Some Days

Some days in Cambodia are like the soup. Some days I wake to a thick, rich bowl of rice porridge, lots of flavor, creamy in a buttery sort of way. But some mornings, it’s a thin bowl of rice and water, thoroughly uninspiring and an ominous start to the day. Like today. Today begins with…Continue readingSome Days

Cambodian Kids at Work

Friends, you are cordially invited to the opening of Jerry’s photo exhibit on Cambodian Kids at Work, at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 10, Le Popil Gallery in Phnom Penh. The exhibit stems from our project to document the ubiquity of child labor in Cambodia. Not only that, but the lives and circumstances of the kids involved.…Continue readingCambodian Kids at Work

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Meeting Hunger on the Trail

We walked through the far northeast corner of Cambodia along a sandy trail through overhanging crops and scattered huts. We met an old man with ripples of veins on skinny, wrinkled legs. He came up from behind and passed us on the path. He had walked ten hours from his home. He sought a small…Continue readingMeeting Hunger on the Trail

Menu for Hope III

Dear Readers, I need your help. More than 850 million hungry people on earth need your help. Beginning today, food bloggers the world over are uniting in the third annual Menu for Hope, a fundraiser for the UN World Food Programme. Last year, Menu for Hope raised more than $17,000 for Unicef, and we hope…Continue readingMenu for Hope III

A Cambodian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 1998, Phnom Penh I spent Thanksgiving 1998 with garbage sweepers and pickers at the Stung Meanchey dump in Phnom Penh. I was working on a story about pollution for The Cambodia Daily. By the following year, I had returned to Oregon and I wrote a Thanksgiving commentary about the workers I had met the…Continue readingA Cambodian Thanksgiving

Hard Labor

The truth about Thai shrimp….Continue readingHard Labor

Lunch at the Dump

In a continuation of our project on child labor, Jerry and I return to the Stung Meanchey dump on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. There, hundreds of families pick through the waste of a million others, sorting plastic bags and bottles and anything of value from the muck and misery left behind. It’s a horrible…Continue readingLunch at the Dump

Monin’s Kitchen

Monin (our dear friend, moto driver, translator and general fixer; you can read his story in my book) takes us to his new house, out toward Russey Keo, through the dusty, gritty streets of suburban Phnom Penh. He turns left, away from the river, down a crowded narrow street buzzing with horse-drawn carts and motos…Continue readingMonin’s Kitchen

Dinner on the Beach

We’re at the Sea Dragon restaurant in Sihanoukville, just a few feet from the South China Sea. The waves lap against sand, and little kids pass through the restaurant, selling bracelets. That’s their job. Dozens of them do it every day, every night, making money for their parents to buy food, pay rent or send…Continue readingDinner on the Beach