Omigod-I’m-in-Cambodia

…continuing the catalogue of follies…

We have this month in the office two interns, one from Hungary who has never been to a developing country (…?) and the other is from Germany. Our deputy director took them out to lunch at one of his favorite spots, a curry noodle shop. The steaming bowls came out and everyone dug in. The girls ate in silence. Before long one of them turned to the other with a small whisper, “Are you eating the ants too?”

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One of the problems in this field is the cut-and-paste methods of some foreign inputs. Of course, if a template exists for say, a patient consent form for surgery, then it is within reason to do this. Documents are translated to Khmer, then inadvertently the original is discarded. When a barang (foreigner) comes along during the course of the project, the document then needs to be translated back to English. The English, translated from Khmer after being translated from English, of an informed consent form:

Knowing that the doctor has done his best but does not know how to do the surgery, I consent to the procedure and agree not to seek recourse.

It’s meant to contain the following elements: The nature of this condition and the present treatment course, the alternate treatment options, possible side effects, and risks have all been explained to me… I understand that no assurance as to the results obtained has been given… With the information I have of my condition and the proposed course of treatment, I authorize the performance of ___ procedure.

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