Category Archives: Countries

Skyping with the Elephants: What Second Graders Can Gain from Skyping.

Any long term traveler will tell you: Skype is a Lifeline to Home. Long gone are the days of expensive, barely audible overseas phone calls. Now, most travelers carry laptops with built-in cameras through which they can see and hear and laugh with their friends and family 1/2 way around the world. But, I was shocked recently by just exactly HOW FAR Skype could reach, and how effortlessly Second Graders born AFTER the invention of Skype could involve themselves in the process…

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Empowering New Digital Media Makers in Cambodia

In December, I conducted my first ‘Tell Your Own Story Project’ video workshop with incredibly talented students sponsored by the Ponheary Ly Foundation in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was a life changing event for me. The success of this workshop prompted me to alter my travel plans in order to return to conduct more workshops in February and April. After the February workshop, PLF President Lori Carlson and I discussed the potential future for these students.

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Finding Music and Giving Voice

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Rodrigo Solórzano, international writer and music composer, joined the Traveling Teacher for a 5-day Tell Your Own Story Project at Burmese Refugee Primary School 42 near Mae Sot, Thailand. He led 8 students in a unique musical and digital photography project. He shares his experience with us…

It appears as a natural pact, an unbreakable edict: the bigger the pain, the bigger the appreciation for the simplest experience. Continue reading

Join Me with the Elephants in Thailand!

Elephants are far and above my favorite animals on this planet. I had the wonderful experience of doing a 2 day elephant trek into rainforest near Mondul Kiri, Cambodia back in November. The man pictured above with the elephant is the mahout, and a member of the Bunong tribe in northeast Cambodia. A mahout is a person who owns and trains elephants for work. In the past, many elephants worked carrying trees to sell for wood. Now that there is much less logging allowed Continue reading

‘Citizens Just Like Me’ Video Project

When I was a young girl, my father used to tell me that even the Queen of England had to sit on the toilet. It wasn’t meant to teach me about the bodily needs of the Queen, but rather to impress upon me that regardless of outer appearances, we are all much more similar than we are different. This thinking has remained with me and been a guiding principle as a traveler, and has in part been the emphasis for a new YouTube video collection Continue reading

Proud to be Burmese

While discussing the upcoming ‘Tell Your Own Story‘ workshop with Burmese refugee students at Best Friends School (also known as School 42 Kilometers) near Mae Sot, Thailand, it was suggested that the boys team create a video about Burmese games. We decided to take them through the brainstorming process anyway. And it was these young boys who came up with the idea to make the video “Proud to Be Burmese”. It was a simple, yet beautiful topic. And they moved through the brainstorming and video capturing almost effortlessly. They KNEW their Burmese Pride very well. Watch their video…

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Voices from the Border: Burmese Students in Thailand Begin a Video Workshop

While in a minivan taxi to the Malaysian border back in January, I met a fellow traveler from Spain. After sharing my experiences of teaching video production to students in Cambodia, Jose told me about a Spanish organization that collaborates with Burmese refugee schools in northern Thailand. Perhaps they might be interested in having some of their students participate in a similar project, he suggested. Several emails and two months later, I arrived in the border town of Mae Sot, home to an estimated 200,000 refugees, to meet with Mery Viladecas Pascua and Javier Garcia from Colabora Birmania about offering a ‘Tell Your Own Story Project” video workshop to students at School 42KM. 

The Students:

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Angklung, Baby! Sharing an Instrument in Malaysia, Thailand and the United States!

Recently, I wrote about the power of music to bring students together around the globe. I had just visited with Marching Band Students at the St. Xavier Institution in Penang, Malaysia. During my visit, the students treated me to a performance of the traditional Malaysian Angklung. It seems to have started an Angklung Playing Craze during the past few months…

It inspired Sparta Alpine School Band teacher Patricia Curtis to introduce her students to the Angklung.

Today, during my visit to the beautiful Settabutr Upathum Primary School in Bangkok, Thailand, I noticed an Angklung set in the music and dance room. Continue reading