Spotlight Cambodia: the land of lotus flowers, exotic fruits, angel oaks, and monks
Don’t climb on that Buddha! No really, even if you are taking a picture. In Cambodia, the statues of the Buddha are sacred. So is your head. It is considered very rude to touch another’s head, or to lose one’s temper. The majestic sprawl of Cambodia is matched by the wondrous spirit of its people and culture. Cambodia’s dual identity of bustling cities, like Siem Reap, and remote agricultural villages make Cambodia an endlessly interesting and picturesque destination.
One can wander the ruins of Angkor Wat for hours taking in the traditional Khmer architecture and mixing with the beauty of indigenous plant life. As well as enter the water world, via boat tour, of the Tonle Sap Lake with its floating city. Or visit any number of the local bars and cafés to sample delicious Cambodian fare. While the food is still uniquely Khmer, it also draws heavily from both its Thai neighbor and Chinese residents. Rice is a national staple, but French colonial influence has also added bread to the cuisine and the many bodies of water ensure abundance of fresh seafood including freshwater fish and prawns.
A dark history haunts Cambodia, amongst its lotus flowers, Angel Oaks, and vibrantly colored robes of passing monks remains the danger of amputation. It’s hard to believe that such beauty was once shrouded by one of the world’s most horrific periods of genocide and repression. When the Vietnam War spilled into Cambodia the US bombed relentlessly. Out of this chaos, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge emerged. They emptied the cities, marched the people off to work camps in the rural countryside, and purged Cambodia of anything modern or foreign. Books, money, and medicine were contraband; thus, an entire generation without education. Two of the 8 million that populated Cambodia were executed and buried in mass graves. This tragedy continues to claim new victims by the landmines planted across the countryside by not only the Khmer Rouge but by all sides of the conflict. The locations of the mines were rarely recorded resulting in one of the highest rates of disability of any country in the world. Globe Aware volunteers who travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia assemble wheelchairs and distribute them to land mine victims from the countryside. This very tangible donation is desperately needed and can be life-changing for the recipient. Volunteers will participate in a variety of projects, including teaching English at the Buddhism Association School, which is part of the Wat Bo temple complex. It provides English instruction to young people as well as monks. Volunteers are able to provide the invaluable experience of practicing pronunciation with a native English speaker. Volunteers will also be able to work with children at a local Street Children's Center. The staff of the center brings children in off the street and provides them with alternatives to drugs and prostitution.
Cambodia may have a tragic history, but its bright and vibrant people make this destination a joy to behold. Our volunteers agree!
“I had been looking to do more volunteer work in my life and I felt like this project might help to jumpstart my plans. It turned out to be so much more than I expected…. Each one of our projects was a "hands on" experience where we met with the local people. I felt like we were able to give back to the community, even in a small way. I could sense how genuinely thankful the community was to have us there just by their facial expression expressions. In particular, the wheelchair and well projects felt the meaningful for me.” – March 2012 Volunteer
“I will always carry this experience with me and my outlook on life has changed” - Emilee Schwarze
A Siem Riep native, and graduate of The Ecole D’Hotellerie at Tourisme Paul Dubrule, Dine has worked in the hospitality industry of Cambodia and Thailand for the last 20 years. Dine (pronounced Deenay) speaks fluent English, French, and Japanese. Dine first worked with Globe Aware volunteers in September 2006, and after training with Prin Sophanit became Globe Aware’s Cambodia coordinator in December 2007. In his spare time, dine also runs an internet Café, is a local Postman, and has a young son, Dine is especially loved by our volunteers and we are grateful to have him! Volunteers often credit Dine with giving them a much more rewarding experience as well as insight into the local cultural than they would have achieved with anyone else.
“It was so nice to have a local person who was so dedicated to the project. He could answer any question we had about the culture and introduce us to the people and the culture in a natural way. Dine's dedication to his community humbled me in a way I never expected. He worked nonstop all day helping us to help his community. At night, after his work, he went home and helped our driver move out of his house because he was being evicted by the government. Dine's energy, optimism, and spirit were unstoppable” - March 2012 Volunteer
Our program coordinator, Dine, really made the trip what it was. He is so deeply tied to the Siem Reap area and passionate about the projects, that it made it easy to jump into what we were doing. His energy was infectious. He showed us a lot that we clearly would never had found on our own and took us below the surface of the culture. In addition, we had a lot of fun and laughs! – Ky Cooksey
Meet our New Staff Members:
Richard McCann has joined Globe Aware as the new Outreach Program Director. His background in international voluntourism and passion for community development makes him a great new member to our team.
