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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Prey Vêng, Cambodia

Oct 28, 2009 - Traditional medicine

I was examining a woman yesterday to see if she was healthy enough to have dental work and as I looked at her stomach, I noticed that she had multiple round scars. Although I had heard of the traditional medicine practice of coining (placing hot coins on the stomach), this was the first time that I had seen it. It made me think about the role of traditional medicine in healing. Each one of the 52 mothers in our study has used traditional medicines, mostly dissolved in alcohol or water, with two main purposes: to increase breast milk and...

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Trip Journal


A month in Cambodia

Oct 27, 2009 - Rice and teeth

Today was an exciting day in Svay Chrum village. As Tone, a nursing student I work with, and I biked over to the clinic to see some babies, we noticed a crowd of people. It turned out to be the World Food Program's distribution of rice. I learned some of the details from the men who staff the TB clinic. All patients with TB are alotted a certain amount of rice 4 times per year. They also receive iodized salt. I took several pictures of men and women bicycling and moto-ing away with their rice that I will post when I leave the country....

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A month in Cambodia

Oct 26, 2009 - Snake in the Bathroom

After another delicious lunch of rice and papaya, I went to the restroom only to find a long, thin, bright green (scary!) snake! I must have yelped because one of the men around the house came and promptly killed it for me. He showed me his handiwork and then dumped it into the lake. Our study is nearing completion. We have enrolled all of the babies and are almost done with follow-up. I'm working now on analyzing the data. It appears like there may be significant vitamin B1 deficiency in this part of Cambodia. It is now evening and has...

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A month in Cambodia

Oct 25, 2009 - Countryside Wanderings

I made it back to the country via motorcycles, a taxi and a ferry. Today, I decided to bike to the market to get some fruit because Sokah, the cook, has the day off on Sunday. Forty-five minutes and a lot of sweat work later, I was there. I managed to get 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) of fruit for less than $2 and a bottle of water. On the way back, I took the scenic route and saw rural Cambodia at its best. People were out in the rice fields with their water buffolo and animals dotted the roads. There was a wedding with speakers blaring and people...

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A month in Cambodia

Oct 22, 2009 - Back in Phnom Penh

I am happy to be able to write again after being out in the country for awhile. I came back to Phnom Penh yesterday and have been staying at an orphanage with some Americans and 20 boys! It's noisy and wonderful. Today, I went with some of the boys to the "dump." It's a trash heap where many people live. It was incredibly sad to see the living conditions. As we walked through, we saw babies wading in the water and people showering with the water! I helped out at the clinic and saw all kinds of illness (not unexpected). There were lots of...

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A month in Cambodia

Oct 19, 2009 - Out in the country

I've been out in the country now for more than a week. The couple I'm living with have such good hearts. It is wonderful to see the projects that they have initiated to improve the living conditions of the people in their community. Some things I've learned: Mosquitoes love me. Wealth can be measured by livestock. For example, a family with 2 fully grown cows is rich. Children tend to be happy everywhere. I can survive on rice, vegetables and meat although coffee and sugar make me pretty happy. A night on the porch talking and singing songs...

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A month in Cambodia

Oct 14, 2009 - Arrival

We travelled today to the small village, named Svay Chrum. We first took a shared taxi with 7 people to the Mekong River. From there, we took a ferry across the river and then a motorcycle for the last 2 hours. It was a wonderful way to see the countryside. The house is a beautiful wooden structure that has been called their "Robinson Crusoe house" by friends. It is built on stilts about 8 feet off the ground and all of the windows open out (pictures to come). I have my own room, complete with mosquito net. From one of my windows, I can see...

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A month in Cambodia

Oct 13, 2009 - Travel to Prey Veng

We are traveling today to the smaller village. I will have more limited internet access (none). I am excited to see the house where Debbie and John (the Nurse Practitioner and doctor that I'll stay with for the month) live. They grow all their own vegetables and raise chickens. They also have their own well. I had dinner with Debbie last night by the Mekong River. She has a kind demeanor and is very easy to talk to, two traits that make it likely that my stay with her will be lovely. We talked about the study that she has started and about...

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A month in Cambodia

Sep 29, 2008 - Saigon

We arrived in Saigon by sleeper train at 4am. It's a city that never sleeps. Our hotel here is very central,opposite a large park where thousands of people gather very early in the morning for exercise and fresh air ,though the air here is not that fresh with the millions of motor bikes that everyone uses. Today Wed 1/10/08,we are leaving Saigon and crossing the border for Cambodia. The day will be mostly taken up by bus travel,we arrive at our new hotel by mid afternoon.

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Jul 7, 2008 - Mekong Delta, Chau Doc

After 8 hours on a bus (with a few "happy room" stops along the way, we arrived in Chau Doc. There was not much to see in this trading town on the Vietnam side of the border. We basically walked around for a bit, had a simple dinner (it is safe to say that I am getting sick of dinners comprised of fried noodles, fried rice or fried vegetables) and then went to our rooms. The nice part about the evening was that these Australian girls, Mel and Diana came to our room to watch tv/talk with us. I am so glad I've met such super people on this trip!

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Month in SE Asia

Jun 23, 2008 - Mekong Delta, Chau Doc

The Mekong River is HUGE. Numerous delta fingers of the river mean ferry crossings, and boats of various sizes and every possible function everywhere. The bus ride from Saigon was about 5 hours, and the countryside a patchwork of rice fields (3 crops a year!) with strips of houses and the invariable family business along the road. Chau Doc is a smallish town with a somewhat "down in it's heels" feel about it. The river houses (small dwellings on very tall stilts) are often made of corrugated iron, and the smell of poverty abounds. /So not...

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Feb 23, 2008 - Mekong Delta / Chau Doc

We continue to have a great time. There are lots of computer places, but it is hard to find time to sit down and use one as there are so many things to do! It was a 5 hr drive from Sihanoukville to the Vietnam border -we travelled in 2 vans. It took about an hour to clear customs and we continued on to Chau Doc where we checked in to our hotel and then boarded motorbike taxis for a drive to the top of Mt. Sam for a panoramic view. It was great fun and the drivers were excellent. In Vietnam helmets are compulsory - not elsewhere! Dinner cost...

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