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Articles Archive for August 2009

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[21 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

Cher and I have become extremely popular at the Khmer Market.  On our third trip there in less than 24 hours, the owners are practically rolling out a red carpet and the security guard is ready to invite us home to dinner.  No surprise considering we have officially bought them out of baby formula stages 1 &2; powdered milk; diapers, bibs; baby spoons; wash clothes; baby biscuits and of course, Mountain Dew.  We pile into our van from Shinta Mani and the driver heads on over to the orphanage.  For …

Director's Blog, Small Voices »

[19 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

After the daily chaos that was Phnom Penh, Cher and I have fallen into a comfortable routine. First up is breakfast and coffee/tea.  “A caffeinated Cher is a happy Cher” my sister informs me.  She has taken to ordering a Coke Light with breakfast as well after telling me one sleepy afternoon that her caffeine has no tea in it.  The waiters at Shinta Mani hotel, where we are staying, are all graduates of the hotel’s hospitality school.  The hotel runs a bakery and restaurant training program for older street …

Director's Blog, Small Voices »

[17 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

With our week in Phnom Penh behind us, Cher and I pack up and prepare to head to the airport for our flight to Siem Reap.  I’m feeling bittersweet at leaving the kids, but elated that the main goal and reason for my trip to Phnom Penh has been met.  Linna, my darling little artful dodger is safely off the streets for the first time in her life.  She is adapting well to life at the Aziza’s Place school and I can’t wait to return in January to see the …

Director's Blog, Small Voices »

[16 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

It’s our last day in Phnom Penh and Cher and I are overcompensating by trying to cram as much activity as possible into one day. Already the kids are guilt tripping me about leaving. Layseng has a football match Sunday morning and tells me she can only win if I am there. Catholic guilt – good in any country.
We get a very early start at CCF at 6:30 am sharp on the express request of Kaana, the CCF administrator who has been juggling our schedule this week. Every Saturday morning …

Director's Blog, Small Voices »

[15 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

Thanks to the scorching Cambodian heat and humidity, my skin has seen better days. And frankly, sharing our bed with a colony of fire ants hasn’t helped. Cher and I have admittedly spoiled ourselves with the inexpensive options at the U and Me Spa next to our hotel. On our second to last night, we decide to take advantage of the “full” spa package: Citrus body scrub, steam room and 90 minute massage for a whopping total of $72 for both of us. Cher points out the irony of having …

Director's Blog, Small Voices »

[13 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

TWHACK! I’m just about to drop off to sleep when a can of disinfectant, wielded by my bug-killing sibling, nearly takes my nose off in an attempt to kill the fire ant crawling perilously close to my face. Startled back awake, I shout “What the hell” just as Cher finally snaps and gives in to her bug/germ phobia that she has admirably kept in check since our arrival. TWHACK! ‘Where the hell are they coming from?’ she cries. TWHACK! ’27! 28! 29!’ Miss OCD helpfully informs me. I’m hacking madly …

Director's Blog, Small Voices »

[12 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

After another vigorous round of football in the courtyard with my boys, including a game in which the losers had to do pushups, I’m in a Tuk Tuk headed back to the hotel feeling less than fresh. Between the humidity, pollution and sweat – I’m not exactly feeling at my best. Cher puts in all in perspective: “If I was sitting next to you at home, I’d be really offended. But since the city just smells so bad in general, you are not that bad in comparison.” She sweetly informs …

Director's Blog, Small Voices »

[11 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

“I’ve never given much thought to how I am going to die” my little sister chirps at me as we careen along the streets of Phnom Penh at night, sans helmets on the back of a moto bike with a driver that cares little for such mundane concepts as road rules, construction zones or other moving vehicles. Out of habit, I simply have stopped looking in either direction. If I am going to get broadsided by a Tuk Tuk and flung to my impending death, I’d rather not see it …

Director's Blog, Small Voices »

[10 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

Cher is finding Cambodia more civilized than expected ever since she discovered Twinning’s Earl Grey Tea is served at Fresco, the coffee shop on the corner below our hotel room. Our jet lag caused us both to collapse into bed fairly early and thus we were up and ready to go by 6am. Any of my friends could tell you that I am NOT a morning person and my brain usually doesn’t follow my body out of bed for at least 30 minutes. This morning, however, my mind is already …

Small Voices »

[9 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]

My poor little sister Cher, fresh off her return flight from Russia was barely coherent Friday morning at my house as we frantically packed for our trip to Cambodia. After loudly complaining that it is unnatural and wrong for me to lack any product with a trace of caffeine, she begins the task of repacking our ridiculously overweight suitcases that are stuffed with toys and medical supplies.
It’s been only four months since I returned from my last trip to Cambodia when I happened into the orphanage in Siem Reap and …