Thursday, December 29, 2005

Home Trip

As they say, "There is no place like home." I'm glad this year I can go home again and stayed there for about 3 weeks. Also this year I got the chances to do a lot of sight-seeings in the country like going to the beach with my parents and visiting Angkor with my dad.

Angkor Wat at Sunset

Let me describe home in a few words:

Round trip tickets: $1250
US Visa: $100
Times it took to get home: 2 days
Being home, spending times with family and friends; and enjoying eating good food: Priceless :)

I'll let the pictures tell the story. But there are too many pictures to post here. Here is the link to home trip pictures at Flickr site.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Visiting home

Finally it's been almost a year since I last went home. I'm leaving tomorrow. I'm getting excited/anxious and looking forward to see my family at Phnom Penh airport. I imagine the feeling of stepping out of the plane and smell the air of Srok Khmer. Then you are greeted by family and relatives at the airport...

But first I have to pack which is always a challenge.

Then the flight is soooooo long. I'm taking some sleeping pills this time and hopefully they will help put me to sleep on the plane which will make the trip seem shorter. Can't wait to get home. There is no place like home, right?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Trip to Washington and Montana - updated.

9/21/05 - We arrived in Spokane, Washington, at about 9:30 am. We picked up the rented car and drove straight to Fair Child Air Force Base.

We got into the base and everything went smoothly at the security checkpoint. Six hours later, we finished setting up the computer lab and fixing computer problems. The staff there toured us around the base for a little bit. It looked very nice overall. We were not allowed to go into the actual airport. However, I was able to take some pictures of the older fighting plane models at the park. Fair Child's current main function is to refuel to fighting planes in the air just like we see in those Hollywood's movies :).

Fighter Jet

The bomber

9/22/05. We checked out the hotel around 11 am and headed for Montana. It's a 6 hour drive. The weather was perfect - sunny with mild temperature.

Half an hour later, we got into Idaho and passed this beautiful scenery. It's a huge lake surrounded by mountains called "Coeur d'Alene Lake". It looked more like a sea. We had to pull over and checked it out. A lot of rich people with big houses and boats live by that lake.

Coeur d'Alene Lake, Idaho in Panorama (click on the picture to enlarge).

Then off we continued the trip. We drove along the winding road, up and down the Rocky Mountains all the way. The landscape is amazing. There are mountains covered by green pine trees and water streams along the highway. And they stretch all the way to Montana. It's completely different from the Midwest where the landscape is just flat. I felt like a little creature whenever we drove though those giant rocks. The nature scenery itself just took my breath away. Six hours of driving wasn't that boring after all.

Three hours later we made a stop for lunch and gas in Missoula, Montana. I finally found some good tasty burger with strawberry shake from Fuddruckers.

Then I took turn to drive the rest of the trip to Great Falls.

9/23/05. We checked out the hotel pretty early at 8 am the next morning and headed to Malmstrom Air Force Base. We got work done according to plan and headed back to Spokane at 1 pm. The weather was rainy, cloudy and cold. Luckily it wasn't too bad for driving.

Malmstrom Air Force Base

9/24/05. Checked out the hotel and flew back to Kansas City.

View from the top - Rocky Mountains, Utah.

For more pictures of the trip, click here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Trip to Washington and Montana

As part of my job, my co-wroker/roommate and I are going to Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, Washington and Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls, Montana. We're going there on Wednesday and come back Saturday. Park University has extended campuses there so we're going to setup computer labs and new hardwares for those campuses.

I hope it's going to be an interesting trip and that we have time for some sight seeings. I also hope to get a glimpse or take pictures of the Air Force planes if they allow me to :).

So there will be more updates on the next blog.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My Server

This is my old pc acting as a server. It is Pentium 2, 450Mhz, running on Linux 24/7. Currently it stores pictures for this blog and streams music. It's also handy for my friends and I to use for storing files/testing/learning purposes.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Home-made dried food

Here is some of my favorite food that my mom made and sent to me thru my cousin who just got back from Cambodia. From left to right we have pickles, Prah Hok+Grounded Pork, and dried shredded pork (Sach Chrouk Phat).

This food may not be a big deal if you are in Cambodia but it is valuable when you're away from home and don't get to eat it anytime you want. It tastes soooo good :). Thanks mom! All the food arrived here safely :).

Monday, August 15, 2005

Saturday afternoon

I was studying in Barnes and Nobles bookstore. I decided to take some breaks in between and take a few snap shots of the view outside through the window. (Shopping Center, Zona Rosa)

...And later on it rained like cats and dogs. What a great day to stay indoor and study! :P.

Wireless internet is available but is not free :(. I hope it will be someday. Barnes and Nobles let us read their books for free. So why not wireless internet?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

As the sun sets in the US, rises in Cambodia

For a typical morning at around 7 am, the sun is up high and shining over Phnom Penh. The flickering lights are going through the windows and lighting up the house.

Everybody is already up by then. You can hear the noises from our neighbours because we live next to each other in a flat. You can smell and hear the breakfast is being cooked in the house. I can picture my parents are having breakfast at a round wooden table at the back of our house. They normally eat hot rice soup (Bor Bor Sor) with some dried fish and salty eggs and a little bit of this and that. Dad drinks hot coffee with it while mom just drinks water. Sometimes the breakfast is followed by some delicious desserts that my sister buys from the market nearby.

I can virtually smell the breakfast from here while describing it :).

Friday, July 22, 2005

Car demolition

I attended this event called "Demolition" where they drive cars to crash each other in a muddy field. The goal of the game is simple: try to smash your opponents' cars until they're totally wrecked. The last 3 cars that survive at the end of the game are the winners. A lot of people find this game fascinating. For me it's OK but I got to see it once at least.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

My piano pieces

Below are the 2 classical pieces that I recorded myself playing on the piano. I've been spending a lot of times practising these 2. Hope you enjoy.

To download, right click on the link and select "Save As...".
Invention No. 13 - Bach
Prelude No 1 in C# minor- Rachmaninoff

Some old poems

They say a picture worths a thousand words. But when things cannot be expressed in pictures, we can try to put words together to create a picture. Below are the poems I wrote a few years ago.

My Mother (September 14th 1999)

This is a poem for my mother
whose heart is always warm and tender,
who still has the beautiful outlook and sweet smile
although you are in your late fifty.

This is for your hard work and striving
to raise us five and earn a living
For your deep love and caring
and being the best mother a woman should be.

And this is for your strengths and energy
though you now usually forget things you have done
but still managing household
and cooking us good food.

My appreciation for your strong determination
to achieve your goal as a midwife
at the age when many women were housewives.

For your patience and forgiveness
during those times I behaved badly toward you
instead of trying to listen and understand you.

Your soft and gentle hands
holding me when I was scared
and encouraging me to go on.

You taught me how to grow,
showed me everything that I should know
which has made me who I am today.

I am proud of you and thank you, mother
for everything that you have done to me
and I am not ashamed to say, though I rarely say to you,

Thanks to the Internet (March 2001)

Everyday I come back from class
I rush in my room fast
Drop my heavy backpack
Stretch my back.

I turn the computer on
MSN messenger I sign on
Check if my friends are on-line
Any E-mails that are mine.

I’ll be happy
If I got E-mails from friends or family
Then I will chat with my friends
who can be thousand miles across oceans or lands.

Tom says: Hi What you been up to?
Tra says: Nothing much, same old and you?

Short or long conversation
Make us feel close for our relation
No matter what the distance,
Especially when I feel isolation.

Monday, July 18, 2005

One fishing evening

Last night my friend and I went fishing at the lake. We fished from the dock of another friend's house. He caught a big catfish. Look how happy he was! That was one heck of a catfish, about 2 Kilograms. We later on barbequed all the fish we caught including this one of course :). That was the first time I ever tasted a fresh cooked fish right from the lake. Very tasty indeed.

This curious dog with lion-style hair cut was trying to fish with us.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It's summer! It's barbeque time!

Some chicken drum sticks and ribs with rice and cold beers hmmmm... These bbqs were prepared by chef Tom :) and turned out pretty good.

Friday, July 08, 2005

My camera

Canon A520, my tool for getting pictures for this blog.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bee and Flower

Learning to edit pictures. Natural vs. Monocrome (edited) background to make the focused objects, which remain the same natural color, stand out more.

4th of July, American Independence Day

4th of July party hosted at an American family house by the lake.

Some guests arrive from the boats.

Wide view of the lake. Thanks for panorama option in this camera.
It's nice to have a boat.

American-style Barbeque.

Happy kids. Ahhh hot dogs and burgers...

...and of course, fireworks.

Friday, June 24, 2005

One journey of life

You left your country,
your friends and family
To come and study
In a foreign country.

Trying to get a better education
With your heart and determinations
You set your goals and expectations
Trying your best to make accomplishments.

But you realize it is more than just education
You learn about adaptation
You learn to be independent
To be a more responsible person.

You learn to be persistent
And try to refuse disappointments
You learn to make decisions
And try to refuse hesitations.

You learn about the language, the culture,
The self-expression, the gesture,
The social life, the pain and the pleasure
Overall you like being an explorer.

You make new friends
While trying to keep in touch with your old dear friends
Times go by, moment by moment
You hope your times are wisely spent.

You miss home and your family
You miss your friends and their company
You miss the food and the places you used to see
You miss the yearly celebrations and festivities.

This experience makes you learn about life every day,
Makes you grow day by day
You must try to enjoy life in every way
Although life is not easy, as one might say
But hey! You live only once, you shall say.

It's a new life that you are living
This new life can be very challenging
Yet as you continue striving
This new life can be greatly rewarding.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Birthday present

Today is my birthday so I bought myself a Canon PowerShot A520 Digital Camera for my present :D. I can't wait to get my present at the door :D.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My friend Krishna in Sapporo, Japan

This is Krishna who always has a smile on his face and shines the day. Currently he's studying in Sapporo, Hokkaido. He prefers to be humble and asks me not to tell what degree he's in.

Snow Festival. I wanna go there someday, just to see the snow decorations, right.

Another one at night.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Veacha's graduation

OK we drove back to Dekalb. 6 hours was not that bad. It's supposed to be 7 hours but I speeded :). So here we are in Illanois.

Veacha's Univeristy of Northern Illanois

Graduation boy. (Master of Education, I think)

Another Cambodian graduate.

Graduate party. Dara and I, 2 starving Cambodians. We don't get to eat great Cambodian food like this everyday :).

Monday, May 09, 2005

Veacha from Illanois

The 4 Cambodians eating, drinking and chilling at my apartment.

Veacha (the one with glasses) took a 12 hour bus trip to visit me in Kansas City. He's here for a week. Then we're going to drive back to Dekalb, Illanois together for his graduation. Dara will join us too.

He'll have a good memory from KC. His first time getting really drunk and puke his brain out :D. He got a trophy.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Monday, May 02, 2005

Home Trip

Here are some pictures from December 05 home trip...

The reunion party at Battambang. You may wonder why there were no female friends in there. That is because most of them are married and were busy with their married life. Plus they live in Phnom Penh.

Ko Dot and Beers. Upper left, Vattana. Upper right, Sochet. Lower right, Tra.

Mekong Riever trip with Phak Kday.