Friday, August 6, 2010

Brogues, Baubles, and Balance

Last night, I had dinner with a few friends at an Indonesian restaurant. Amid our sharing of curried and spiced dishes of grilled eggplant and chicken, and the constant clinking of our glasses, we spoke about the torrential downpour outside, Shriya's return to the States (via Laos and India), and our ongoing need to digest our time in Phnom Penh. One friend, a French gal researching the impact of Korean mining investments in this country, has lived in Phnom Penh for almost three years. She told me that only when she leaves the country --to Korea, to France, to Sweden, to wherever she may go -- is she able to actually comprehend the toll her work and her daily life exacts on her. It is only then, she believes, that she can digest these experiences. As much as the city can grate on her sensibilities, however, she is not done with Cambodia. She hopes to stay another year.

She also cautioned me that, particularly given the nature of my work, I need to diligently try to find a balance, to allow myself the indulgence of lighter things. Hmm. Given my natural inclinations, I don't know if I can fully attribute my dress-and-shoe-making obsession, nor my numerous trips to Japanese Thrift (more on that later), to this lofty goal of finding balance. But I shouldn't be so dismissive, no?

A few lighter indulgences taking up my thoughts on this Saturday morning:

Fringe-love via Madewell

via Mohawk General Store

Tomorrow, work is sending me to Siem Reap (the random temple picture above). There will be no temple-hopping this time around, just a quick look at the workings of the judicial system. Oh my.


  1. Is there a high rate of burnout for lawyers who focus in your area?

  2. I think there's a high rate of burn-out for anyone doing development work here and moreso in human rights work. But I think the pull to stay in is also strong.


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