Friday, April 24, 2009

9 Months into Service... And No Blogs?

April 14th marked the beginning of Khmer New Year, meaning I now have an excuse to abruptly start the habit of blogging after 9 months of being in country. Khmer people don't really do new years resolutions, but I make it a personal practice, and sometimes even make daily resolutions. It's a way to keep myself busy. Like, today, I will eat a at least 5 duck eggs, or, today I will make a decision on what I want to go to grad school for, and dedicate the rest of my life towards. These resolutions are never to be taken too seriously, which is the point of it all. Things over here can be pretty heavy, pretty serious, pretty draining. In the nine months that I've been here, I've been introduced to a number of hardships and challenges that face Cambodians on a daily basis. It's hard to believe that it was less than a year ago that these were the stories that I'd listen to on NPR or the BBC, they were tales of travail from a far off location.

Today, I live in the rice paddies with a Khmer host family. My host family is amazing in ways that I could have never expected. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, my primary aim is to work at a grassroots level in helping my community that I live in. But as an inevitable result, I find that I am learning lessons that I'll keep with me for life, stories told from individuals that have witnessed and lived through the most horrific atrocities imaginable, from the same people that have welcomed me to live in their home and village. I hope that in my following blogs I am able to portray these stories in a way that is true to their circumstances. I hope to reflect on the beauty in Cambodia in addition to the struggles that can sometimes feel so consuming. Where you start with a country as complex as this one... I'm not sure. I guess I should start with the small things.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Contact me!

Welcoming all post cards and tokens from home:

PCT Edna Martin
P.O. Box 2453
Phnom Penh