Richard received his Bachelors degree from Baylor University in Russian Language and International Studies. His passion for international volunteering began during a study abroad trip in Voronezh, Russia, where he taught translation courses after school to Russian Students. He has also volunteered at an orphanage in rural Romania and taught English in Bangkok. He is excited to share his experience and passion for volunteer tourism with others.
Vaughn Hancock has joined Globe Aware as the Social Media Contact. Vaughn’s love of people will lend itself well to the Globe Aware team. Vaughn has a BA in Psychology with a minor gender studies from Hendrix College. She is currently pursuing her MS Counseling from SMU.
She has volunteered extensively both domestically as well as in Germany, Mexico, and Canada. He favorite projects have included working with retired elephant performers, building homes in Juarez, as well as learning to sustainably farm in Germany. Vaughn feels that her love of travel has been greatly enhanced by the ability to help others.
Join Our Community!
Exciting news!! We’ve created Globe Aware Community Pages. Join here CLICK HERE
Our Community Pages include a forum to share experiences, stories, photos and videos, ask questions, get answers, or simply tell everyone how excited you are about your trip.
The volunteer vacation and Globe Aware experience is a rich and fulfilling event. No need to keep it all to yourself. This is why we have created this social media, and conversational hub.
Whether you are just beginning to consider a trip, about to go on your next volunteer vacation, or just want to have some fun interacting with other international volunteers, we’ve got you covered.
Travel the World in your Pijamas!
Globe Aware has joined Pintrest! Globe Aware has recently joined the online pinboard Pintrest. We are sharing beautiful photos for our volunteers past, present and future to add to their own boards. Globe Aware trips are perfect additions to your travel boards, wish list, or bucket list boards. Follow us today! See what other volunteers have experienced: the change they have made in communities as well as the breathtaking beauty of the destination.
Yay! We've had two volunteers so far and we're having lots of fun in our "Volunteer of the Year Program, you know you can participate on our facebook page CLICK HERE . Thanks so much to our wonderful volunteers who have agreed to participate in this fun and exciting program.
We're posting four posts a month for each volunteer. So, look for the posts on Mondays and vote often. Just make sure you put your comments and shares, along with your likes, on a post we have put up. No separate posts of your own please. Use the link below, "Like" our page, find the posts for the volunteers, and VOTE! VOTE
Remember the objective of our program:
More than anything, we want to honor our volunteers, to have fun, and we want our facebook community members to become aware of each other. We don't have the lawyers and accountants the Oscar's use to pull off an air-tight campaign so please just have fun and play fair.
Deadline for Travelocity’s Travel for good grant is June 4th!
Want to take a life changing trip? For Free? Travelocity’s Travel for Good program awards $5,000 grants to deserving volunteers who would like to make the world better through travel. The grant will cover transportation to and from, as well as program fees of your voluntourism trip. Globe Aware has two trips featured in the Travel for Good series. Trips to Cuzco, Peru and Ho, Ghana are eligible for the grant. Entries will be received until June 4th, 2012. Winners are chosen by an even split of votes and video content. Four winners are chosen every 6 months! This is a wonderful opportunity, and Globe Aware encourages you to participate!
Mango smoothie- sip your way to paradise Ingredients:
2 Cups ice cubes
1 Cup Club Soda
1 Fresh mango, peeled and dices
½ Tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
½ Cup sugar syrup
In a blender, put ice cubes, Club soda, mango, lemon juice and syrup together, blend till it smooth. If the mango is not sweet, add more syrup to your taste. serve immediately.
Mouan Ang (Khmer Grilled Chicken)
Servings: 4 Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoon sugar
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and black pepper
4 large chicken thighs
Place the oil, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and salt in a shallow dish and mix well. Add the chicken and turn to coat, rubbing the mixture into the flesh. Cover with cling wrap (I like to use a gallon freezer bag, and skip the shallow dish. Makes for easy clean up) and leave to marinate for 1 hour, turning once during the marinating period. Preheat the grill to hot and line the grill pan with aluminum foil. Place the chicken in the grill pan and cook for 20 to 25, turning from time to time or until the chicken is cooked through and browned on all sides. Serve immediately.
"Friend" Globe Aware on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter!
Globe Aware is on Facebook and we are also on Twitter and we would love it if you were to join us! Please become our friend on Facebook and follow Globe Aware on Twitter. Stay up-to-date with the latest news and the best bits about our many volunteer vacation destination, trips and volunteers. And after you've friended us, please feel free to write on our wall, leave us a comment, share a picture of yourself and invite your other friends to join us as well!