Archives for posts with tag: Mith Samlanh

Skateboarding has been part of youth culture for decades in many countries. But in Cambodia, however, it has only arrived recently.

An organisation called Skatestan has just opened the country’s first skate park, with the aim of helping current and former street children gain confidence through learning the new sport.

Skatestan do fantastic work with Friends-International and Mith Samlanh. The team are totally correct in saying the sport acts as a tool to entice street children to come into centres such as Mith Samlanh and PSE.

Great video on the BBC website here.

A shot taken on Friday night at the Mith Samlanh Khmer New Year party.
Young Phirun at my side teaching me the ‘Rom Vong’.
Angkor beer in hand. Very Khmer.

Mith Samlanh Khmer New Year Party

Me getting my Khmer dance on

An absolutely fantastic video about Friends-International by a KSL in Utah, featuring Gustav who I worked with closely during the Laos cookbook launch ‘From Honeybees to Pepperwood’.

View the video here.

‘I’m going back to the howling old owl in the woods hunting the horny back toad’

What a beautiful lyric.

I could go back to the howling old owl but at the moment it holds as much interest as the latest Lady Gaga stunt. I’ve been reading, with increasingly disturbing frequency, stories such as this Camel defends banned TV ad.

“AN ADVERTISEMENT that shows hooded people running around at night slapping stickers on road signs, including a railway crossing sign, has been banned on the grounds that it encourages vandalism and threatens public safety.”

On the grounds that it encourages vandalism and threatens public safety?!? Seriously? I think both parties base their arguments on very shaky ground but the fact it is even an issue is the real issue. I can no longer see myself living in a country or society that is soaked in so much regulation.

In Cambodia it is quite possible to do just about anything. Adjusting back to a society that does not allow such simple pleasures as walking the street with an open beer or riding a bicycle without a helmet will be difficult.

Living and most importantly working away from Australia has made me cringe at many of the laws and regulations I used to live by. I am not a tourist here in Cambodia. I am an expat. I have routine, responsibility and meaning to my time here. It allows me to sample this life of another culture much more if I was here on a break from life back home.

Last week I was asked to travel with one of the outreach programs and photograph the teams for a UNICEF document. I have somehow become the unofficial photographer for Friends which is a very nice role indeed. These photos cover the teams with their informal education kits, counselling roles and basic hygiene classes. It’s a long way from lawsuits and idiots and I’m glad for it.

Phnom Penh corn street vendor

Corn and flames

Phnom Penh corn street vendor

Skin and corn

Phnom Penh corn street vendor

Corn and corn

Song time in Phnom Penh

Song time on the streets of Phnom Penh

Street child in Phnom Penh

Cheeky little blighter

Street child Phnom Penh

V is for Victory!

Street child Phnom Penh


Street child Phnom Penh

Cheeky little blighter at it again. Loves the lens.

Street child Phnom Penh

Line up and wash damn you

Street child Phnom Penh

Probably my most favourite shot ever

Street child Phnom Penh

I said wash damn you!

Street child Phnom Penh

What's that?

Street child Phnom Penh

Just playing

Street child Phnom Penh

Games and chants

Street child Phnom Penh


Street child Phnom Penh


Street child Phnom Penh

Games and babies

Street child Phnom Penh

My God does that taste good

Street child Phnom Penh

We don't care about thirsty camel

Street child Phnom Penh


Street child Phnom Penh

Learning with numbers

Oh poor blog. I’m so sorry I’ve mistreated you. I’ve left you in the cold and you have aged. Oh how you’ve aged.

I do have stories to post, I promise. I really do. It’s hard you know? Arriving in a new country is intoxicating and exciting but I’ve predictably fallen into a routine. Things that were once shiny and new have slowly lost their shine.

I’ve allowed a soft layer of dust to fall upon you leaving you uninterested and bored.

Oh how I’m mistreated you my darling.

Below is a link to an exciting and entertaining episode of Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Gordon’s Great Escapes’ filmed in Cambodia.

In this, his latest episode, he keeps his cool and cooks with Mith Samlanh students. For those of you who are not aware or not paying attention Mith Samlanh is the local arm of Friends-International. You know Friends. Don’t you? They’re the NGO I’ve left home to work with for a year. What? You didn’t know? No, no, that’s right, I haven’t been able to return your missed calls… I’ve been in Cambodia! What? I’ve missed a dodgy mechanic story on Today/Tonight? Urgh… What? Well did you tape it? No, I wasn’t home, I’ve been in Cambodia! No, no, not Canberra, CAM-BO-DI-A. YES! ASIA! October, I’m back in October. Yes, this year. Yes, I’ll miss the AFL grand final. I know, I know, Essendon are doing well. Yes, they killed Osama. I saw. Yes, we have television…

Gordon’s Great Escape – Cambodia