Since I am from Republic of Korea, I was very confident in living in Cambodia when I was selected as a WDI fellow. My confidence, I guess, came from my nationality, my frequent trips to Southeast Asian countries, and my previous employment experiences in the navy! However, as you may predict, there were many new challenges I faced such as weather, language, public order, sanitary facilities, etc. Even though those challenges sometimes gave way to me, I really enjoyed staying in Cambodia. I got to know how to respect Cambodian long culture and tradition, and how they live together. Maybe, these positive impressions on Cambodia were the main motivation for me to work hard to improve the labour quality of Cambodians.
Ah! I have a special picture for you guys. The landlord of the apartment I stayed was a lawyer as well. His home was on the first floor, and sometimes I visited his home because his family is so big with 13 members. Wow… I have never seen any family more than 10 members!
Doesn’t this home look so cozy and traditional? If you read my third blog, you may remember the discussion on Buddhism in Cambodia. My landlord’s home also has a small Buddha statue at his home. I wanted to share this picture with you! Of course, most Cambodian people are not affluent enough to have a big and clean house as my landlord's. But, I wanted to just emphasize on the Cambodian’s love for Buddhism.
Thanks to Cambodia’s amazing potentials to grow, many foreign companies and UN agencies, such as Asian Development Bank, UNHCR, or UNDES, are located in Phnom Penh. If you want to work in an international organization, or to employ your skills and knowledge meaningfully, you may find out that Southeast Asian countries are the best places for you. That’s why the ILO also regard Cambodia as a promising country with tremendous growth potential. Some people may think Cambodian people are not as happy as people in other countries due to poverty and less developed civilization. However, this is totally wrong. Cambodian people know how to be satisfied with what they possess, although the life style is not luxury or splendid, and the value of life in a spiritual aspect.
From this picture below, you can see the street foods that Cambodian usually eat out with friends or families.
Personally, I feel so thankful for all staff in the ILO who were eager to support me whenever I needed help. They were very interested in my studies in the University of Michigan, and WDI as well, which makes me feel proud of being a WDI fellow during my internship. With even broader view toward the world, I am looking forward to sharing my 2014 summer in Cambodia with you soon.