as my path wondered through southeast asia, i found myself on the other-side of the world where the US dollar is the all mighty. for less that $6.00 USD you'd can be served a mountain of food fit for a king. little did i know that for less that $2.00 USD, my friend huixian and i would eat lavishly for two days...
if huixian and i ate at her house every day, we'd spend less than $15 USD a week. that's less than $15.00 USD a week ON FOOD!!!!
i know it's hard to understand how we can make a difference in someone's lives at the other end of the world, but those "help a christian child" TV spots aren't that far fetched. "for dollars a day you, can change someone's life..." except in this "advertisement" we're not talking about a newly "saved" cambodian pip. we're talking about a "no political or religious agenda; we work directly with village chiefs and school principals to target their communities’ most pressing needs. Gradually, we’ve hired and mentored fifty-seven Cambodians who’ve assumed all leadership positions.” - Nancy Woodward Hendrie from the sharing foundation in the mount holyoke alumnae quarterly
THAT'S RIGHT! a grassroots empowerment organization needs your help. if you donate $10.00 USD and believe it or not, WE can turn it into $50,000!!!
just imagine how much $50,000 will go in cambodia?!?!
luck of seven contributor and global non-profit rockstar beth kantor has asked me to ask for your help. over the next 40 hours, we need to win the "giving challenge." we need to get the most unique donations over the next day or so and we can collectively turn our $10 bucks into $50,000!!!
if you're into the social media chain letter thing, there's a participant wiki on how you can help... the first three are the most important...
1. Volunteer to write at least one blog between today and January 31, 2008 about this and ask your readers to contribute the minimum amount.
2. Put the widget on your blog on the side bar (it is easy to cut and paste)
3. Consider donating $10 to campaign!
Recoded: Early October
Locations: Phnom phen, Cambodia
Tags: travel, bloggers, cloggers, cambodia, localization programs, open source, khmer os, adventure, couchsurfing
Music: .75 Adore .25 Odium by sippy cup
About: on the opposite side of new york city, phnom phen sits as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. through years of bloodletting and on the verge of oil and natural gas mining, the government has stabilized into a proto-democracy promoting the use of applications in their own language. behind the software, behind the translation, behind the revolution sits one man. this is his story.
well, today marks my three month anniversary. three lonely months tasting the global fruit and discovering that the question i've set out to answer is no more of a mystery than a mexican diner smack dab on the other-side of the world.
accompanied by a spaniard, a chinese, a new zealander and an australian, this merry fruit basket swung off the FCC roof top terrace into a den of happy pizza joints and one mexican diner. to my own astonishment, i found out that "happy" pizza is not just some local chain store, but instead code for stoners pizza. somewhere between happy to super happy, you can hop on a rocket made of dough and disappear into a blissful wasteland of "no-income" locals. if i would have known that happy pizza was more than just a chain, i would have opted for a something a bit more experimental. my regret runs high.
the concept of mexican food is quite normal to me. hell, it's not normal, but a damn staple of every poor brooklyn moment. sandwiched between $1 USD tacos to $3 USD falafel's, my standard NYC meal-to-go is cheap and authentic. then when i meet a new zealander who's developed a hankering for a burrito, i really started to wonder what exactly is she craving.
my last foray into "real" mexican food + one ocean was bad. on a small street in northern france, i devoured something that looked like a fajita. then came ruby tuesday's in delhi. a nacho plate piled high with cheese, jalipanos and sour cream, my stomach churned butter into milk. scored by the bill and burned by the taste, i was quite leerily of an other mexican meal.
with my only other alternative a "happy" pizza, i rolled the dice and found a seven.
the chips home made. the avocado rich. the black beans and the beef a bit sweet. all-in-all, i found a mini-slice of north america delightfully yummy and close to home.
as our global conversation spanned from reintroduction to work accomplished to our futures, i debated my own situation.
two weeks till the journey's turning point, i've had many thoughts on what will come next. deep within my own kitchen, i am cooking up a plan to combine all the things i've touched, smelled and tasted. sometimes things ends up a bit more sweet; sometimes a bit more bitter. i see my own future baking the stories of today into the power of tomorrow.
my outlook on life has changed, i see this world as a big kitchen full of ingredients, spices, pots, pans, ladles, etc... it's up to us to cook up our own media, feed our minds, nourish our souls and make sure the whole family has a bite to eat. the menu might change, the ingredients will vary, but the global family is always the same and i know there's enough for everyone.
what are you cooking tonight?
"bling, bling, who's dis? oh it's jetset let me call you right back."
attached to this post, you'll find my jetset interview in MOV format... i've you're just tuning in. there are few things you should know...
1. i still need contributions of $11.11
2. i hope some auzzies see this video. on friday, i'll start hitchhiking across the continent. no seriously! i'm going to stick my thumb out and see how far it takes me. if i'm lucky, i should only need my towel.
