Friday, February 24, 2012

What did you do on your lunch break?

I don’t usually have much time to read the new paper, and the time I do have during my lunch breaks, I spend reading my book, studying French, Spanish or Italian verbs or shopping at the Russian Market. But today I had time to read the Cambodia Daily and shop for winter clothes at market for my upcoming trip to Beijing. The temperature difference is going to be a real shock! It’s a real unique experience being in the poorly ventilated sauna also know as the market trying on long pants and knock off puffy North Face jackets. Sweaty doesn’t even begin to describe it. However I find that if I go in with intention its easier to find what I need, otherwise one can easily get overwhelmed with the narrow lane of stalls packed with a smorgasbord of goods. Today the intention was winter clothes. I half accomplished the mission coming out with 2 pairs of jeans and 2 new dresses. I just cant resist the dresses, and at 5 dollars a pop they are a steal. I will delve into the markets again next week to find a jacket and some warm sweaters, and try to not come out with any more dresses.

Ok back to the newspaper. I was really filled with sadness reading numerous articles about people dying. Today I read about an Argentinian train crash and the further recovery of bodies from the Italian cruise ship. It really saddens me. But there was one hopeful article about children getting free corrective cleft palate surgery from the Smile Train. Apparently its fairly common in this region with 1 in 500 Cambodians being born with a cleft palate. Reading the stories of those served really put a smile on my face. The I was drawn into another story about worms. Since I’m deeply entrenched in all things agricultural, I read about the burgeoning worm production business Cambodia. Rural farmers are starting to raise worms to help with soil fertility and to produce fertilizer. When I shared the article with my coworker she taught me the khmer word for earthworm- phonetically pronounced “Chun Lin” I can honestly say that it is a word I haven’t learned in any other foreign language.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Working in the office

There is a cacophony of Khmer around me. Cell phones ringing and things being discussed, and now we are having a very interesting conversation about speaking with and without an accent and the cambodian and western perspectives on the matter.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What I saw today

On my bicycle ride back to work, I saw somethings that you might only see here. I feel like Phnom Penh is the only place where you would see a large pink and orange wedding tent taking up half of a major street while 4 cement trucks take up the other half, all the while cars, tuk tuks, motos and cyclists weave around these obstacles. Then there was a Lexus and a Range Rover driving down the street without license plates. In another part of town, I had to wait while a motorcade of unidentified diplomats in shiny cars passed by. Then there was the moto carrying 2 people and a handful of chicken upside down, one guy with a flat screen tv on the back of his moto a bunch of other girls on motos with their jackets on backwards to protect their hands and arms from getting tanned, all this, while its 88 degrees out with 60% humidity.