Dear Readers (A.K.A. Mom and Dad),
The best thing about the written word may be that there’s no need to tell me that I’m talking too fast. With less than 5 hours before I head to LAX to begin my journey to Cambodia, racing thoughts continue tumbling from my mouth at incomprehensible speeds. My inability to convert this excited energy into focused productivity has prevented me from packing up until an hour ago. However, now that my roommate and travel partner, Christopher Buoy, and I and packed and ready, I can’t believe the time is here!
First, a warning to my audience: I am not a blogger. I am not tech-savvy nor am I one to sit down and journal, frankly because I spend most of my free time eating and sleeping or wandering (a lost art). Additionally, I may be the worst speller you ever meet. However, as I head to Cambodia to engage with an HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness program through an NGO named WOMEN, I feel a blog will not only allow me to share exciting and moving experiences, but provide a space for self-reflection and discussion. As a student studying Global Poverty and Practice at UC Berkeley, I have participated in numerous discussions about the ethical dilemmas surrounding work aboard. We have tackled issues ranging from accountability, privilege, and statistical documentation to broad and universal systems that continue to maintain poverty and inequality in today’s world. We have discussed how knowledge, language, images and even ideals of space and time may be “framed” in order to sustain systems of power by prioritizing select voices over others. As I work and write, I will turn to these themes as they are relevant to my experience as well as HIV/AIDS and poverty work at large. Other times, this site will be flooded with photographs as I am undeniably addicted to my camera.
Sitting on my cluttered bedroom floor in Wrightwood, California- a land where bears outnumber humans- I am more than ready for a change of pace and scenery. I am excited beyond words to arrive in the country with a rich and tragic history that I have spent countless hours researching and discussing. For those interested in studying up on colonization, the Golden Age, the Khmer Rouge (the world’s second largest genocide), and modern Cambodia and culture- as I assume everyone is- I will gladly list some recommend writings as soon as I learn to present them in a cool list with help from Chris (who is just a tad smarter than me). For now though, thanks for checking in and stay tuned for seven weeks to see how this girl takes on Cambodia! Time for me to catch my plane!