Hopefully by now you’ve read through all the documentation Peace Corps has sent you about Cambodia, and your job here. You’re probably really overwhelmed. Don’t worry, that feeling won’t leave you, even after you reach Cambodia. No amount of research about Cambodia will prepare you 100% for your time here. Don’t worry that you can only say “hello” in Khmer when you step off the plane. Don’t worry that you’re probably still pronouncing “Khmer” incorrectly. Peace Corps is all about learning. The Peace Corps staff, your teachers, and even us fellow volunteers are here to help you learn how to make it through the next two years successfully. Training All Peace Corps countries are unique, and Cambodia is no different. Cambodia has a Teaching fascinating, ancient culture with which the people living here today still identify. Cambodians are warm, loving people who are nice enough to open their homes and housesHealth Center to volunteers for two years. Many volunteers feel like a member of the family by the time Home Life they leave. Through interactions and building relationships with your host family, counterparts, friends, and community members you’ll be able to get to know not only your Market area, but Khmer culture as a whole as well. Clothing Cambodia is still just beginning to open up to the world after the horrors of the Pol Pot Animals regime. As a country Cambodia has only recently been able to start down a long path of growth and development. Through working with other volunteers and counterparts you canTransportation help Cambodia continue down this path of development. Some days volunteering in Scenic Cambodia will be almost unbearable, but it is important to recognize even the most subtle impact in your community means you have made a difference. Peace Corps Cambodia is still a very young program. This means you have the great opportunity to help a country that really needs help continuing down the path of development. From all of the K4s and K5s, we congratulate you on your invitation, and are excited to see you in a few short months. -Sam Morgan and all of the K4s and K5s
Training Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Training will last 8 weeks. Your life will be Clothing very busy during this time; dedicated to learning the language, technical, and Animals cultural training. You will be split into twoTransportation villages, but will get to see everyone once a week. You’ll get to know your fellow Scenic volunteers very well during this time. Training is a great transition to life at permanent site. Top L: K5s upon arrival Top R: K4 greeting party at the airport Bottom: Traing village at the wat before meeting training host families
K5s during “hub site day”, this is once a week when all trainees come together during training Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market K4s relaxing during training Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic K5 trainees in Tram Kok during a Khmer language lesson
Tram Kok trainees after playing volleyball Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Kirivong trainees Scenic before competing with the local high school in a soccer game…they got schooled
Villagers in Traing at the wat for cultural training Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing Trainees enjoying Animals some snacks at aTransportation little stand in Takeo Scenic
At the wat at 4 am for Pchum Ben holiday K5s waiting for site announcement Training Teaching Arnolodo learning how to fishHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life K5 swear in Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic K4 Erin and Chris preparing to move to site
Teaching Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Top: Tim’s school in Kampong Kdei Clothing Bottom: Stewart’s school in Angtasam AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Charlie with his class during practicum week Training TeachingHealth Center Vaughn, Latoya, and Kate with their practicum class Home Life Market Clothing During training you will Animals spend a week teachingTransportation students in your village to gain practice teaching and Scenic altering lessons out of the Cambodian English textbook
The inside of a typical classroom Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing Animals Students lined up for the morning flagTransportation raising and announcements at Scenic Joyce’s school
Kate giving a presentation at the RTTC in Takeo Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Kirsten’s co-teacher signing off on the Scenic attendance and lesson
Trevor leading a computer class Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Sam’s 11th grade Scenic students competing for a spelling bee
Kirsten’s student answering questions on the board Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Trophie teaching a class at an NGO in Scenic Banteay Chmar
Health Center Training TeachingHealth Center Katie’s Health Center in Kampong Kdei Home Life Community Health Volunteers spend time at their Health Center, working on outreach and educating people against common health myths. Many Health Market Volunteers also partner with NGOs to help with health related projects in their site Clothing or provincial town. Hal at his Health Center in Preah Net Preah AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Kop Health Center in Banteay Meanchey Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing The midwives room at the Kompong Animals Kdei Health CenterTransportation Scenic
Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing Animals Above: a midwife talking about how to make healthy rice porridge Below: families tasting the healthy rice porridgeTransportation Scenic
Students practicing their drawings for painting the Health Center Andrea D. with the students who helped Training paint her Health Center with positive health messages TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Kids playing board games about Health in Preah Chor Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Mothers learning how to make Market healthy weaning porridge in Nimitt Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic Women participating in exercise classes in Boribo
Home Life There are three types of homes in Cambodia: the top is a half- cement and half-wooden house, the bottom left is an all- cement/newer house, and the Training bottom right is a typical all- wood house. TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
A bedroom in a wooden house. Peace Corps issues you a mat to sleep on, and you’ll get used Training to sleeping in the mosquito Teaching net. It will hopefully keep out all of the mice, spiders, andHealth Center insects. Home Life Market Clothing Animals A bedroom in a cement house. IfTransportation you’re lucky, your host family will give Scenic you a real bed.
