Brown Bag Lunch

This is the equivalent of brown bagging lunch in Cambodia. In a culture where a meal is not a meal without rice these metal section containers are used. Rice wouldn’t fare so well in a paper bag, but these containers have one section for the rice and then two or three other sections for vegetables or whatever to go with the rice.

It’s the way we do it here….

This photo shows why Phnom Penh’s traffic is so horrendous–and deadly. Notice 1) there are no lanes painted on the road; 2) there is no attempt by drivers to stay in anything resembling a lane of traffic; 3) physical barriers are widely used in Phnom Penh because lane markings are ignored, but here an opening is provided to nullify the effect of the barrier; and 4) allow a truck to make a U-turn right in front of the sign saying no U-turns. Cambodia averages about five traffic deaths a day.


I was trying something new with today’s post about the dance performance when the CACD went on retreat in Takeo Province. I added a 40-second video of the dancing, the first time I’ve used video here, and it’s giving me mixed results. The video keeps pausing, unable to buffer the content quickly enough. Maybe it’s my own slow Internet connection playing back the video or maybe it’s a problem with video on Mailchimp. I’ll have to experiment more but apologies for now if you’re getting results like mine.

CACD Retreat #4

The CACD (Catholic Alliance for Charity and Development) retreatants toured and heard explanations about the different programs offered at the cluster of schools set up by Bishop Olivier in Takeo Province. We also had a chance to see some of the students performing.

Here are some of the student apsara dancers backstage, waiting for their turn to perform.
There are many versions of the classical dance form these young women are performing.

Other students concentrated more on music, albeit with classical dance elements added.
And these young men add a rather non-classical musical element to the performance.

CACD Retreat #3

The CACD retreat gave many of the church and NGO workers the opportunity to see some of the projects started by Bishop Olivier. One of them is CoCo de Takeo, a social enterprise which makes candy and useful and decorative objects from coconuts–of which Cambodia has an abundance!

Coco de Takeo mostly employs people with disabilities and single, poor mothers with no other source of income. Here a Little Person works with large coconut hulls. Notice the teapot and the coconut hull to its left which is being carved to be a decorative holder for the teapot.

Women then extract and trim the coarse, hairy inner shell of the coconut for use in various projects.

Some of the coconut shells are preserved, lacquered, and arranged into decorative hangings that one might find in a restaurant or a tourist business establishment.

Of course, an enterprise centered on coconuts generates a huge pile of husks that cannot be used.