Hello All, and thanks for following me. This week blog post is about malaria. This is a picture of my bed that is covered by mosquito netting and the other is of the medication I take on a daily basis as a preventative. According to the World Health Organizations, malaria is in 106 countries worldwide. There is an estimated 212 million cases every year with 429,000 resulting in death. Malaria is one of the many mosquito borne illnesses throughout the world. I’ve attached a list at the bottom of others. Each one of these is spread by a different mosquito. The mosquito that transmits the parasitic infection that is known as malaria is active only from dusk till dawn which is why I sleep under the netting. Malaria is all over SE Asia including Cambodia and in fact there is a particular strain that is spreading across SE Asia that is resistant to all known drugs for treatment. This, however, is not a reason to avoid seeing this beautiful area of the world. Just make sure you take the proper precautions as you would traveling anywhere else in the world. As I mentioned, malaria is in 106 countries which includes much of Central and South America and Caribbean Islands. So, if you choose to travel to any of these countries, I recommend that you take malaria seriously and take the proper precautions and then you can enjoy the amazing places such as SE Asia without worry of malaria.

Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include: malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, and Zika

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.
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Hello All, and thanks for following me. Cambodia is flat in and around Takeo Province. And I mean really flat. Rice fields as far as you can see. This makes for easy bike riding. About 10K from where I live there is a ‘mountain’ with a temple at the summit called Phnom Chistor. I have mountain in quotations because it is only 130 m high. It rises seemingly out of nowhere from the rice fields. When you ride into the parking area there are food venders with open shelters for you to eat. The shelters have hammocks or rice pads for sitting. There are over 500 steps built into the side of this mountain as you can see in the picture. At the top is a Buddhist Wat where the monks live but if you continue along the path you come to the ruins. It was built in the 11th century by a Hindu king and from what I can tell much of it still remains. From the summit, I can see far into the distance. I could even see Phnom Penh from where we were standing. Anyone is free to walk among the carved stone ruins and there is even a Buddhist shrine where you can enter and meditate inside this ancient temple.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.
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Hello All, and thanks for following me. This week I’m going to begin a series about daily life in Cambodia. So far my life in Cambodia surrounds my work at the health center. I live in a small village that is literally a cross road. There is a market and some shops but that is basically all there is to it. However, it sits on a major route between Phnom Penh and Takeo which goes on to Vietnam. When I say major route, I mean a 2-lane road that is paved. This is rural Cambodia. The health center is about 2 k from that intersection down a dirt road. These are the pictures of the health center. Although it is a small building, there is a pharmacy, consultation room, antenatal care room, delivery room and vaccination room. The clinic is staffed with nurses and midwives among others for support staff. We see patients in the front of the building. The separate building has cots in case a patient has to stay over-night or a mother who is expecting. There is no food service, running water or indoor bathroom at the center but family and friends make sure their loved ones are taken care of. This facility also has ambulance service which is not common among these rural health centers. This health center covers 22 villages, 10 of which are remote so we do smalls clinics by riding motos, which are small motorcycles, to some of these very rural villages. You may be wondering what there is to do around here when not at work. Check in next time and find out. hint- it’s a thousand years old. Until next time.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.
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Hello All, and thank you for following me. This week is more on Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. I visited Tuol Sleng which was the prison that Pol Pot used to torture those suspected of anything that would be a threat to the Khmer Rouge. It is now a genocide museum dedicated to all those that suffered there. I have no pictures because it was requested that none be taken. However, you can google them but be aware they are graphic and hard to look at. People who were taken there were tortured in extreme and inhumane ways until they admitted to doing whatever they were accused of doing. Then they were taken to the killing fields and executed. The pictures here are of the Khmer Rouge killing fields. People were taken away from their families but the families were not given any information as to where they were taken. The mother of my host family, while I was in training, had three cousins taken away by the Khmer Rouge. It wasn’t till she toured Tuol Sleng did she find out what happened to at least one of them. There were walls filled with the mugshots of the prisoners. He was one of them. I use the word mugshot for lack of a better term. These people were not given any trial or opportunity to prove their innocence. They were forced into confession then executed and buried in mass graves. Of the 12,000 to 20,000 that were imprisoned at Toul Sleng there were only twelve confirmed survivors. Tuol Sleng was one of 200 of Pol Pots torture prisons. So many, including myself, want to know how a person this evil and deranged could gain so much power. He came to power, at least partially, due to the US bombing raids in Cambodia during the Vietnam war. Cambodia chose to stay neutral in regards to the war. Due to the neutrality, North Vietnam was able to set up camps within Cambodia along the South Vietnam border. Nixon and Kissinger decided unilaterally and in secret to bomb Cambodia. These bombing raids were illegal and without authorization from Congress. We were not at war with Cambodia. Worse yet these raids didn’t just bomb the camps. They carpet bombed Cambodia killing innocent people. The Cambodians sought to overthrow the government to stop the bombing. Pol Pot claimed he could put a stop to the bombing raids. There is more about Pol Pot to come in future posts. My intention is to keep this blog accurate and informative. If there is an inaccuracy, please let me know and I will make the correction.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.
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