Sunday, July 29, 2007

Culture Shock

I'm in Siem Reap right now, home of Angkor Wat, which is about five hours north of Phnom Phen.

Our group is staying at a four star hotel, which for me is a very difficult transition from villages with no electricity.

While everyone else is talking about how nice everything is (the spa, the pool, massages, facials, et cetera), I just can't enjoy all of these luxeries.

Last night Dal and Alex (who also share my sentiments) found little noodle shop on a side street a couple blocks from the hotel. Open air, no AC, and fruit smoothies for 50 cents. That's my definition of luxery.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Arsenic and Old Lace

Yesterday I to a small village to test their drinking water for arsenic with Sua, a local Christian and RDI employee. Sua and I share a common love of Manchester United and 1960's motown songs (our rendition of "Uptown Girl" was pretty much amazing), so we had a really good time.

Getting to these small villages is an adventure in and of itself, which includes taking ferries, 4 wheel drive only roads, and crossing really sketchy, rickety bridges.

Driving home we went through the downtown /tourist area, including the gorgeous multi-million dollar mansions built by government officials who pocket almost all of the humantarian aid/relief money (remember that next time you donate to the U.N. or Red Cross).

It's such a tragic and disgusting contrast to families we visited, who literally lived in houses without walls- just a sheet metal roof with dirt floors.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Well I've been in Cambodia for several days now, but for the the last 2 I've been in a small village without running water or electricity, let alone DSL.

We've been building a huge rain collecter, as currently their only source of water is the filthy river that runs through the village. The well water has deadly levels of arsenic in it.

We also distributed some clay-pot water filters, which remove toxins from the water with tiny, microscopic holes. Really quite ingenius.

In the evenings we've been playing a lot of soccer with children from the village- it's so much fun but absolutely exhausting in this climate.

Pictures coming soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I'm in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam right now.

The airport is by far the oldest and most run down I've been in yet. The customs agent didn't seem to like me- I wanted to remind him that they actually won the war so I should be the one holding a grudge (granted, he didn't burn down my parent's village).

The Whiskey is very expensive here (in contrast to Tokyo where they had free samples- don't worry, I didn't break covenant), however, the cigerettes are much cheaper than back home. Alex Biven and I are considering buying a bunch and setting up a black market operation.

Anyway, it's time that I actually got going to Cambodia.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lost in Translation

Well, we're stuck in Tokyo because we missed our flight to Hong Kong.

Now we have been redirected and will be traveling through Ho Chi Minh city.

My first time in a communist country!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

See ya later Heber.

It was real. It was fun. But it wasn't real fun.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey

"Artists are often the barometers of society, and by analyzing the worldviews embedded in their works we can learn a great deal about how to address the modern mind more effectively. Yet many Christians critique culture one-dimensionally, from a moral perspective alone, and as a result they come across as negative and condemning. "

"Our first response to the great works of human culture-- whether in art or in technology or economic productivity-- should be to celebrate them as reflections of God's own creativity. And when we analyze where they go wrong, it should be in a spirit of love."

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Today was my last day of work at Karolyn's Kitchen. All of the other waiters and waitresses pitched in and bought me a piece of cheesecake as a going away present, which was quite delicious.

Granted, the cheesecake was actually my idea.

That is to say that everyone buying me the cheesecake was my idea.

This was accomplished by telling everyone, "Hey, just to let you know, all of the waiters are pitching in and buying me a piece of cheesecake as a going away present."

Mmhhhmmm. Cheesecake.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thought(s) on the Week

Aki, the retired Japaneses chef who lives next door made me supper the other night and it was delicious. Honestly one of the best meals I've ever had.

It's really hard to make money waiting tables when no one comes in.

In a very Kyle Cogar esq moment I actually used an episode of South Park as a source in a conversation about Mormonism with several members of the LDS church. As I no doubt should have learned from Kyle- that's not a good idea.

I trying to appreciate the irony that I came home to see my family and yet this is the second week this summer that both my little brother and parents have been out of state (or country)= leaving me home alone. And I have to try to explain to Peter and Jen, Derek and Kristina, and Jason and Corey why I missed their weddings.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Home Alone

My little brother is in California, my older brother is in Kentucky, and my parents are in Mongolia (yeah! Mongolia), so I'm home all alone all week (I'm not sure if that's completely safe to publish on the internet). To make matters worse my homeboy Darrick is in Tuscon taking summer classes (and all of my other friends from high school are on their 2 year LDS mission).

However, I was dramatically cheered up by two completely unexpected phone calls from my good friends Joel and Graham. Both are doing well and told me how God is doing incredible things in their lives. What an encouragement!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Small Town Hip Hop

Friday night Darrick and I decided that we should incorporate a Flight of the Concords-esq hip hop battle as part of our set the following night. We decided to rap about the only thing that we really knew well- and that's the White Mountains.

Shockingly , "Small Town Hip Hop" was a big success. In response to popular demand, the recording should be coming out soon- so watch out.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This Week

My boss has been in Phoenix with her new grand baby, so i've been the only one working the coffee shop all week.

I also have been working nights at Karolyn's Kitchen, which basically means that after working 14 hours every day I don't have a lot of time for sleep.

I'm averaging three espresso drinks a day- I think I'm developing a tolerance.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I heart Bryce

Do yourself a favor, download this song.

The Day Thus Far

5:30 AM- I wake up after being up way too late
5:45 AM- in a rush to get ready for work I over cook one of my fried eggs and under cook the other (bleh)
6:05 AM- I get about three feet past my drive way before I realize that my front bicycle tire is completely flat- and I have neither a replacement tube or the time to change it.
6:30 AM -2:30 PM- work a rather frustrating shift of work in which I ran out ice, caramel, chocolate, and numerous other important coffee shop ingredients.
2:45- Slice my hand open cleaning the espresso machine, it bleeds profusely all over place and I have to call my parents to have them help me clean the store.
3:00- Find out that I got doubled booked and I missed a shift at my second job while working my first one.


I guess you could say I'm in a "glass half empty" kind of mood.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fourth of July Festivities + a LOT of flatlanders = one very tired barista/waiter.

And I still have to get up early, open the coffee shop, get off in time to teach Sunday School, and play piano in church.

Praise God for coffee.