Many Cambodian families use traditional stoves and cook with charcoal Training Teaching Some wealthy families useHealth Center double burner propane stoves Home Life Market Clothing Animals Most volunteers who cook useTransportation small single Scenic burner propane stoves
A typical Khmer bathroom, with a squat toilet and cistern of water. Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing Animals If you’re lucky enough to haveTransportation running water, you may have a western toilet seat and a sprayer. Scenic
Peace Corps will give you a water filter to help keep you hydrated because you’ll sweat, a lot. Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing Animals All laundry is done by handTransportation with a large bucket, some soap, water, and a scrub Scenic brush. We promise you’ll never take a washing machine for granted again. We’ll teach you our own techniques, and eventually you’ll develop your own methods to getting your clothes clean with the least amount of sweating involved.
Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market During training, and when you move to site it is the rainy season (May – October). The sudden monsoon rains are probably unlike any rain you’ve ever experienced. All of your Clothing staying dry methods are useless. It’s better to stay inside wait the storm out. AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Training Teaching Erin’s host sister’s first Christmas Kate with her host niece and nephewHealth Center Your host families are your link to integrating into the community. Home Life They will naturally be curious about the things you do and own. Let them be a apart of what you’re doing, and share experiences with Market them. The children will especially keep you smiling on a hard day. Clothing AnimalsTransportation L: Hal’s host brother in Scenic training wearing his pants R: Kirsten’s training host family
Rtop: Fish soup Rmiddle: food at a wedding Rbottom: fish and fried eggs and something that tasted like cat food Bottom: Rice porridge being made for a wedding or funeral Are you ready to eat rice? Cambodian meals are served family style usually with multiple dishes which Training you take a spoonful at a time to put on top of your rice. Although Cambodian food is sometimes hard to Teaching get used to, the fresh fruit helps make up for it.Health Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Rtop: rice with pork, a common breakfast Rmiddle: Cambodian noodles and tapioca pudding Rbottom: dried fish for sale at the market It’s great when you have time to prepare western food. Below Travis prepared sloppy joes and french fries, and shared it with a Cambodian friend. Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
A wedding in Kompong Thom Cambodian weddings are a real party: expect Training a lot of food, drinking, Teaching and dancing.Health Center Home Life Market Clothing K4s at a wedding K5s at an LCF’s wedding AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Erin at the wat with her family for Pchum Ben festival Clothing You’ll find lots to do around site as you make friends with the people in your community. Animals Andrea P. and Erin helping with the rice harvestTransportation Scenic
L: a friendly soccer game M: men playing Khmer chess R: Andrea P swimming with children Training Secondary projects, working on projects with other PCVs, and making friends will help Teaching keep you sane when work at site is slow.Health Center A student during a field day project in Kampot Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Market Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Clothes at Takeo Market Scenic Every town has an outdoor market that is open every day, including holidays from dawn until at least 11:00. Markets in smaller towns usually shut down after 11:00, but markets in bigger towns are often open until dark. Markets in provincial towns are much larger and offer more selection. No matter your market, be prepared to bargain, they price they tell you is always higher than the actual price.
Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life A meat stall in the Kompong Kdei Market The fish section of a market in Pursat Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation There are definitely areas of the market where you may not want to frequent, they usually emit a Scenic certain…smell.
