Friday, January 16, 2009
Pre-departure Class at MIIS
Prior to our long-anticipated arrival in Bangkok, we all arrived at MIIS to take a two day pre-departure class. Over the winter break we were required to read two books, one about Battambang, an area we will be visiting in Cambodia and another containing the stories of four individuals and their memories of the Khmer Rouge time in Cambodia. In addition to reading these two books, we also read a number of newspaper articles and scholarly journal articles regarding a number of different conflicts. One particular article that we discussed at length was one dealing with the issues of face and honor in Cambodia. Our discussions were very enlightening in helping to understand some of the underlying issues of different conflicts. Another topic that our class expressed great interest in was that of trauma and healing. Dr. Poethig visited our class and lectured on Cambodia history and provided us with the opportunity to inquire about issues of our interest, such as possible explanations for why Cambodias don't discuss the Khmer Rouge era. We are off to visit the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok Thailand, but I promise to write more about our pre-departure soon.