After watching the sideshow read the introductions and farewells found below!
Farwell to Michael and Lisa Bade
By Tony Janzen
On October 3rd, the MCC Cambodia team said “goodbye” to Michael and Lisa after 4 years living and working in Cambodia. Lisa worked as the Global Family Partner Advisor and Michael served as Videographer for MCC Southeast Asia. They lived in Prey Veng Town, which is about a 2.5 hour drive Southeast of Phnom Penh. They have since returned to their home in Seattle, Washington.
The MCC Cambodia team will miss them for many reasons. Primarily, they were passionate about working collaboratively and respectfully with their Cambodian counterparts, and creatively approaching development work and story telling. Additionally they provide the MCC team support, welcoming visitors at their place in Prey Veng to escape the bustling life of Phnom Penh, and providing advice and expertise to the rest of the team in their own work.
Our farewell gathering consisted of a boat ride on the Mekong River where we played trivia game, with most questions specific to Michael and Lisa. Teams got a chance to guess the names of Michael’s published book and cd, and what color (purple) Lisa dyed her hair while teaching in the U.S. After the boat ride, the team headed to one of our favorite Indian restaurants located on the riverside.
The Bade’s will be missed by many in the Cambodian community, and we here at MCC Cambodia think and pray for them as they start the transition of returning home.
Farewell to Seiha
by Ringsey Rath
Seiha has worked for MCC as an Exchange Coordinator for 11 years and 10 months. With her long-term assignment, MCC found that Seiha is an asset and a much appreciated staff. She had put so much effort and passions to serve Cambodia people/beneficiaries through MCC projects. With MCC, Seiha also played as the Partner Advisor for the partner named Initiatives of Change Association (ICA). She assisted ICA’s president in project development and proposal writing. She involved actively with ICA’s activities, especially social activities such as study kids for pupils, rice and pork packages for volunteer youths. Seiha devoted many years of her life to the work of MCC, and we are all sad sad sad to see her leave, but excited for her in her new position of service to her community.
Welcome to Sophea Ly! Exchange Coordinator
I work as Exchange Coordinator. I graduated from the Human Resource University in field of Management and Accounting from the National Institute of Business. I did the MCC IVEP exchange program in 2013/2014. During this year I lived in Harrison Virginia and worked at the Gift and Thrift Store.
My main job is to work with young adult that MCC sends to other countries. I will be the one who is in charge of selection process, visa request for applicants and give them support while they are in their year of serving.
It was always my dream to work for a non-for-profit organization but look at what God has responded me. I work for an international Christian none profit organization. I love the vision, mission and value of MCC. I felt like I am an important resource to work for MCC as I could be a piece of puzzle that try to make better change in my country.
I like spending with friends, listening to music, cooking, nature view, and of course drinking Cambodian Ice with sweet milk coffee and I am interested in travelling.
Welcome Hanna Kurtz! Peace Program Advisor
As Peace Support Worker, I will be working with two Cambodian NGOs, Women Peacemakers and Returnee Integration Support Center. I will assist both of these organization in program development, management, and evaluation.
Despite moving many times as I child, I always say I grew up in Westover, MD, on my Grandfather’s farm property. I graduated from Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore, PA, in 2013, with a special major in Peace and Conflict Studies and a minor in Educational Studies. In the fall of 2011 I did a semester abroad at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, in Belfast, Northern Ireland and I interned at two Northern Irish young adult focused peace organizations. During college I worked at the college theatre as a stagehand, technician, and stage manager, as well as babysitting and interning with MCC Peace and Justice, in Akron PA, and Broad Street Ministry’s Youth Initiative, in Philadelphia, PA. After graduating from Swarthmore, I was a SALTer at the Arab Episcopal School in Irbid, Jordan.
One of my favorite experiences so far as been hiking up Ba Phnom. It was one of my first experiences with traditional Cambodian architecture and religious symbols, and of course the view was beautiful. The landscape was different from anything else I had ever seen.
One of my goals for this year is to be able to give general directions around the city, in either Khmer or English.
Other than my parents, family, and friends, I’m going to really miss knowing the restaurants around and knowing where to get good food. I guess this just means I have to explore the restaurants here in Phnom Penh.
Welcome Henry Stewart! SALT, Teaching English at RUPP
This year, I’m teaching pre-intermediate English to scholarship students at the Royal University of Phnom Penh as part of the English Language Support Unit.