A tuk-a-luck (smoothie stand) Don’t worry, you can still find bread A girl selling insects to eat Training Teaching Hal buying vegetables at Preah Net Preah market Fruit section of the Takeo marketHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Clothing What male teachers wear Training Teaching Packing clothes for 2 years isHealth Center very difficult. Hopefully showing you clothes that most PCVs Home Life wear every day will help you Tim teaching a private class Market pack appropriately. Clothing Kirsten with her co-teacher AnimalsTransportation Scenic What female teachers wear
Sean with his Health Center Director What male Health Training Educators wear TeachingHealth Center Home Life Clothing for working at the Market Health Center is usually Business Casual, and is very relaxed at Clothing some Health Centers. AnimalsTransportation What female Health Educators wear Scenic Erica with her OD Director
What Khmer people wear What PCVs wear when they’re not at work to relax Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Relaxing after hiking a mountain in Kirivong Sam’s host mom in a sarong Clothing Animals Don’t forget to bring clothes toTransportation relax in, or to dress up for those times in Phnom Penh and Siem Scenic Reap, as that’s what you’ll be wearing most of the time in the big city. What to wear out in Phnom Penh
Animals Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Lizards are every where in Cambodia. Don’t scare them away, they’re a natural Training mosquito repellant TeachingHealth Center A Traing farmer with his cows, which are Cambodia’s lawnmowers Home Life Market Watch out, monkeys may bite! Clothing Animals A Traing market pig enjoying his meal of garbageTransportation Scenic
You may think roosters crow only in the morning, but be warned, they crow all day long Training Tied for public enemy #1? Is it worse to be woken up by a pack of Teaching dogs barking in the middle of theHealth Center night, or a rooster crowing very early in the morning? Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic Animals in Cambodia are usually not pets, they serve a purpose either killing mice, laying eggs, or protecting the house, and are therefore not really taken care of. Don’t worry, this dog has since recovered.
Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Baby birds living in Ace’s bathroom ceiling Ace’s frog Chester who lives in his room Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation If you’re lucky you can Scenic make friends with some of the animals, or people who own them Irene riding a water buffalo
Training Teaching Scorpion in a PCVs bedroom You WILL see these everywhere A decapitated cobra in a PCVs backyardHealth Center Home Life Of course Cambodia also has its Market share of creepy crawly things too. Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic Remember geckos are on your side, this one caught a scorpion in a PCVs bedroom Check your shoes for squatters (worse things than toads will take up residence)
Transportation 30+ people in the back of a truck is a common mode of transportation for Cambodians Training Teaching Health Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Transportation in Cambodia can be a little bit crazy. They are constantly Scenic trying to fit as any people in any “vehicle” going in any direction. A Cambodian family fitting 9 people in their tuk tuk
Training Teaching Health Center A touri, a 12 passenger van usually filled with at Toyota Camry = taxi least 20 people Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic Why wouldn’t 4 grown men share the front seats in a taxi? Can you guess which is the driver? –On the road to Banteay Chmar.
Training Right: a roma--a hay cart pulled by a moto Bottom: a moto pulling an average load Teaching Health Center Kate riding around Takeo town Home Life Market Clothing The envy of every volunteer arriving to work dirty and sweaty, the Peace Corps car AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Heather captured 6 people getting ready to leave on a moto Motorcycles, tehcnically mo- peds are the most common Training method of transportation in Cambodia. They often ride Teaching with up to 5 or 6 people on Health Center them Home Life Market Be careful of motos when riding your bike. L: Sam, the first k5 to get hit by a moto Clothing R: Garrett, the first k4 to get hit by a moto AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Scenic Cambodia has some of the most stunning views of any country out there. Some pictures that PCVs have taken could give National Geographic a run for their money. You’ll arrive in July, during the rainy season when everything is wet every day and a brilliant green. This gives way to the dry season when everyone becomes a farmer. No matter the season there is always something blooming and some fruit ready to eat. Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic A girl in the salt farming community of An A pier in Sihanoukville Gold, Kampot
Sunset at Angkor Wat, if you go after 5, you can watch the sunset from inside for free Cambodian sunsets and Training sunrises are commonly a Teaching spectacular site.Health Center Home Life Market Clothing Animals A sunset in Takeo province A sunset in Angtasam, TakeoTransportation Scenic
Caves in Kampong Trach, Kampot Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic The pier in Kep Chris riding through rice fields
Training TeachingHealth Center Rice harvesting A floating village Home Life Monks walking around Independence Monument in Takeo town Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic
Training TeachingHealth Center Home Life Market Clothing AnimalsTransportation Scenic Thanks to everyone who lent their pictures for this project: Erin, Garrett, Andrea P., Jill P, Jill L, Stewart, Danielle, Irene, Kate, Katie, Sean, Erica, Joyce, Heather, Trevor and Kirsten.