Last weekend there was a great opportunity to help teach a writing course on transit and movement to a group of nearly 33 writers. We went from Phnom Penh to an eco-resort in this area called Chambork, which is near Kirirom and on the road to the Cambodian coast. The experience was breathtaking and enlivening as I didn’t know what to expect. The only trouble was lacking caffeine, as I had developed quite the habit for coffee in the days leading up to the event. I was also extremely tired from lack of sleep, which turned an already surreal Cambodian experience into a series of flashes and scenes. The experience was entirely worth it, even if my own educator capabilities were thwarted and turned on their heels by many different negative factors. First we start with the bus trip, which started around six in the morning. Me and Randa, a brilliant writer who’s also studying law:
Chanta, the organizer of the trip and one of several poetic visionaries in Cambodia. The trip was his idea to not only inspire writers, but also teach young children the value of writing.
As you can see, the bus we rented was packed.
Mony, a journalist working for Voices of America, who happened to become my impromptu translator.
Conducting the training (I think many of the folks were asleep, actually) on poetics and movement.
Some scenes from Kampong Speu:
Our arrival to the village:
When we greeted the children of the village and introduced ourselves to them, we did so seated in the pagoda:
Soknea presents the director of the school and a community representative with a few copies of the Nou Hach journal:
After the children left, the writers broke into groups to prepare an afternoon lesson on writing for the children.
And then some lunch.
These are fish:
This is hand sanitizer:
No WC. Just a faucet:
Killing some time before the lessons: