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Current Year Trips

Cambodia: Water, education, history, and art, January 2018

The collaboration between Marlboro faculty Cathy Osman, Tim Segar, and John Willis and two non-profit organizations working in Cambodia has been active and fruitful since 2007. This January, Visual Arts professors Tim Segar and Cathy Osman, Chemistry professor Todd Smith, retired Anthropology professor Carol Hendrickson and two students, Jadian Bryan and Moon Livingston, left just after Christmas for a two-and-a-half-week journey back to Cambodia, our fifth to date.

The majority of the trip was spent in a rural village north of Phnom Penh in south-central Cambodia called Prey Tamong and in the neighboring town of Ang. We were so fortunate to have Him Marin, the founding director of KCEO (Khmer Children’s Education Organization—a small school we helped establish), and his family open their homes to us, teaching us Khmer and inviting us to join line dancing at a number of family festivals.

Students and faculty put their enthusiasm and skills to use: we engaged over 400 students in English classes, and current faculty in the science of bio-sand water filters, hoping they will further the work with clean water in the community. With the help of the Cambodian NGO Clear Cambodia, we also researched and located further options for installing a large scale bio-sand filter in the local elementary school; we did the same in our next location as well, Battambang, with the continuing help of the local head Buddhist monk. In Battambang we also continued our work with clean water, monitoring wells and local ponds.

Our trip was bookended by News Year’s Eve in bustling Phnom Penh, where we experienced the grandeur of the Royal Palace and the Tuol Sleng Genocide museum chronicling the Cambodian Genocide, and by the final three days spent learning about the splendor of ancient Cambodian history and culture by visiting the temple complex of Angkor Wat.

Oaxaca, Mexico: Cultural exchange and creative collaboration, May 2018

Travel with professors Rosario de Swanson and Brad Heck to Oaxaca City for two weeks over Spring Break. Oaxaca is one of the most diverse states in Mexico with vibrant indigenous cultures, cuisine, art and folkloric traditions. Within Oaxaca State there are 17 distinct ethnic groups and over 50 spoken dialects. Students enrolled in the class will be paired up with students from the Oaxacan Learning Center (OLC) at the beginning of the semester. In addition to discussing films and learning about Oaxacan culture and history, Marlboro students will have regular Skype sessions with their Oaxacan counterparts, during which they will develop treatments for creative projects. While in Oaxaca Marlboro students will stay in the homes of OLC students, collaborate to create projects which investigate identity and cultural heritage, and upon returning to Marlboro students will continue the collaboration remotely via Skype as their projects take shape.