Adoptive parent contributions and more news of Cambodia

November 19th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

Under a "better late than never" banner, here are some happenings from Cambodia ... Thanks to a heads up from mom to a Cam-born kid and author of "Bones That Float, A Story of Adopting Cambodia, Kari Grady Grossman, there is something to share on the good works of another adoptive parent. Ken McBain, a lovely man I had the pleasure of meeting in a restaurant in Phnom Penh while we were in the country for Cj and he was bringing home his daughter, is running a school in an inner city neighborhood of Philadelphia where most of the kids are Cambodian. Logan Hope is a Christian-based program serving some of the poorest of Cambodian refugees in America, helping them to cope with… [more]

News and Announcements for Families with Cambodian Kids

November 9th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

For some great shots of the Independence Day celebrations, check out Mongkol for a good bit of the feel of the day. This year marks fifty-four years since gaining independence after 90 years of French rule. Here's the message sent from the White House in honor of the occasion: The President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, sent the following message to His Majesty King Sihamoni on the Occasion of the 54th Anniversary of the Independence of the Kingdom of Cambodia: Your Majesty: On behalf of the American people, I wish to congratulate you and the people of the Kingdom of Cambodia on the occasion of your Independence Day on November 9. I look forward to the year ahead as our… [more]

Pedophile nabbed and killer cow cooked

October 19th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

The disgusting piece of less-than-human rubbish Interpol has been looking for was captured in Thailand this morning, and now we can all sit back and hope there is a punishment that will do him justice. Canadian pedophile Christopher Neil has been preying on children ... okay, in a nod to my journalistic training, I'll add the word 'allegedly' here, but he's guilty as sin, and this is a blog, not the NY Times ... for years. Scenes of him sexually abusing very young Cambodian and Vietnamese boys have been circulating on the Internet for a very long time ... long enough for many of our children to have been potential victims ... and up until the manhunt went public he was employed as a… [more]

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro, Prach Ly, bokator, killer cow and more

October 12th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro of the Khmer Arts Academy is getting well deserved accolades this week. First, in the New York Times with a glowing review of her latest work: “Pamina Devi: A Cambodian Magic Flute". She was also featured in an American Public Radio production "The Story" that can be accessed as a podcast here. In case you're not already up on her story, Sophiline was one of the first of the Khmer classical dancers trained by the surviving 10% of dancers and musicians left alive in Cambodia at the end of the KR years, and she has dedicated her life to dance ever since. And for art of a different flavor, the VOA has a piece on a Cambodian hip-hop artist who… [more]

Fish ovaries, artists and monks

October 5th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

There is more news from Cambodian here, and here, and adoption-related news of a more general nature here on the Adoption News Blog. Anyone planning to be in Cambodia, here's a heads up: Stay away from Puffer Fish on the menu. Two people have died in Takeo province after munching down on salted puffer fish imported from Vietnam and sold in rural markets. It's not the whole fish that's a danger ... Wasn't there a Simpson's episode about this way back when? It's ringing all sorts of silly bells in my head ... but the ovaries, liver and intestines contain tetrodotoxin, a poison so potent that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it can "produce rapid and violent death." Since… [more]

Sri Lankan concerns, the UN, elephants and more

October 5th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

Sri Lankans are concerned that Cambodia has become base for the Tamil Tigers, their arms smuggling and human trafficking. Their weapons purchases are more sophisticated now, but the criminal infrastructure put in place in the early 1990s, when Cambodia was its primary arms bazaar, is still there, enabling drugs and human smuggling, credit card fraud and money laundering. In yet another "ain't that just rich" sort of move, the UN is tut-tutting the Khmer Rouge tribunal saying that the special courts are "employing unqualified staff at inflated salaries." On how many levels can we roll our eyes at this one? First ... unqualified and inflated salaries are rather a UN standard, it seems. Second, the UN set up this squirrely mess, so to come along and… [more]

History, Vietnam, oil and Rambo

October 5th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

If it's Friday, it must be a day for news from Cambodia on the International Adoption Blog. If you're looking for other adoption-related features and articles, please check out the Adoption News Blog. A very interesting commentary with a firm and realistic footing in history is well worth a read for anyone interested in Cambodia then and now. Making comparisons between Indochina in the 70s and Iraq today, it also highlights present day Vietnam's neocolonization of Cambodia through population floods and monoculture agriculture that are rapidly replacing what was thoroughly Cambodian with what is most certainly Vietnamese. Hand-in-hand, this about an upcoming trade fair, the "Vietnam-Cambodia International Trade Fair" might illustrate what could become too much of a blending between the two… [more]

Cambodian computers and bloggers

September 28th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

After the blog I just wrote on Brother Number Two, I need to cleanse my soul with something pleasant ... a good idea, perhaps. Hey! Here's one! We've all heard of the $100 laptop, right? The one that's supposed to connect kids in underdeveloped countries to the WWW, thereby giving them access to education and information that otherwise passes them by completely? Well, it appears that the computers are a go and ready for production on a big scale to begin next month. There's a slight hitch, however, in that the computers are starting out almost twice the predicted cost ... they're about $188 to make ... and so far no one, not one single government, has sent any money for the things. What to do?… [more]

Brother Number Two

September 28th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

Like so many of us touched by Cambodia, I've spent way too much time being upset and angry over the tragic history of my children's country of birth. I've done the crying at sites of historical horrors and heard the first-hand accounts of more suffering than anyone should ever have to imagine, must less live through or die from. I've read the books, seen the photos, watched the films and absorbed as much as I could of the Cambodia that produced these kids I love with every fiber of my being. I am almost beyond reacting from the gut, having spent almost five years digesting the indigestible. This sort of stuff, however, brings up the bile. Nuon Chea, Brother Number Two to Pol… [more]

“Jungle Girl”, stolen artifacts, drugs and more

September 28th, 2007
Categories: Cambodia

Tell me if this sounds strange to you, too ... The US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are among the groups advising Cambodia's new national heritage police force, the agency that will be responsible for protecting the country's ancient temples from pillage. Sure, I get that the FBI might have something going on illicit trading in antiquities, but Homeland Security? Sounds a bit of a stretch. And speaking of strange stories, remember the 'jungle girl' who appeared one day some months back, the "wild woman" one family claimed was their long-lost daughter who'd been raised by the Cambodian counterpart of wolves? Rochom P'ngieng disappeared while herding buffalo as an 8-year-old, which would now make her 27. Her parents believe the woman… [more]