craziest thing ever! you put your feet in the water and these small fish nibble on your dead skin! and your feet actually come out better on the other end! Its more like a fish pedicure than a fish massage! but I was just walking along in the night market in Siem Reap and decided to give it a try!
As you can see from the photo- I am not the only crazy person to do this!
This was the guy running the fish pool, he and his other coworkers were very funny!

Adventures in the Kingdom

One of the weavers at the night market that I bough some scarves from- they are so talented and weave it all strand by strand!

Pretty sure those are fried bugs- might even be fried spiders- no I did not try them

Flooded road - its always an exciting drive!

Totally want a house like this with that many ducks in the front yard!!!

This is my kitchen- I cooked myself a meal! although cooking here can be more of a hassle here and more expensive than eating out since most vegetables are imported - my meal was soo tasty I forgot to take pictures of it
Chicken Amok- a local traditional dish- normally served in a banana leaf pouch but this was in a coconut as you can see, and it was super tasty!!

Boy is this blog in need of an update! So here it goes

Adventures around the Kingdom

I went on a research field trip this past week. I went with two colleagues with the purpose of meeting with female farmers and asking them some questions about farming. We went to several small towns and villages and it was a great way to see the country. We started by going to Siem Reap and looped around to visit some other towns and came back into Phnom Penh Thursday night. While I didn’t have time to explore Angkor Wat or any of the other temples in Siem Reap, I did have a chance to visit the night market, which was lots of fun. I bought some pretty scarfs and a pair of flowy pants. Through out the trip we did a lot of driving. I met a lot of great people and sat through a lot of strategic breakfast lunch and dinner meetings.

The countryside is absolutely breath taking! There is a lot of flooding going on, so our truck was driving down roads that looked more like lakes. I also had the awesome experience of sitting in a roadside shop interviewing a farmer, and having to yell over the cacophony of rain pouring down on the tin roof just so the farmer could hear me!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Some more adventures

Kind of reminds me of the marginal way in Ogunquit, Maine- but it Sihanoukville - a small seaside town. There was only a railing on one side and you had to time your walking so you didnt get slashed or fall in- but I did end up getting splashed but I did not fall in!
really pretty walkway down to the beach at a fancy hotel - where I did not stay- but it was fun to explore their grounds!
Me in front of pretty carvings
The squid lady!! She served up baby squids on sticks! It was really cool to see! She carries around a small stove with her that's strung up on a wooden pole that goes over her shoulders. I didnt try the them- trying to play it safe with my belly but all of the kids and adults I was with scarffed them down!
Prickly fruit lady- I've eaten this fruit before but dont remember what its called, I think thats a pretty awesome bunch of fruit to carry around on your head!
Me and a Giant coconut drink!
Svey Hem and the giant coconut- she is the wife of one of my bosses! She is super nice and we had a bunch of fun together!
A shot of the rainy beach- it was still really nice despite the rain!

Its been a whirlwind time since I last posted. I want to keep in short and simple so people like Connie will actually read the blog!

I have been sick and recovered- don’t really want to relive that whole experience- tho I did contemplate having my photo taken with ice packs all over me and an IV in my arm, for the blog but glad there is no evidence of that now tho!

I went to the beach with so coworkers and their families. We went to Sihanoukville, it rained but I still had a good time.

Since coming back to Phnom Penh I have been settling in more, going to a mountain of emails, and I have been hanging out with some existing friends and making some new ones!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More visual adventures

A kitty for Connie- the resident cat at the Mad Monkey!!

Really sad newspaper article about land evictions- there is such emotion in that woman's face

Another part of the cafe!! why would you sit in a chair when you could lounge on the sofas they have?
The comfiest bed like couches that you can lounge on at the Blue Pumpkin!
Nice view from one of my favorite cafes the Blue Pumpkin overlooking the river

Trying on helmets for riding on motos- this is the one I picked!

Photos from my 2nd week here

Breakfast with my friend Elisabeth- she has lived here for several years!! we have fun together!
My breakfast! Cinnamon raisin toast!! I also got a yummy fruit plate!
Fun dinner with Sophie from Australia- she was spending some time in Phnom Penh before volunteering in Siem Reap for two months!
And yet another pic of the bars cool lighting - can you tell I like this place and spent a lot of time here!
Set set from the rooftop bar!
A really bad pic of Rei, we met at the mad monkey and have been hanging out a bunch

The rooftop lounge/bar at the mad monkey- the hotel I stayed at before I got my own place! I really enjoy lounging there because its relaxing and you can be social at the same time!
This is my boss Philip- hes Australian and a great guy to work with! Here we were on the ferry coming back from a meeting in the field.
This is the meeting I attended with a bunch of other coworkers. It was a pretty good and informational meeting!

I have added some more pictures that I didnt have time to upload last night! I am really enjoying my new apt- pictures of that to come soon I promise! work has been really good I have been doing a lot of reading for my literature review and writing it all up. I am very excited for a 5 day trip to the beach town of Sihanoukville! We get 3 days off from work plus the weekend for Pchum Ben, the Buddhist version of the Mexican day of the dead celebrations where most Cambodians travel back to their rural villages to honor their ancestors. I have been enjoying many lunches and dinners out with some new friends here. Things are slowly falling into place! I have a tuk tuk driver that picks me up each morning and knows now where I work so I dont have to direct him -which can be tricky sometimes, and I start Khmer language lessons next week!