Sunday, February 27, 2011


How do you keep your feet planted, how do you remain grounded, when there's a tornado building up, slowly growing in force in the near horizon, threatening to consume you in its path?

(I really like this print. Reminds me of a Belle and Sebastian line, actually.)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Indigenous Land Rights in India

This video was passed onto me by a colleague and friend. In the bustle of this city and in the constant movement in my work -- the politics that inevitably slows things down, the conflicting personalities and agendas, the weak rule of law -- I sometimes forget that there's an entire world out there, that many, many communities are working on these same land issues. Inspiring.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This week, I monitored a training with Cambodian human rights activists working on land disputes all over the country. Teaching them the nuances of the law--namely, on freedom of association and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention -- is tough, when the realities of law enforcement diverge so greatly from the conceptual legal framework on which they are predicated.

You can't tell by the smiles that light up their faces, nor by their constant laughter or warmth, nor by their humility, but these people are SO damn powerful. Facing serious threats to their security everyday (threats of unsubstantiated legal action, physical violence, and murder), they work tirelessly with their communities, often with interests adverse to huge conglomerates and the hugely affluent echelons of this country.

I am floored.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


That was me, nearly 2 months ago, en route to my 30-hours in Portland, swaddled in my Olympe coat, enjoying the feel of my feet covered in my Barbaraos (i.e., proper shoes), wondering if snow would greet me in the Pacific Northwest, and feeling, above all things, as if I'd slipped back into my old life so seamlessly, like the whole Cambodia thing was a short dream.

Where does time go? It's almost March.

Yesterday, a new friend invited a few of us over to his home to enjoy Kenyan tea (delicious, milky, warm, cinnamon-infused, with ginger) and banana bread. It was a lovely gathering of people from different parts of the world, all of us huddled in the fanned room, each sipping a steaming cup of tea.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Basics punched up with a shot of color, red lipstick. I continue to draw inspiration from Jeana's closet visits.

Monday, February 21, 2011


My birthday last year seems so long ago. Those few days of celebration were full of so much laughter and warm company. Jack, Jen and Ryan flew into Portland. Mami threw me a pizza party, which was soon followed by debauchery. I was surrounded by friends and family the entire time. It was the last week before I left Portland, a week of Chef's tastings at Park Kitchen, a visit to the grilled cheese school bus on NE Alberta, and not enough packing of boxes.

This year, my birthday was markedly different in several ways, quieter and more secluded than most that have punctuated my life. There was still laughter, still warmth. My former American flatmate whisked me away to an undisclosed location, which ended up being sleepy Kampot. And, among acquaintances (since Cambodia is so small), we spent the three-day weekend at Les Mangieurs (The Mango Trees, in French), enjoying the view of river from our perched location, traipsing about the small town for baked scones or Sri Lankan treats, and perusing the offerings at the local bookstore, which, in its one-room stock, blows away most bookstores in Phnom Penh. I picked up a Naipaul and another Kapuscinski.

The weekend flew by in a hazy blur.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Baubles from home. Completely necessary.

The Oven, and Sofia

Last week, I moved into a new home with an oven, which is perfect because one of my resolutions this year is to find more balance in life -- and baking at home is one of those simple pleasures I've missed dearly. The past 7+ months in Cambodia were intense and amazing and more wonderful (and challenging) than I could have expected. But by the time I arrived stateside, I realized that, in addition to being left inspired, I was also frayed around the edges, tired. In need of simple comfort.

It's evening in Phnom Penh, the end of a busy day. There's something strangely incongruent about living in this country and enjoying the waft from chocolate brownies baking in the oven. Like two disparate realities colliding. Outside, the night is warm, the streets dimly lit and quiet.

Tonight, I'm going to curl up and (finally!) watch Somewhere, as it was (annoyingly) only playing in one theatre in Los Angeles when I was stateside. That's the plan.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I won one of the necklaces Jeana was giving away -- good thing, too, as Cambodia offers slim pickings for fun jewelry.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Gazpacho for dinner last night, after tapas and chatting with a lovely couple who is researching cross-border migration in SE Asia, including what factors contribute to human trafficking in those areas. I'm always intrigued by the work people do here, and even more tickled when I find a confluence between their work and mine. Interesting times.

The new place feels very homey.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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