My favorite experience in Cambodia so far has been getting more involved with my host brothers’ lives, having conversations with moto taxi drivers, and trying pong tia koun (half-developed duck eggs) for the first time. They are so good. Words cannot describe.
I will miss my family, my best friend Phil Scott (who showed me what friendship could be), playing the piano and the feelings of winter.
Henry’s blog is here: http://yearinthekingdom.wordpress.com/
Welcome Keila Medina – YAMEN Child Support Worker at Let Us Create
During this year I will work with children. I will teach music, English and also about oral hygiene.
My favorite experience in Cambodia is learning something new every day (language, culture etc) here I can learn than no matter if the people are poor, professional or not, I ALWAYS can learn from them. My favorite job at work I love serve the lunch because the kids are very excited in the lunch time, really I love this.
I miss a lot of things especially, my younger brother, speaking Spanish!
Welcome Sara Klassen – Editor and Story Collector for School of Peace
I am working for Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) as a communications assistant. So far I have been editing stories collected by ICF colleagues from indigenous contexts, but I will soon start interviewing alumni from ICF’s School of Peace and writing their stories.
My favorite experiences in Cambodia so far have been building relationships first with the girls at the EMM dorm and now with my host family. A close second favorite is the thrill of biking in crazy city traffic.
Besides missing family and friends, I think I will most miss the change of seasons and the feeling of jeans being cozy rather than feeling like Saran wrap on your legs.
Welcome Audrey Thill! – SALT: Advocacy Assistant at Building Community Voices
This year, I’m working with an NGO called Building Community Voices (BCV). BCV is an NGO that trains people in media, advocacy, and organizing so that marginalized groups can voice their concerns about issues such as land grabbing and forced evictions. My role is to facilitate communication between BCV and its current donors and assist with English language editing.
So far, I have loved trying different kinds of fruit and learning Khmer.
Other than family and friends, I think I’ll miss the Indiana outdoors and seasonal changes
Welcome Yui Iwase – SALT: Demonstration Farm Coordinator
I am working at The Organization to Develop Our Villages this year. As the Demonstration Farm Coordinator, I will be working with the other farmers onsite to research different varieties of seeds and experiment with different sustainable agricultural techniques.
My favorite experience so far in Cambodia… wandering around the demonstration farm with one of the farmers foraging different foods to make samlaa (Cambodian soup).
What I will miss is farming in the fall weather back home!
Welcome Allision Montgomery – SALT: Program Assistant at Precious Woman
I am working as Program Assistant at Precious Women, a partner organization of MCC that works with women who have been sexually exploited in the entertainment industry of Cambodia. I will be editing documents and grant proposals, brainstorming and planning for a 5 year strategy fundraising plan for the organization, updating and maintaining the website and other social media platforms, and providing assistance wherever else is needed.
One of the experiences in Cambodia so far that makes me laugh the most when I think of it (so therefore has to be one of my favourites) was when our team was in Prey Vang visiting Lisa and Michael, and Keila and I, after only a week or so of language class were with a Khmer host family that spoke no English. Our first night there we were absolutely exhausted and heading to our room but we wanted to first say goodnight to the two girls we had been sitting with. We couldn’t remember the word, so we said “Knom keeng,” meaning “I sleep.” They nodded but for some reason we weren’t satisfied enough with that exchange and so we each kept repeating “knom keeng, knom keeng,” pointing to ourselves and motioning to our room. We were wanting them to respond saying “goodnight” so that we could learn the term, but that point was not coming across. So then we started waving at them (as they stood right in front of us) and said “sua sday! sua sday!” meaning “hello! hello!” and then once again motioned goodnight, waving our hands some more and motioning to our room. They just kept standing their nodding, clearly understanding that we were going to sleep and wondering why we kept saying hello and repeating ourselves. Finally we heard ourselves and realized how ridiculous we sounded, ran away to our room and died of laughter as we replayed our one sentence conversation attempt.
Besides missing my family and people at home, and missing driving a car, probably at the top of the list is cheddar cheese.
Allison’s Blog is: is http://girlwithabackpack.tumblr.com
Welcome អ៉ុយដូងចន្រ្ទ (Doung Chang!)
I come from Prev Veng Province and am studying accounting at the Cambodian Mekong University. I will work at MCC as an Office Assistant.
I am excited to work for MCC to gain experience, make a salary to help support every day living, and for the chance to follow Christ. In my free time I enjoy reading English books, playing tennis, researching, and talking with friends.