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Cambodia Summer Program.

A morning with my host family

A crying baby and a rooster’s call awakens me from my sleep on a bamboo mat. I open my eyes to find my little brother looking at me with curiosity. He tells me, using his best English accent that “it is time to eat rice”, or breakfast. I dress, in clothes much more conservative than what I wear in the US, and I make my way through the back door into the communal hang out space. A moment later I see my other little brother pull up on an old bicycle, my breakfast in his hand. I sit alone at the end of the kitchen table and munch on chicken and rice, as well as fried bread dipped in a mocha drink. While eating my meal I watch from a distance as my 11-month old baby brother plays in his little play area, his face lighting up when he sees me notice him.


Thinking that it must be around 8am, I go to pack up my stuff for the day, but I soon realize that it is only 6.45am. Eager to explore this island that awakens with the sunrise and sleeps with the sunset, I set out on my bicycle and ride about 10 minutes to the beach. Here I spend about an hour and a half sitting on a hammock in a bungalow with my fellow Dragons friends. We then prepare to mount our bicycles, only to find a few cows blocking the exit. After navigating through these obstacles we bike back to meet the group and officially start the day.