3. i'm looking on bringing my insanity to the US. if you're hot to trot, join me on this venture.
in the meantime, i'm tanking up on my last few hours of internet uploading flickr photos before moving out of my plush air conditioned & hot water shower hotel room.
today, i had a great interview with Javier from Khmer OS. his story is amazing! with a wondering soul and a dream, Javier is helping create a society educated, trained and technology proficient in their OWN language. after today, i know damn well i'm blessed to have an education and tools i can use without ANY translation.
this evening, hui (a couchsurfer) and i sketched out a quick action plan of activities. tomorrow, breakfast, palace of decadence, morning market, a monument or two to genocide, home cooked lunch and then she'll depart to home school a kid, and i'll fend off the throbbing men becking me into their motorcycle/basket contraptions. (i'm sexy - aka rich - in cambodia!)
tomorrow morning when i shlep my load down the street to huixian's apartment, once again i won't have electricity nor hot water. on the other hand, i'll be chillin with a leo from '78 who's traveled quite a bit, and knows a thing or two about the cheap underbelly of da' Phen.
btw, you should know this country is twisted - it's as if everything is for sale. oh wait, everything is for sale! tonight, i saw a local man get slapped, punched, kicked and thrown into a busy street. this was done by a cambodian military guy in uniform and AK-47 over his shoulder. while at times this country might seem like disney land, the reality is more painful.
i'll regroup in bangkok, but for the next few days i'm going to be off-line. in the meantime...
when i arrived at my hotel, this is the actual email i received from the cambodian evisa services. one should also note that i used my built-in iSight to take the required photo and paypal'ed over the money for this visa. please also be aware that in 2005 oil and natural gas were discovered in the bay of siam and commercial extraction begins in 2009 or early 2010 (according to wikipedia). if you're interested in visiting this place, come soon the prices are going to skyrocket. also, you should know that awikipedia and the US consulate sheets have "nice" write-ups on this lovely "monarchy." the reality is buried in a mass grave around the corner.
Hi noel hidalgo,
Thank you for using Cambodia e-Visa service. We hope to hear from you if you have any feedback and comment regarding Cambodia e-Visa. Please leave your comment at the Cambodia e-Visa blog.
On the other hand, we are collecting information on Cambodia hotels and traveler's travel experience. Please share with us on what to do, where to eat and recommended hotels in Cambodia. We believe the information will be beneficial to other travelers.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Kingdom of Cambodia
NOTE: This is a system generated email, please do not reply to it. For further enquiries you may contact our support team.
day 80. current travel plans for india, bangkok, cambodia, singapore, australia & hawaii (working on new zealand & US west coast
while a detailed set of interviewees are forth coming, i have planned the following flights for india, bangkok, cambodia, singapore, australia and hawaii. all travel times are local. if you know of anyone who's up for a road trip in Austrailia or when I'm back in the USA, hook a brother up! over the next week, i'm going to detail my heart's desire for my great American journey. like tommy, you're all welcome to join me!
depart mumbai, india on 25 sept at 7.30
arrive bangalore, india on 25 sept at 9.00
note, geek dinner on the 26 sept
depart bangalore, india on 28 sept at 3.35
arrive bangkok, thailand on 28 sept at 9.10
my home slices in thailand are hooking me up with some crazy plans. while i don't know exactly what they have in store, it looks fantastic! apparently, i'll be flying to Price of Songkla University and might have a TV interview lined up.
depart bangkok, thailand on 1 oct at 14.50
arrive phnom penh, cambodia on 1 oct at 16.00
interview KhmerOS guys and explore.
depart back to bangkok, thailand on 4 oct at 16.30; arrive at 17.40
since i'll depart the following day at 14h, i'll need a place to stay close to the airport.
depart for darwin on 5 oct at 14.05. depart singapore at 20.20 and arrive in darwin, australia at 2.35 (in the ass crack of morning)
i'll need a place to crash and then i'd like to start a road trip from darwin to sidney. who's game? i want to see the inner part of australia, rural communities and their internet/mobile access. in sidney, i'm still looking for subjects to interview, and hopefully drop by one of the friday night blogger dinners (thanks Emily Reed).
if time allots, i hope to make new zealand to interview some e-gov folks and donald lobo from CiviCRM. in the meantime, hook me up with geek dinners, NGOs and couchsurfers!
depart for hawaii on 20 oct at 18.00 and arrive on the 20 oct at 7.45.
it will be weird traveling through time! sometime on the 25 - 27th i'll depart back to the mainland. it is so weird to think that i'll be back in the US before the end of october, but(instructions on turning your university degree into a paper airplane and photo by flickr user davekellam.)
''My third continent is Asia. From September to October, I will bounce around looking to cover as much as possible. If you have something to add, please feel free!''
the hop from egypt to some place in asia is going to be intense. i would love to take a boat from egypt to india. then i will work my way along the indian ocean, and the second.
== '''week 10''' ==
* '''8 - 15 Sept'''
* '''delhi, india'''
* OSS Camp Delhi - http://www.osscamp.in (8 - 9 September)
* hole in the wall project - http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com [http://www.liftconference.com/videos/view/single/33 video]
== '''week 11''' ==
* '''16 - 22 Sept'''
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal taj mahal]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangalore bangalore]
== '''week 12''' ==
* '''23 - 28 Sept'''
== '''week 13''' ==
* '''30 Sept - 5 Oct'''
* [http://www.theculturedtraveler.com/Archives/Sep2005/Angkor_What.htm Angkor wat]
=== '''Seas to Sail''' ===
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Ocean Indian Ocean]
=== '''Events to Attend''' ===
* 4 October, Sputnik party (50th anniversary of the space race)