Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Plastic bag country

I just read this on KI media, a report from a woman traveling through Cambodia.
Thats a quote from her report:
Watching the landscape from my window seat, the thing that immediately caught my eye was the massive piles of plastic and plastic bags flying around the fields and roads.
Cambodia seems to be buried in heaps of plastic and whilst this particular road was tarmac, it was not the most pleasant journey I have experienced.
The second thing I noted was that there are endless numbers of children around; playing along the street, walking, hitchhiking and waving at the tourist buses.

Whenever me and my wife goes shopping, we use our cotton bags we brought from Germany. And whenever we say "No bag, thank you", then people are surprised (mainly they understand why we reject this free bag).

What we call dirty is common here. Wether its the city or the countryside: People don't care about the waste, as long its not covering some space they need to use. Then they burn it.

Later on she is talking about the kids in Phnom Penh:
if you want to do something for these kids you should gather them together and take them to dinner or lunch at any of the local food stalls.

You can feed ten kids for as little as US$3-4. There is also a lot of organised begging and book selling going on in the capital and I was not sure if the kids were actually able to keep the money or had to hand it to a superior.

Buying a book from either a landmine victim or a child is another option for putting some money back into the community - money better spent than paying the US$6 admission fee at the grand palace.

I don't agree. What people (children and adult) learn, is that there is always a foreigner helping them. Tourists are buying copied books, NGOs are running a big part of the health sector, education and social development. If there is no change in this, people wil beg for food forever. Note: 70 percent are under the poverty line of 2 US$ a day.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Turn 10 $ into 50000

Beth Kanther asked me to blog this, and I really want to help her with it.
We have a chance to win $50,000 - if we get the most number of unique
donors. Right now we're in second place with 7 more days to go. I'm
reaching out to my network to ask if they will blog or twitter about
the campaign, ask their networks to contribute the minimum donation of
$10. The contest ends on January 31st

Read Beths blog about this story

You can donate here

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Darfur and human rights

I am a little bit concerned about the Phnom Penhs administrations decision to not allow the Darfur demonstration. Its not the first time, that the administration is talking about what their opinion is and not what the law is. Thats the long way Cambodia still hast to go: that the government has to follow the law, only the law, and not if they like a topic or if they find it useful or not.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunset in Sihanoukville

I am just back from Sihanoukville, where I spend some days of relaxation with my wife Nataly and my mother, who is visiting us these days.
We stayed in the Independence Hotel, and I really recommend to go there: Even the call it still a soft opening, the bar at the beach is a beatuful spot to chill, the beach itself is quiet and clean, the hotel has a awesome view in the 7th floor, service is good, wifi in the room.
Sunset 1

Sunday, January 6, 2008

New Year

Ok I was a bit quiet here the last weeks, but it was Christmas, the busyiest time in the toy year. So I am sorry for some delay.
I was talking to someone I met in a cafe, discussing the need of online shops in Cambodia. Do people online shopping here? Not yet I think , but as soon as ANZ will provide credit cards, people can set up Amazon Accounts or PAypal Accounts. Even now its possible to shop. The better the internet connection is (and for shopping, its still fast enaough), the more people will try that. Think of them in the provinces ike Battambang. They will love online shopping. Apsara TV is doin a - strange - TV-shopping, but I heard its not so bad in success.
So, its not the next big thing for Cambodia, but if technical and financial obstacles are gone, there will be a big online market here!

My dog pixie

My dog Pixie at Tonle Bati
We had a trip to Tonle Bati Lake... with the staff from both Exotissimo Travel and Monument Books