Hello All, and thanks for following me. Todays topic is cricket farming. Cambodians eat a lot of insects as snacks- more on this in a future post- but one of the favorite snacks are crickets. They’re deep fried and really quite tasty if you can get past the legs that get caught between your teeth.  My friend, Jose, raises them in these boxes that are pictured.  The bowls that you see are filled with charcoal that is derived from rice hulls and placed in the box with the adult crickets. The adult crickets lay their eggs in the charcoal bowls which are then placed in a new box till those crickets are mature enough to harvest. And then the bowls from that box are placed in the next box and so on and so on. He feeds the crickets with greens harvested from his organic farm along with duck feed which is also pictured. The adults have to be fed morning and night otherwise they will begin to cannibalize themselves which means that they have to be harvested at the right time as well before they begin to eat each other. Each one of these boxes can produce between 10 to 20 kg of crickets which are then sold. Each of the legs of the boxes sits in a bowl of water on the ground. This prevents ants, particularly red fire ants- more on these nasty critters later as well- from climbing up the legs and into the boxes. I had the unfortunate experience of stepping on a nest of fire ants with nothing but flipflops on my feet. But if the ants are able to get into one of these boxes they will devour the immature crickets. Ants are supposedly another tasty treat that I have yet to partake. Just deserts, one might say, for chewing on my feet. Once the crickets are harvested the manure is collected which has a high nutrient value and used as fertilizer on his organic gardens. The only cost to this entire operation is the duck feed. The rest is all profit and free fertilizer. The last picture is a bag of the fertilizer he gets from a box of crickets.

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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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This is a short description of one of my books called Azaleas Beyond the Prison Walls. This is my favorite book filled with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. All ordering information is on this website. http://www.jimrizzo.com

It’s 1930 and Carson Jones is a prison guard at the notorious Eastern States Penitentiary in Philadelphia where some of America’s most violent inmates and gangsters are serving time. Amidst the desperation of the Depression and a crowd of hostile convicts, Carson finds solace in an azalea garden behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in helping an inmate he believes has been wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death. Carson’s life begins to take a turn when he meets a beautiful young woman through a coworker. Her father is a judge and agrees to help him, but at a price. Carson is forced to choose between a life of meaning and purpose and leaving his friend at the mercy of a threatening warden who is becoming increasingly more unhinged. Though the life he has always dreamed of is finally within reach, is it worth it? In a novel chock-full of history and suspense, James Rizzo crafts a suspenseful narrative full of real-life history and page-turning intrigue.

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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. Otres Beach, Cambodia. It is vacation time and I had heard of this small seaside village of Otres. Quiet and slow paced sounded like the place for me. It wasn’t easy to get to but maybe that is why it is quiet and peaceful. The picture of the town looking down the main street, actually the only street, is lined mostly with buildings of wood/bamboo with thatched roofs. The street looks longer in the picture than it is in reality. It might be the length of 2 city blocks. Not much to do here but lie on a cushioned lounge and stare at the ocean, have a massage on the beach in a grass hut, or sip a margarita at the bar. There are boats that can take you out the islands for snorkeling but maybe another time for me. I’m comfortable right where I am. End the day with and amazing grilled seafood dinner on the beach- yes the tables and chairs are brought out onto the beach- while watching the sunset over the ocean.  The price is right also. The dinner costs about $5 and $7 for an hour massage. I’m going to include another shameless plug for one of my novels. I enjoy writing all my books but this is the one I’m most proud. Filled with twists and turns that will keep you guessing. This is a short description and all ordering info is on this website. http://www.jimrizzo.com

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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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It’s 1930 and Carson Jones is a prison guard at the notorious Eastern States Penitentiary in Philadelphia where some of America’s most violent inmates and gangsters are serving time. Amidst the desperation of the Depression and a crowd of hostile convicts, Carson finds solace in an azalea garden behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in helping an inmate he believes has been wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death. Carson’s life begins to take a turn when he meets a beautiful young woman through a coworker. Her father is a judge and agrees to help him, but at a price. Carson is forced to choose between a life of meaning and purpose and leaving his friend at the mercy of a threatening warden who is becoming increasingly more unhinged. Though the life he has always dreamed of is finally within reach, is it worth it? In a novel chock-full of history and suspense, James Rizzo crafts a suspenseful narrative full of real-life history and page-turning intrigue.

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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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IMG_20180310_085405Hello All, and thanks for following me. Mango Season! Yes, it’s mango season here in Cambodia. The fruit is everywhere. As you can see by the pictures from a local farm, the trees are loaded. It reminds me of apple season in Vermont. The mangoes are so tasty I’m getting a daily dose of them. Interestingly though, the Cambodians don’t eat them when they are ripe, sweet and juicy. They prefer them unripe and sour. So that means…more for me! However, along with mango season comes the heat. We are coming into the hottest time of the year with April being the hottest month. I’ve seen the Facebook pictures of all the snow back home while I dare to venture too far from the fan. I’m going to include a shameless plug for my latest novel that was recently released. Sunset Over East. This is a short description and all ordering info is on this website. http://www.jimrizzo.com

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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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It’s 1880, Denis and Hope McConnell are on a train traveling through Indian Territory on their way to Tombstone, Arizona. Denis has been hired as copyeditor of The Epitaph, the Tombstone newspaper owned by John Clum whose friends include the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday. Denis will be reporting on the events of the rapidly growing wild boom town. But after their arrival, he realizes that because of his association with Clum and the Earps he has many dangerous enemies.

After the loss of her husband, 19-year old Hope is on her own and forced to protect her infant daughter, a 15-year-old Chinese girl from the Chinese mining camp and a 15-year-old girl that had been forced into prostitution. She finds solace and friendship among the Chinese miners but they are under constant threat from brutal marauders who will stop at nothing, including torture and murder, to get what they want- silver. But the law will do nothing to protect the Chinese miners.

Now Hope must now learn to defend herself and protect the others from the constant threat of danger with little resources and fewer options

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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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