Hello all, yes it has taken me 3 weeks to get a $10 part that would have taken one day get in the US. But I’m back online and have a lot to tell you about including spending the day at the killing fields and the torture prison, Tuol Sleng. So I’ll try and get you all caught up in the next couple weeks. Anyway this post is about perceptions due to an interesting experience I had with some locals. My language teacher had us go into the community and speak with someone in Khmer and then report back as to how it went. So I went to to the cafe that is pictured. I said the phrase that we were instructed the way we were instructed and got nothing but a blank stare. I repeated the phrase. Again blank stares. Tried a few more times and gave up. Upon my return, my instructor asked me how it went. I told her and so we went over the phrase and she sent me back. I approached them and again I gave up after multiple attempts to be understood. So this time she accompanied me. I said the phrase while she listened. Blank stares. She spoke to them and then turned to me and told me to repeat. I did. Blank stares. This went back and forth numerous times and she told to say it one more time. This time their eyes went20170802_000542 wide open and they excitedly began talking to each other. They turned to me and answered the question. On the way back I asked her what I was doing wrong. She told me I was doing nothing wrong and that my Khmer was fine. The problem was that I was a white man from America. They assumed I was speaking English and they couldn’t understand me even though I was speaking to them in perfect Khmer. Perceptions are everything. I can’t help but wonder what I’m not seeing or hearing simply based on my perceptions.

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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 weeks post is about the Wat. There are Buddhist Wats all over Cambodia. The most famous being Angkor Wat which is a long way from where I am currently located. When we first arrived here we were taken to the local Wat and led to the open building that is pictured. We were seated on the wooden floor covered with brightly colored mats while the monks sat on a raised section in front of us wearing bright orange robes and their heads shaved. We were asked to sit with both legs bent and to one side. Although I see women commonly sit this way it was extraordinarily uncomfortable for me. After one of the monks had finished speaking- in Khmer of course- they walked among us sprinkling water on us from a bowl using what appeared to be a wooden implement. I felt truly honored. There are many rituals in Cambodia including weddings and funerals. I will share with you first hand each event as they occur. The Wat itself is an amazing place. The pictures here don’t do it justice. I was overwhelmed by the serenity and beauty of the buildings and the flora.¬† I will be visiting many Wats over the next two years so I’ll continue to share with you these amazing places as I experience each of them. When I was in my twenties and living in center city Philadelphia¬†I had the incredibly fortunate opportunity to shake hands with the Dalai Lama. We were told when we arrived at the Wat to never look a monk in the face but when I was in my twenties I was ignorant of this and unaware that this is something that is asked not to be done. So I looked into the eyes of the Dalai Lama as I held his hands in mine. I was engulfed by a sense of peace that is hard to put into words. I realize these posts may raise many questions and I encourage you to search for the answers. Thanks again for following. Next weeks post I’ll be covering my daily life, Where and how live with a Cambodian family that does not speak English.

Cambodia

July 22, 2017

The wait is over

July 11, 2017

Tomorrow I leave for San Fransisco. It is there that I will meet with the others that I will be working with in Cambodia. There has been a tremendous amount of preparation I’ve had to go through. Imagine taking an entire home and all your belongings, determining what not to keep and what is going into a 10 by 20 locker for the next two years. And then whittling that down to 2 duffle bags. That is all I’m taking with me for the next 2 years. Most likely my next post will be coming to you from Cambodia

Blog from Cambodia

January 16, 2009

April 30, 2017

My life and career as a chiropractor in Vermont is coming to a close. With a great deal of excitement, anticipation and with a pinch of anxiety, I’m preparing for a new life and career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia. Part of the anxiety comes from the fact that this path I have chosen could change at any time. Even though I’m supposed to be leaving in about 10 weeks, the program could be canceled or changed for any number of reasons. But as of today all is looking good so this is the first of my blogs. In the coming posts I will describe my experience with the Cambodian people, the work I am doing etc. So stay posted.