kids in kandal province  Kids in Kandal Province

How do I begin?  I’ve been thinking about returning to Cambodia to teach ever since returning last November.  I was forever affected by my experience there in a way I would have never expected.  It’s different to hear about poverty than it is to see it.  


home in kandal province


I visited Kandal Province, which is less than an hour by ferry boat from Phnom Penh.  Many homes sit on stilts with no running water or electricity.   


Kandal Province Games


The children don’t beg for money here like they do in Siem Reap because it’s a road not often traveled by tourists.  Instead I observed lots of kids laughing and playing with paper cups and stones and kicking their rubber slippers about as if their slippers were rubber balls.  My friend explained to me that it was a traditional Khmer game but I don’t remember the rules of it. I’ll have to ask about it when I return.    

I don’t really know how to explain it but something about this place calls me to share what I know with them.  I’d like to teach English and computer skills to students who are willing to learn from me.

I researched quite a few NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) and have found the CVCD (Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development) to be very reputable.  It’s a volunteer position so it does not pay.  Some NGO’s supply a bicycle to help you commute from your local home to the classroom. 

Going back to the philosophy: It does not hurt to ask. I asked my boss last week if it would be okay if I took time off to return to Cambodia so I could teach.  For how long she asked?  From October to January for four months.  She said she would be okay with it as long as my work got done (some of this I can still do online) and if Human Resources approved it (since it’s not health-related).

Amazingly I got the request approved!  I’ll be on leave from work without pay or benefits for four months. As for health insurance?  I’ll be paying my employer’s portion so I don’t lose coverage.  In this case it didn’t hurt to ask but I was prepared for my boss to say no.

I have savings that will allow me to leave my job for about four months.  

I’ve written the One Laptop Per Child organization in hopes of a donation for some laptops but they will only match a donation of several hundred laptops, not just a few laptops as I inquired.

I look forward to working for a short time in Cambodia.  Even with all that has happened in Cambodia’s past, this beautiful country seems to be waking up, catching up with the rest of the world, one step at a time.


Dr. Henderson called to confirm that the polyps are negative for cancer and are definitely not related to ACC.  Hallelujah!


forcep used to remove my polyps

forcep used to remove my polyps

During my annual “women’s exam” last week the physician’s assistant saw polyps on my cervix.  I went to see a gynecologist today to have my cervical polyps examined.  As he was “down there” he said that he felt they should come out.  I thought about it and asked if I could wait a few months.  He said he would not recommend waiting so long.  So I gave him the okay to remove them.  

“Can I be sedated at least?”  He said simply, “Not for this.”  So in he went with a pair of forceps (see the image above).  Ouch!  He was able to remove them within seconds.  There were two polyps, both the size of dimes.  One was a juicy red, while the other black.  He didn’t think they were related to Adrenal Cancer but wanted to send them to Pathology for a confirmation.  He sent me on my way and promised to call by Friday.