Is that an IV drip on an Angkor bas relief?

Photos courtesy of K. Estela Ha-- no wonder there's such a problem with IV use here LOL! Without regulatory standards and mechanisms such as licensing or accreditation, quality of care is partly determined by consumer demand. People more often than not believe the more invasive or expensive a treatment, the more effective. This means treating simple fatigue with an intravenous drip instead of coconut juice ($10 vs $0.25)! IV drips are VERY popular; fishermen coming in from a long night out on the water will often seek IV treatment. Some pharmacists even color it (food coloring usually) because people associate the color with increased potency! Patients hooked up to their IV drips while riding on the back of a moto is a common sight on … [Read more...]

Animal traffic

A common site on the roads hereabouts! … [Read more...]

Dark hours in Burma

Design prompted by disturbing news from friends in Burma.After decades of proclaiming itself the protector of Buddhism (to secure legitimacy), this regime repeatedly brutalises its peaceful, devout people. International pressure for concrete action is increasing, especially among ASEAN, which considers Burma strategically important. Its policy of non-interference may soon change as state failure carries widespread ramifications for the geopolitical stability of the region. From within, severe economic contractions, rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions and a highly fragmented population are buckling this fraught state. Policy differences are rife within the junta, including growing competition among the ruling elite’s heirs. The one … [Read more...]

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Remember Lee Iacocca, the American industrialist who rescued Chrysler Corporation from death throes? Here are some excerpts from 'Where Have All the Leaders Gone?' (c)2007. "Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening?... We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course" "I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of … [Read more...]

Staying informed

Ah, to have your quality of life ranked barely a notch better than that of someone living in Tehran... I do wonder about some things.How do people here stay competitive given that our work is in/with the least developed part of the world? I can imagine one day returning to "civilization", in which case running descriptives on SPSS as the extent of my statistical skills might not be sooo impressive. If I were to go into the commercial sector would I be marketable? On another note. Given that Cambodia is slow on the uptake of adopting technology for mass consumption, I'm feeling left out of the cultural loop. There was also an article in The Economist on the virtual epidemiology research conducted in the synthetic worlds of Second Life and … [Read more...]

the US Agriculture Policy

CARE Turns Down Federal Funds for Food Aid An interesting development, and CARE risks much with it. They traditionally employed monetised food aid but have been debating the damage such a system facilitates to the markets (people) which they are specifically trying to help. Essentially, subsidised US farm products (already controversial by its own right) are shipped from the US on American lines, sold by NGOs, the profits of which are used to fund their aid operations. Because aid organisations are not commodities experts, that profit margin is also impacted. This event is interesting on many levels. It highlights the incredible role of food aid in politics, as leverage, as a weapon, to control the markets. Aid is no longer tied as a … [Read more...]

Tuki gecko

Tuki geckos can get as long as ~30cm, but they're skittish compared to their ubiquitous smaller gecko cousins so it's hard to spot them.ReeaAAARRRRRRRRR!!! Tuki and the Cat!!![photo courtesy of Chakra House, Phnom Penh]Instead of taking my own photos here are some great shots. Keith's trigger happy with that Cannon. