In Cambodia there are a couple dozen Catholic pre-schools and kindergartens, many established for Vietnamese community children to help them integrate into Cambodian society and culture. There is no system of Catholic schools in the kingdom, though. The Jesuits have started creating a pre-school to university educational setting in rural Banteay Meanchey Province, and as usual, they do a super job with education. These are some of the primary school students at the beginning of the day when they have a period of silent meditation. There probably aren’t many settings in the United States where that could happen.
The post on Christmas Day had a bad link because I forgot to “publish” the page that the link went to. It’s working now if you want to back to Christmas Day and click there again. Sorry!
Many countries utilize tuk-tuks (motorcycle-pulled wagons or bench seats) for local transportation and Cambodia definitely has its share of them. Click here to see how the styles have started to evolve.
You’ve been reading about the hot spot in the Pacific near New Zealand and the very high temperatures in Australia and the flood waters in Venice. Well, things are pretty bad here, too. In the article above, the government weather bureau is “warning” people that the temperature is going down to 17º to 19ºC. That is 62.5º to 66.2ºF! So there! Things are difficult here, too!
Large-scale storm sewer construction is going on around Phnom Penh and it’s actually starting to show results. Some areas of the city that used to flood two or three times a week during the rainy season now may flood only a couple times in a month. Phnom Penh is not so good at doing road work: the locals don’t know how to notify the community of the work, how to reroute traffic from streets that are dug up, how to finish a job in three or four days instead of three or four months, etc., but at least there is some progress.
Being a Buddhist country and culture, there is very little Cambodian appreciation of Christmas in the religious sense, but as happens with so many Western holidays and celebrations, the commercial aspect comes into play. Few people could identify Christmas as the celebration of the birth of Jesus but those same people would buy red “Santa suits” to dress up their children. They become especially popular for “international” schools which have Christmas programs to prove they are international which is the label that attracts parents. Here are some photos of shops selling the Santa clothes.
Click here for photos from a string of small family-owned bicycle shops along Street 107 in Phnom Penh. (This is where I bought my bicycle.) And the pictures are just of one side of the street!