30 June 2011

snapshots [june 2011]


26 June 2011

he dreams of moss & cedar trees

cedar + moss

[a little cedar tree among the moss]

kampot music festival

daniel has recently started playing fiddle in a bluegrass band here in phnom penh.

Somebody touched me

 its been a lot of fun for him & has given us some really fun oppurtunities to travel around cambodia & meet a new crowd of people (his band mates are spanish, irish, australian & american).  in june they played at the kampot music festival, so cedar & i tagged along.  kampot is a really lovely riverside town about 4 hours from phnom penh & we enjoyed hanging out there for a weekend at Les Manguiers (the mango fields) along the riverbank.

we got to enjoy some of the music, but with our little early riser with us, we never stayed up past 10:30pm to see the late night bands.  turns out that music festivals with a baby is a whole different ballgame!

kampot music festival

20 June 2011

[five months]

5 months
[picture by daphne]

well, at 5 months, baby cedar is continuing on his sweet baby trajectory. he is still a pretty happy camper punctuated with bouts of unhappiness, usually related to sleep. he's mastered sleeping through the night, but hasn't yet discovered the bliss of sleeping past 6:30am, sigh.

he's full of smiles these days, but saves his sweetest laughs & smiles for his two best friends, sophie the giraffe & ming kohm.

17 June 2011

Women Peacemakers & the MCC Blog

Our office has just started a new blog all about MCC's work in Cambodia. You can check it out here.

A few days ago I (amanda) posted a story about the work about Women Peacemakers (WPM), one of the organizations I work with here. Here is a re-post of that blog post.

(but you should still totally check out the real blog! www.cambodiamcc.wordpress.com)

Women Peacemakers

According to Mr. Khay Yon, before he started attending workshops with Women Peacemakers (WPM), his family was in serious trouble. “I was a violent person, I used to drink alcohol every day. After I drank, I would beat my wife…. I was a cruel person. Sometimes I wouldn’t allow my children to go to school and I quarreled with my family very often.”

Mr. Yon is from a remote, rural village in Kampong Cham province in eastern Cambodia. In 2007, WPM began working in Mr. Yon’s commune hosting trainings on Women and Children’s Rights and Conflict Management. Mr. Khay Yon attended the Women and Children’s Rights workshop and his attitudes and behaviors were transformed. When asked about the impact of the training, Mr. Yon responded that “After the WPM workshops I recognized that my bad behavior was affecting my family’s health and emotional wellbeing, as well as harming my children’s growth and their futures. I decided to change my behavior and now allow my children to go to school and use more peaceful ways of communication with my wife, children, and community to avoid conflict and violence.”

WPM works to empower rural communities to reduce violence and protect the rights of women and children. They are working towards a vision of a Cambodian society that is charactierized by peace and justice where all are accepting of one another and lead lives of integrity.

As it works towards these aims, WPM hosts trainings in rural areas focusing on Women and Children’s Rights and Community Conflict Management. Participants from these trainings then organize into community network groups to serve as a resource to help resolve conflicts in their own communities.

In addition, WPM hosts trainings for university students in the capital city of Phnom Penh. These trainings focus on Cambodia’s criminal and civil law, specifically relating to gender issues, marriage, divorce, domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. The university students are then empowered to host workshops at high schools in the provinces surrounding Phnom Penh to transfer their knowledge.

WPM also hosts celebration events in rural Cambodia commemorating holidays such as Human Rights Day, International Peace Day, and International Women’s Day.

MCC has been partnering with WPM since they 2003 when they first became a registered NGO. MCC provides financial funding as well as advisor support.

Posted in Peace | Tagged | 2 Comments

15 June 2011

love & war & the sea in-between

our dear friends, michelle & josh garrels have just released this beautiful album & in a generous jubilee celebration are giving it away absolutely free!

love & war & the sea in-between
(click on the album image to head to josh's website for the free download - starting june 15th)

its called love & war & the sea in-between and [amanda's short review] its one of the most deeply hopeful, beautiful & spiritual albums i've heard in a long time. it's been the soundtrack to our lives the past little while the rainy season rolled in, baby cedar learned to roll over & we continue to process how to live here & what it means to be in the midst of an entire population that is grappling with the aftermath of real war & the concepts of love in a post-conflict context & what solidarity & hope means for that sea in-between.
my favorite songs are white owl, flood waters, farther along, and bread & wine.

now, daniel's longer review:

Good things, good things are all that can be said about this album, which I'm choosing to refer to as studio-folk. Its a perfect marriage of fully-utilized yet tactfully employed production value with Josh's now classic golden vocals and ice-on-the-river-melting-in-spring harmonies. I guess an interesting thing about this album is how such a diverse range of musical influences is pulled together into an album that definitely works as a continuous single unit. And at 18 tracks, that's no easy feat. I might venture to say that some of the best clarinet work I've ever heard appears on this album. (I'll elaborate. On "a far off hope"there's this repeating two note ascending half step clarinet phrase, or maybe its an alto sax or something, that just hangs there over this hip-hop rhythm. Its the third note that its withholding that really completes the phrase, and in its absence makes the whole track really rock). This sort of fun is found all over the album.

There's depth to this album that makes repeated listens particularly rewarding. It is to the ears what a nice dark bread is to the stomach. Lets say it gives you what you might expect, but does it very, very well.