13 February 2013


It feels so strange to say it, but I've been busy lately! Cambodia busy, yes, but busy nonetheless.

For example.

It was the (third..and final?) official opening of the library where I volunteer two afternoons a week.  The library is overseen and created by a German NGO, though all of the workers are Khmer and it follows a social business model where it strives to be completely self-sustaining, a goal that is finally starting to feel like a reality for the library here at my site.

Last week, several people from Europe, and mainly Germany, ventured to Cambodia to really kick off the remodeling of the library- now, learning center- and the beginning of the variety of learning opportunities the learning center will offer.

I joined in by offering to do something visually interesting for the walls.  Peace Corps has a world wide World Map project, wherein maps are painted in various countries by various Volunteers. In Cambodia, that usually means on the outside wall of one of a Volunteer's respective school.  My teacher training college already has a map, courtesy of a previous Volunteer.  So I offered to paint one inside the learning center.  While it wasn't ideal in terms of community action, it was fun and every single person- as in, every single patriot of Cambodia- was visibly excited when they encountered both the process and the map.

In fact, I got to re-draw and re-paint Cambodia on the map because a small Eastern section was accidentally not traced (I'm no artist.)  It was fantastic to see the librarians and others point out that a section was missing and really had me smiling that, despite what may seem like a serious lack of geographical knowledge, they know their country well.  Exactly as it should be.
(Though, I'm pretty stoked for the learning opportunities present now that I can visually reference other countries, their size, location and general proximity to Cambodia.)

Add all of this to a jaunt to the capital for a meeting which was simultaneously amazing and emotionally draining (for me), beginning a new teaching schedule with the (NEW AND ONLY!) female English teacher and getting a random, wicked throat illness, I'm done.

But I did find energy to teach some kids "duck, duck, goose" at the learning center this afternoon.

Or, rather, "duck, duck, chicken" as I really wanted to work on saying "chicken" instead of "kitchen."

And thus it was a glorious afternoon.


  1. I LOOOVE that map wall. Like, love it so much I want you to come over and paint one for me. Fantastic job!

  2. It was taken down because it was a scheduled post, so it wasn't supposed to go up yet, but it still shows up in blogger even if I change the date. Oops. I do know your vote! Hal will be out this summer for "leadership days" so hopefully he'll run into you guys! Depending on what office he likes he'll either be in san fran or dc next summer for an internship. I should have just sent you an e-mail at this point. Oh well. P.s. I love your map. i love the color scheme you chose.