Author Archive

Monkeys, Crocodiles, River Ride, and Other Videos From Cambodia


As a bonus to the Cambodia stories offered the last several weeks, I thought I’d cap it all off with some videos. They are all related to nature. This first is a short clip of visiting the crocodile farm in Battambang and seeing the largest of them being fed:   From reptiles, we’ll go to […]

From College Protesters to Those Suffering From Addiction: Dealing With Groups in Need

Many judge and name-call. There is a better way to respond. “When I was young I was grateful to have a job.” These words were spoken last Saturday by my 50-year-old friend Terry. Terry owns a business with 25 employees and said the younger ones (in their early twenties) are becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy. […]

A Goodbye to the Faces of Cambodia

An ancient history of greatness; a recent history of tragedy; and the present that is a breadth of culture, charm, and optimism–and all of it with a natural backdrop of unique terrain peppered with its beautiful wildlife. The definition of “idyllic” is: extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque. Cambodia is idyllic. And it seems like she […]

Going to a Cambodian Kickboxing Match

After the weight of the previous post, I was ready for a lighter side to Cambodian living–something spirited, celebratory, and proud. Well, the same taxi driver who escorted me to the genocide museums knew of a Cambodian boxing event. So off we went… If you read previous posts, you know that the Cambodian people (the Khmer) have experienced […]

Questions in the Dark


It’s that time of year. Holidays? Nope, cold season. Knocked out of work on Friday, I was in bed about 40 of last weekend’s 48 hours. Upshots included the chance to dive into a book and an unexpected, intriguing, quiet solitude. For a couple of these hours, it was very quiet. I was asleep before […]

The Genocide of the Khmer Rouge

In the early 1970′s little Cambodia was in the middle of civil and international war–intricately tied to the Vietnam War. But on April 17th, 1975, the existing, American-backed government fell to the revolutionary regime, the Khmer Rouge (“Red Khmer,” Khmer being the predominant ethnicity and language of Cambodians and Red being the color of Communism). They […]

Write for Good


This past week, I’ve come to appreciate the use of writing for good because of a story about my employer that was used for bad. The narrative included a hero at my school who was “beloved” and a villain who oversaw “several dark years.” What was supposedly a news story about a legal matter at our […]

Teaching English in Cambodia

My second day in Battambang, I decided to rent a small motorcycle. There is no better way to cruise a foreign city in the tropics–faster than walking or biking and more exposed than riding around in a car. You take in the city buildings, the market, the sellers and shoppers, the commuters on their bicycles, […]

Visiting a Theater Costume Warehouse for a Halloween Costume

An invitation to a Halloween party this weekend had me in search of the perfect outfit. After having tried a few conventional methods for getting a costume (party store, online retailers), a Google search inspired another source. On Saturday I pulled into the parking lot of Costume Rentals in Minneapolis, provider of an enormous collection of costumes used in Twin […]

Battambang, Cambodia: A Crocodile Farm and Wedding Crashing

Our boat approached the landing in Battambang. We twelve travelers jumped off the boat onto the bank a couple of feet away. While waiting for my luggage, a motorcycle driver approached as they often did at opportune times in Cambodia. He looked friendly and knew English. I believed him when he said that the other drivers here offering free rides […]

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