So Many Questions And So Much Sadness In Southeast Asia

September 6, 2012

Amazing People (2)

So far my time in Southeast Asia has made me contemplate and look within a lot. It’d be easy to let the sadness of the recent past overwhelm all the awesomeness and smiles currently going on in these countries. But some horrible atrocities have been committed here very much within living memory – namely the […]

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Siem Reap, Cambodia – Asia’s Laboratory For Social Business?

September 5, 2012

Common Grounds Cafe

Siem Reap has a lot of exciting stuff going on from a social business point of view. I’ve never been somewhere so full of social businesses. What’s a social business? To me, it’s a business that exists to benefit a cause, a community, or humanity instead of maximizing investment return for shareholders. Or, put another […]

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Sunrise And Motorcycle Rescue At Angkor Wat

September 4, 2012

Sunrise At Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world. At 400 square kilometers / 154 square miles, the site is enormous. It’s full of temples and structures built between the 9th and 15th centuries. It is believed that this site was the largest pre-industrial city in the world. What started off as monuments to […]

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Are Cambodians The Happiest People On Earth?

September 3, 2012

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As I learned about all the horrible things that have happened here in Cambodia over the years, and fresh off the horrible things I learned in Vietnam, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m in the wrong country. Cambodia is very poor. It ranks 147 out of 183 measured countries on the IMF’s GDP per capita scale […]

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What A $5 Hotel Looks Like In Cambodia

September 1, 2012

The Room

$5 will get you a meal and milkshake/smoothie at touristy restaurants. It’ll get you 13 1.5L bottles of water. It’ll get you 10 rides on a motorcycle taxi around the city. But it’ll also get you a night in a nice guesthouse near the center of town. I stayed at the appropriately-named “Happy Guesthouse” in […]

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Photo Friday – A Sunset Through Monk Eyes – Bang Mun Nak, Thailand

August 31, 2012

Monk Sunset - Taken 24-Aug-2012 - Bang Mun Nak, Thailand

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The Angkor Butterfly Center

August 30, 2012

Butterflies

On the way to the Cambodian Landmine Museum, I passed by the Angkor Butterfly Center. The landmine museum was kind of heavy, as you can imagine, so I asked my motorcycle taxi driver if we could stop at the butterfly center on the way back. The butterfly center serves as an alternative for local farmers. […]

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Aki Ra – Change Your Community, Change The World.. A True Hero

August 29, 2012

Aki Ra thumb

Outside the city of Siem Reap is the Cambodia Landmine Museum. It was on my list of things to see, but had I not been encouraged by someone on my Facebook page I may not have gone. But, the stars aligned and I’m so glad they did. Aki Ra had a tough life by any […]

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Getting Beaten Up By An 80lb Woman And Other Fun Massage/Acupuncture Experiences

August 28, 2012

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In Siem Reap I got a chance to try a few things I’ve never done before. When confronted with the opportunity to try something new, within reason, I never turn down the opportunity! Acupuncture I was familiar with acupuncture before coming here, but I had never had it done before. I don’t have any health […]

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Phnom Penh – Capital Of The Kingdom Of Cambodia

August 27, 2012

Wat Phnom

Phnom Penh is not at all what I expected. It is a modern metropolis full of cars (quite a change from all the scooters in Ho Chi Minh City), the architecture is very similar to Thailand’s, and the people were so nice and unrushed. That said, it was a bit eerie walking down the streets […]

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Crazy Hair Fundraiser Update!

August 26, 2012

My Crazy Hair

Sadly, despite my best efforts to raise money on the streets of Vientiane, Laos the day before my birthday, I raised no money in person for my Wigs For Kids fundraiser. Since the last update I went home, did lots of media, and was in the Cleveland media. All these things only brought in $200, […]

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Suffering A Technological Setback In Cambodia And The Expensive Solution

August 25, 2012

Universal AC Adapter

Up until now I’ve been spared any technological disasters. But I suffered my first setback in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The first sign something was wrong was that I put my hand next to the left side of my computer and got electrocuted. It wasn’t a strong shock, but you’re not supposed to get shocked by […]

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Photo Friday – You Gotta Manage Those Darn Foreigners! – Luang Prabang, Laos

August 24, 2012

You Gotta Manage Those Foreigners! - Taken 14-Aug-2012 - Luang Prabang, Laos

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A Glimpse Into Cambodia’s Recent Dark Past

August 23, 2012

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Cambodia has a very dark recent past that most people don’t know about. When you think of the word genocide you probably think of the holocaust. But there was a genocide in the late-1970’s in Cambodia claiming some 2,000,000 lives – about a quarter of the Cambodian population at the time. S21 S21 was the […]

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Sunday Lunch With Four Generations Of A Vietnamese Family – And I Was Invited!

August 22, 2012

Eating Lunch On The Floor

On my last day in Ho Chi Minh City I had the opportunity to do something wonderful – have a family lunch with a friend’s family! My friend, Dung, and I met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2004 while in training for the oil company we were both to start working for, Schlumberger. We stayed […]

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Volunteering With Smile Group In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam And Visiting A Buddhist Orphanage/Nursing Home

August 21, 2012

Drawing With One Of The Kids

Smile Group is an organization started by Nguyen Van Hung to help children live in dignity with AIDS. More specifically, their mission statement is “to restore dignity and hope to children and families affected by AIDS, through financial, educational, moral and psychological support. We are committed to helping children and young adults have equal access to […]

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Being An American In Vietnam

August 20, 2012

Me And My New Friend Thanh

Many people asked me what it’s like being an American in Vietnam. I’d say it’s probably quite similar to being a Brazilian or a Swede in Vietnam. There were no problems or hard feelings at all. I experienced this phenomenon in the Middle East. When I moved to Abu Dhabi in 2004 I expected a […]

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