Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 23, 2017

Good morning.  We have been busy since I last wrote.

Looking back to Tuesday (2.21.17), our meeting with Room to Read went very well.  We met with Kall Kann who is the Room to Read Country Director for Cambodia. Our program and their program have a lot of overlap so it was interesting to hear about their work.  They have been running libraries for a long time so he gave us a lot of insight into what makes a successful library program.  The biggest take away for me is that you can't simply put books near Cambodian kids and think they will pick them up because this has not been part of their culture.  Because books have not been part of their culture, he cautioned us that books are not enough as we start our library.  He told us we need to do something to nurture reading, to build a habit of reading.  Kids need to have interactive experiences to learn how to make use of the books.  I had not thought about this before.

February 22, 2017

Yesterday we went to Kandall which is one of the provinces we work in.  There we met with the girls in our program to discuss how they are doing in school, what their goals are and what they would like to do with their future.  Several of the CASF university students joined us and led group discussions with the younger girls.  These conversations are the best part of the trip. This is the heart of the work we do and it is always inspiring to hear the girls talk about their school experiences and hopes for the future.

Photos taken on the way to and from Kandall.

We ate dinner at my favorite restaurant in Phnom Penh, Malis, last night. They specialize in traditional Khmer food and it is absolutely delicious.

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