Monday, July 22, 2013

Random Photo Blog, Part III

Photos from March and April, 2013

Sometimes I go to school to teach, and the school director decides to make it a school clean-up day instead

So he pulls all the kids outta shool and puts them to work lugging bricks, digging up dirt, etc.

No school.


My little groupies

Trying to break dance

At my dance class

That's alright, I taught dance for a little while

Dance rehearsal

This dance is to Lady Gaga

They love to dance. 

Baby niece, Solita

best buds.

My "surprise" birthday party thrown by my Honor Society students

There was a cake.

And Tuk Samurai

Theara and Channy

One of my 7th grade groupies

Sonita, Kanha, Sreynoch, Theara, and Laitheam

Love themmm!!

Best groupies ever


Leakna and Channet

Leakna, me, Channet, Channy, and Theara

Meak, Seyha, Phalla, Sopheak, and Ching

Me and the guys

Silly dancing

The Cupid Shuffle

Rockin it

Traditional Khmer dancing

Sonita, Kenha, Laitheam, Sreynoch, Theara, Channy, and Srey Nich


More dancing

My honor society/chorus class kids

Plus my groupies

plus me

not riding a moto


The group in front of the library

Happy Birthday to Me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Camp G.LO.W. Girls Leading Our World, Prey Veng Velociraptor Style

This blog is to show you, through pictures, all the things that went down at our Camp Glow in Prey Veng last month. And of course to thank all the people who supported this project. It was a huge success!

Background information:
The 5 Peace Corps volunteers in Prey Veng province put together this Camp GLOW and held it in our provincial town. It was a 2 day event focusing on empowering young women ages 16-20. Each volunteer brought about 10 of their female students, so all together we had 50 girls attend the camp.


Participating villages and community partners

First things first, after introductions and announcements, we played getting-to-know-you games. This is Two Truths and a Lie

Our first sessions was led by a Khmer organization about leadership skills. We gave him an hour to do the session, but he went over- by another hour! I love this picture because those two are my students, and they are awesome. They were bored. Do you see the chain of markers stuck together? haha. Also, toward the end, Kendra, the girl on the right, picked up a marker, and whenever the presenter wasn't looking, she would wave it around like a wand, trying to make the presenter disappear. Hahaha clearly these students were meant to be mine.

After sitting and listening to that lesson for two hours, I tried to get the blood flowing to their brains again by running an exciting game of "Sok Says" I also ran a session about studying in University. The students filled out personal surveys designed to show the fields of study they are most interested. Then, students learned about what kind of job opportunities are available for their field of interest

Our next session was one the PCVs led, but it was planned by our friend Lisa. It was an activity meant to build self esteem. They looked through magazines and found pictures that represented things they like about themselves.

We hung up their artwork and gave them an opportunity to share with the rest of the girls what they made and why.

After lunch, a Koica (Korean) volunteer came to do a session on Healthy Behaviors. They LOVED her. It's basically like we hired a KPOP star to hang out with our girls for the day

Pure happiness... 

It was an extremely well done session that covered everything from brushing their teeth, to nutrition, to exercise.

And stretching.

And what would a camp be without some girly bonding?

We made friendship bracelets and painted nails

We had dinner back at the hotel

And after dinner we all went to the park to play games. This is me explaining a water balloon toss contest

Water balloons! We also played soccer, and other American and Khmer games.

After all the excitement of the first day, they went to their rooms and settled in for the night. For most of the girls, this was their first time ever sleeping in a guest house, and their first experience with air conditioning (they were freezing!). For many of the girls, this was the first time ever leaving the village. So you can imagine the excitement.Anyway, this is Leah and I doing room checks to make sure everyone was settled for the night in the right rooms.

Then us PC volunteers went for a debrief at the Tela Mart gas station.

Lard is a pretty risky thing.


Day two started with a session run by me and my Khmer sister about healthy relationships and abusive relationships. I shared my own personal story

Then she shared hers. For the first time, ever. It was pretty powerful.

We had a discussion about what makes a relationship healthy, and what makes it abusive

They were given 2 post it notes each, and had to write on them

On one the wrote a response to "Love is..."

And on the other, they wrote a response to "Love is not..."

Our Peace Corps guys led a session on exercise techniques

No time to exercise? Why not do squats while you brush your teeth

How it's done.

Feel the burn
Down and up

Sam did a session on yoga

The most peaceful moment of the whole camp

Next, we had a presentation on volunteerism, led by a local Khmer organization

Students brainstormed and listed ideas of ways the can volunteer in their own communities

We had a session on Women's health run by a KHANA volunteer. Most of the session was Q & A form, as the girls had a safe space to ask about these things.

For our last game, we separated the girls into groups, and challenged them to make a run-way worthy outfit out of newspaper and string. They were really creative!

The models did their runway walk

Another Group Shot

 The weekend was a very powerful and very exhausting one. It was amazing watching these students come out of their comfort zone and see themselves and the world around them in a new light. My students loved every second of it, and stepped up to be leaders in every opportunity they could get. I was incredibly proud of them, and proud of the impact the whole camp had on all it's participants. I'm happy to say that is will now be the first annual Prey Veng Camp Glow.

Velociraptors, good luck next year!

A very special thanks goes out to The Broberg Family, K. Feibusch, L. Carbone, L. Baas, and P. Peterson, and everyone else who donated money to make this possible. I am so grateful for your support.