This month I’ve escaped the the sterile frozen climate of NE China to the hot and vibrant environment of Thailand and Cambodia! It is primarily a work trip, but just being warm is wonderful! My legs are freely moving on my runs and my lungs are getting a fresh air wash-out. Ahhh…
Last weekend I was in Chiang Mai Thailand at my agency’s annual conference for all the partners serving in China. It is wonderful to catch up with the work and life of my colleagues, and learn about certain movements and activities which are otherwise not publishable.
Yesterday I arrived in Phenom Penh – greeted at the airport by a gracious and helpful Cambodian who is himself a director of a local NGO! What a wonderful way to begin my stay. Last night I had dinner with some great friends here – John and Deb Coats. I first visited Cambodia 10 years ago and stayed in their bamboo house in a rural village and built wonderful memories. Although we have connected several times over the years, it is wonderful to cross paths once again in their host country.
This morning I have a meeting with a couple who are about as well-connected as possible in the counter-trafficking circles in this country. We have shared interests and goals to take after-care, prevention, research to a higher level in this country and throughout Asia, all in the context of training and building capacity of indigenous peoples everywhere. Later on in the week I’ll be doing some trainings and consulting at Destiny Rescue’s rural after care shelter. I’m looking forward to building on these relationships and develop other collaborative partners in the work here. There is a dire need for better, well-informed health care to meet the deep needs of these traumatized children and young adults.
After this stint in Cambodia, I’m headed back to Chiang Mai to participate in a continuing medical education conference (sponsored by CMDA) for like-minded health professionals serving in Asia. It’s an every two year event that brings hundreds of us from all over together for learning, encouragement, and a bit of fun as well. As far as conferences go, this is the best one I’ve ever attended!
Happy Chinese New Year to everyone – it is the year of the Rabbit!