Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week 1

Safely here in Phnom Penh. This is my room at my host family's house, (Mala and Banan and their kids Yoswey and Moria). Complete with bed, mosquito net, window (with a beautiful view of the neighbour's house,) and even a lamp
The outside of their house. The inside of the house is pretty much just two beds for 4 people and a kitchen, so they do almost everything out here.
Some of my most interesting moments so far have been on this moto. I ride with Mala to work everyday, because they like about 10 miles from World Relief. You can see 4 or 5 people on 1 moto pretty often, and people carrying everything from lumber to live chickens. I even saw a guy on his way gack from the hospital on a moto holding his IV above him.  I was borrowing a helmet, but that meant that someone else didn't have one, so I asked if I could buy one on the way home one day. So I purchased my first moto helmet. Mala helped me barter the guy down to 8 dollars for a good one. WHen I payed the guy asked. "You friends" pointing to Mala. I said yes. Mala said "no no. Sistaa!" It's nice to sort of be a part of their family here. 

I have been helping with an ESL/Photography teaching program for the staff here at World Relief. It is 2 weeks long, and then I think we move on to do it in the next provinces. It combines English learning with a practical skill that the staff can use while on the field to document what goes on. This is some of my section. They are all pretty amazing/genius.
One of the programs through WR is HIV/AIDS support groups in various areas. This is one of those groups that meets in a poor area outside the city. There were some intense stories told, mostly of women getting HIV/AIDS--one from working in a night club because her husband left her and her son and she had to get money, one from her husband when he worked in the city and slept around, and other places. 

These people seemed very poor and marginalized, with relatives who kept getting sick, and the constant scare that it could be AIDS. When Phnom Penh started developing the buildings, they cleared out a lot of residential land and moved people to these villages outside the city. Now they cannot afford the gas to work in the city, but the city is really the only place they can make good money. SO they are stuck in a viscous cycle. 

Yesterday I went with the Hope for Children Cambodia team to another poor village where they work with the children, educating them about health, and providing them a chance to learn and play and learn Bible stories. 

A rush for the pencils and paper

 A puppet show about the evil dengue fever mosquito

One of the guys who beat up the good samaritan--looks too cute to be a bad guy. 

Another ESL/Photography Lesson. Today we learned about light and composition. Some of these concepts are pretty complicated even for a native speaker. I'm very proud of this class. 

Mala, practicing using a camera for her class, took pictures of our lovely dinner together. Left to Right: Moria, Marisa, Banan, Yuswei. We were eating ground fish stuffed into tomatoes and soup and rice and some kind of delicious fruit. 

I had to get one with Mala in it. 

Teenager Ministry with Sineth and Tomm--games

Jouchty and I posing as Sineth practices photography

Someone running off with Tomm's shoes

Sineth talking about trafficking and HIV. He's a very good teacher. 

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