First Couple of Weeks with Peace Corps Cambodia

11 08 2011

Hopefully you’ve all gathered by now that we arrived safely in Cambodia. Yes, two and a half weeks ago we landed in this beautiful country– greeted not only by an enthusiastic group of current volunteers, but also by bright green rice paddies and countless fruit stands filled with new delicacies to try.

After a couple of short days in Phnom Penh, all 62 trainees headed to Takeo Province where we really dove into our orientation activities. Now, we have split into three smaller groups, each living in a different town in Takeo province. Our group lives in Traing and is comprised of both education and health trainees. Traing is a district capital with a market, a bank and at least a dozen little restaurants and shops. It’s located on a major highway that leads to Vietnam.

In our town, we spend 6 days a week in classes. Generally, it’s four hours of Khmer language and two or three hours of technical training (health for me, education for Tim), with cultural lessons and some safety and security thrown in.

Like all Peace Corps Cambodia trainees, Tim and I live with a host family. Our host mother is a rice farmer and her daughter, 18-year old Nita, just finished secondary school. They are unbelievably kind and have treated us so well since we moved in. We live in a two-story concrete house overlooking the rice paddies. Every morning we watch the beautiful sunrise from the terrace off of our bedroom. The family we are staying with has electricity and an indoor bathroom, as well as a TV and a moto. We are living quite comfortably here and are incredibly grateful for the warm hospitality we’ve received.

Our family provides us with rice, meat and vegetables for lunch and dinner, but we usually eat breakfast with other trainees at the market. We’re told here the coffee in Traing is the best in the country, and the fruit smoothies aren’t bad either.

All in all, it’s been a wonderful couple of weeks. We are happy and healthy and catching on to Khmer as quickly as can be expected. We have very limited internet access during training though, and won’t be able to post pictures for at least a few weeks. We will do our best to keep you updated.

Katie

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One response

13 08 2011
Anne Marie

Guys, so great to read your news! I checked out where you are on the map. So close to Vietnam. Great to hear that you’re living comfortably–though maybe that will change once you get your real placement? Any intel on where that will be? Can’t wait to see you guys in five months or so–cheers!

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