Friday, January 22, 2010

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


For the first time ever, I am making a public release of one of my pet projects. This is a game that is fun for expats and visitors to Cambodia, but good luck if you've never been to southeast Asia.

Game Play:
  1. Use paper or a white board to draw the clue in the given time. (Some Examples)
  2. One team draws and guesses while the other team judges.
  3. You can make up your own rules for steals and lightning rounds.
Some notes:
  1. This game works on Microsoft Excel. I've never tried it with Open Office.
  2. You need to enable macros for the game to work. If macros are not enabled, the buttons won't do anything when you click them.
  3. This game might work on some versions of Excel for Mac. But don't count on it.
Please feel free to pass this along. My apologies for any spelling errors or grossly offensive content. Please email me with your suggestions for words to be added to the list! Keep an eye on this page for future updates, as I have several ideas planned.

And with no further ado: CAMBODIAN PICTIONARY v4.1

Monday, February 23, 2009

Time is Flying By

So I decided to make a post today just to share an article in the Phnom Penh Post about the 900th run of our running club (at approximately 1 run per week, that's a big number!). Naomi and I have been running with the Hash House Harriers since our first week in Cambodia, and it has been a great way to make friends, see the countryside, stay in shape, and generally broaden our Cambodian horizions. You can find the article online here, or you can download a pdf of it here.

Besides running, I have been spending my time learning Japanese, doing some project management of the new Lord's Gym in Svay Pak with Aim4Asia, and helping Yejj with a redesign/reworking of their website and some of their literature. Not to mention getting to help Naomi with some Excel-Fu here and there for IJM. All in all, it's been a blessed season... and I'm not really looking forward to our looming return to the States, which I guess says a lot about how glad we are to be where we are now.

Photo: me and a 8-foot (ok maybe 3'6") barracuda caught deep sea fishing in Sihanookville in February on a weekend trip with some friends.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back Where I Started - One Year Later

So it’s been a long while since I’ve posted any thoughts or updates here, so I figure I’m pretty well overdue. Naomi and I enjoyed a wonderful 3 weeks back in the States over Christmas and New Year’s, and we (somewhat reluctantly) returned to Cambodia about 3 weeks ago on the 6th.

When we first arrived just over a year ago, I did not know how I was going to spend my year. I started by spending the first couple weeks getting our house settled and furnished, setting up phone lines,  buying a motor bike, etc. After about a month, Naomi and I started studying Khmer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, I started volunteering with AGAPE and started teaching English and computer classes at our church (New Life Fellowship), and at the Ministry of Public Works, while concurrently applying for jobs. As posted here before, I was overjoyed when I found a job with a top Korean engineering firm working on one of the country’s premiere projects.

My employment with GS E&C was a great experience, where I learned many things about Korean culture, the construction industry, and Cambodia. Unfortunately, this project was put on hold and all local staff were laid off (including me) about 2 months ago due to the global financial crisis – which hit Korea particularly hard. I had about 3 weeks of unemployment before our trip to the US, which I used to train for the Angkor Wat half marathon – Naomi beat me by 2 minutes, but we were both very pleased to finish around 1:50 – and then to prepare for our trip back to the states (and to get pretty good at crosswords).

Since returning, I have once again found myself seeking the most productive and valuable way to spend my time. I have begun to study Japanese – something I have always wanted to do, but never had the mental energy to do it. It has been REALLY nice to get to practice with Naomi, and I am thankful for this one great activity to help direct my mental energy – not that crossword puzzles are a complete waste of time, just that speaking and reading Japanese might provide more long-term returns.

I have once again started looking for jobs and volunteer opportunities… but I am hesitant to jump into the first volunteer position that I can find. After living here a year, I am more skeptical of NGOs than ever – questioning whether the sum effect of their overwhelming presence here in Cambodia.

Naomi continues to pour her energy and heart into her work with IJM, and I know that one of the best things I do here is to support her in this season. It’s definitely a blow to my ego, but we both know that God is doing some truly significant work through her, and it is my pleasure to play just the smallest supporting role.

OK that’s it. Just a quick update on what I’m up to. I’ll try to get another post up in the following weeks. I’ve been taking a lot of photos these days with my free time, and will try to get some links up soon.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Could it be the best pizza in Cambodia?

Wagon Wheel Restaurant
(click image to enlarge)

It's way the stink out there in Toul Kork, so call 012-873-341 and have Gerd deliver some pies to your house and see for yourself!

Full Wagon Wheel Menu

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


There are a lot of holidays in Cambodia. This year there's 24 public holidays! That's 24 WORK days of... no work! Knowing exactly when the holidays occur isn't as easy as it may seem, but the best source I've found to stay up-to-date on Cambodian holidays is

Date in 2008  Holiday Name
1  Jan. 1    Tue  International New Year's Day
Jan. 7    Mon  Victory Day over the
                  Genocidal Regime
   Feb. 21   Thu  Meaka Bochea Day
                  (Unofficial holiday)
   Mar. 8    Sat  International Women's Rights Day
  Mar. 10   Mon  Women's Rights Day Holiday
   Apr. 13   Sun  Cambodian New Year
  Apr. 14   Mon  Cambodian New Year Holiday
  Apr. 15   Tue  Cambodian New Year Holiday
  Apr. 16   Wed  Cambodian New Year Holiday
  May 1     Thu  International Labour Day
  May 13    Tue  King Norodom Sihamoni's Birthday
  May 14    Wed  King's Birthday Holiday
 May 15    Thu  King's Birthday Holiday
 May 19    Mon  Visakh Bochea Day (Buddha Day)
 May 23    Fri  Royal Ploughing Ceremony
                  (Pithi Chrat Preah Neanng Korl)
 Jun. 18   Wed  King Mother's Birthday
                  (Norodom Monineath)
 Sep. 24   Wed  Constitution Day
   Sep. 28   Sun  Bonn Phchum Ben (Ancestors' Day)
 Sep. 29   Mon  Bonn Phchum Ben Holiday
 Sep. 30   Tue  Bonn Phchum Ben Holiday
 Oct. 1    Wed  Bonn Phchum Ben Holiday
 Oct. 29   Wed  King's Coronation Day
                  (Norodom Sihamoni)
 Oct. 31   Fri  King Father's Birthday
                  (Norodom Sihanouk)
   Nov. 9    Sun  Independence Day
 Nov. 10   Mon  Independence Day Holiday
 Nov. 11   Tue  Bonn Om Touk (Water Festival)
 Nov. 12   Wed  Bonn Om Touk (Water Festival)
 Nov. 13   Thu  Bonn Om Touk (Water Festival)
 Dec. 10   Wed  International Human Rights Day

Many of these holidays are Buddhist religious festivals, which are based on the lunar calendar and the dates change from year to year... so be careful to always check for the current year's holiday dates.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Why Visit Phnom Penh?

1. We have a sweet guest room

2. There's lots of fun things to do! Check out this recent article from the New York Times: