Monday, May 9, 2011

Shabu Shabu

I've gone back and forth about whether or not to post this video, just because it is a little irrelevant in that it doesn't involve me or anyone directly in my life (friends, family, students, etc). But I think I have finally decided to give it a go, because it falls into the category of kids doing weird/cute things. Just bear with me through the explanation...

One of our favorite restaurants to go to in Phnom Penh is this place called Shabu Shabu. It's a Korean style soup restaurant that works like this:

You sit down with a big pot of broth (either individual or community, if you have 4 or more people) and then you watch as a conveyer belt of little tiny plates holding various ingredients passes you by. When you see something that catches your eye, you just grab it, toss it in your pot of boiling broth, wait for it to cook, and then enjoy. It's actually quite fun and quite tasty. You just pay a flat rate, and then get 90 minutes to eat as much as you want.

The last time I went there was with a large group of friends/teachers on our short vacation. We were enjoying our meal, frantically grabbing veggies, and sushi, and meats and whatnot, when we looked across the restaurant and saw this little boy. I hope it entertains you as much as it entertained us. I'm sure if everyone else in the restaurant saw this, they would be less than thrilled to throw those items in their soup. Although it does cook at boiling point, so I guess its ok :)

The Game of Monsters

I have discovered another similarity between my Kindergarten students in the States, and my Kindergarten students here. And let me tell you, it is one that a I wish had NOT come about.

When I was teaching Kindergarten in Alabama, every year, about 4 or 5 months into the school year, my students would discover how to play a little game on the playground. And the game was the exact same, every year. One kid, usually a boy, would somehow be determined "the monster" and then would proceed to demonically chase all the other kids on the playground. Said monster would be roaring or what not, and all the other kids would be screaming at the top of their lungs. It is maddening, especially when they come towards their dear teacher to hide, and the screaming gets way to close for comfort. I can no longer keep count of how many "We are not going to play monster on the playground" conversations I have had with kids.

So you can imagine my... well not surprise, but more like disdain, when I started to notice that my class here was chasing each other around and screaming. I started to watch a little bit closer, and sure enough, I noticed that one person was always chasing the others, making threatening noises or roaring sounds. And finally the truth came out. It just took a little bit longer because of the language barrier. But they play Monsters in Cambodia. A closer translation would be "Zombies" or "Ghost" but the concept is still the same and my headache is still the same.

As annoying as I always have, and always will find this game to be, it does amuse me that it spans the continents.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Puppy Love

Yesterday when I went to the beach, I witnessed some interesting caregivers. Two little Cambodian girls had brought their puppy to the beach, but it was quite interesting to see how they were taking care of it:

I'm not sure if it is because of a lack of leashes in Cambodia, or if these girls just didn't realize why they shouldn't carry their puppy like this. I wish I could have gotten a photo of the dog's face. It looked so miserable. But, on a happy note, the girls did pick their puppy up briefly for a nice photo.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

FYI- Contacting Me

For those of you who don't know, or haven't noticed yet, I am taking a little break from Facebook. I am going to try to post more on here, and will also be posting pictures on Picassa, via Google. You can click here to see my pictures.

I can also be reached most definitely by email: Or if you have any questions about Life International School, you can reach me at

Finally, should you care to use it, my phone number in Cambodia is: +1(855)097-938-5661.

And if you want to really go old school, my address is:
Group 10, Mondul 3, Sangkat 2
Khan Mittapheap
Preah Sihanouk, Kingdom of Cambodia

The goal of my Facebook hiatus is to actually be more intentional about staying in touch OUTSIDE of everyone's favorite social networking site, so please don't feel like I have disappeared.

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers and support!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jasmine Cinderella

Kids are funny, even in Cambodia. One of my sweet little girls in Kindergarten informed me a few weeks ago that she, along with her mom, was going to change her name. This particular one is adopted by a Swedish woman, so her English is quite good, and the words that I will use to recount this story are pretty accurate to what was really said.

When she came to my desk one day and announced that she would change her name, I was interested to hear what she had to say because she is adopted, so a name change was well within the realm of possibilities. She proceeded to tell me that she was changing her name to Jasmine, and that everyone at school needed to start calling her this. I kind of took her seriously and told her that if that was the case, then her mom needed to come to the office and fill out certain forms.

Then, the next day, my student again came to tell me that she was changing her name, and that I needed to call her that and change her name on all her things in the classroom. Except this time, her name wasn’t to just be Jasmine, but “Jasmine Cinderella.” I then began to understand what was going on here. So I just told her again that her mom needed to come tell the office if she wanted me to call her something other than her original given name.

AND THEN, the next day, my student came bouncing in the classroom with a lovely piece of paper with the words “Princess Jasmine Cinderella” enscribed in flourishing letters with lovely flowers and fairies, and what have you. This child is convinced that she shall from henceforth be known as “Jasmine Cinderella” to all her friends, family, and teachers. I kindly told her that while it was a lovely choice of name, we weren’t going to call her that at school.

It makes me smile to know that the wonder and joy of Disney princess spans the globe.