A couple days ago, I got the official word that I'll be going to Cambodia! I was really excited since I had three choices (Samoa, Cambodia, or Azerbaijan), but was leaning heavily towards Cambodia. I like the idea of being in an overwhelmingly Buddhist country (plus, from my reading, it seemed to be a bit safer than the other two -- maybe or maybe not a cause and effect relationship, who knows). I guess that's my main reason for getting excited, but I'm also interested in SE Asia in general, and I'm interested to see how microfinance effects conditions there. As I mentioned on the homepage, I'm also pumped about tropical fruits. Heh.
I learned that I'll be working with an institution called CREDIT (Kiva page) when I'm there. They have a very long relationship (relatively speaking) with Kiva; they've been there from the start. I sent out a few emails to the Kiva fellow whose place I'll be taking in February, as well as some other key contacts. I'm really excited to learn more.
Maybe my assignment to Cambodia was at least in part due to the power of suggestion; I preemptively borrowed about 10 books from the library on Cambodia so I could start studying as soon as it was officially announced. I'm reading history, trying to figure out the language, and learning about the culture. I'm also studying a lot of microfinance literature that has been assigned to me by Kiva, plus some things I've stumbled upon by myself. It's a great feeling to be constantly engaged in some sort of study.
I'm searching for a tutor who can help me with pronunciation and some basic sentences. It's pretty hard! Khmer (the language of Cambodia) seems to have many consonant clusters in its words, sometimes up to 5 consonants per 1 vowel in a syllable. It's really great to have a reason to learn a language though. Anyways, back to various studies. Don't forget to subscribe with your RSS reader!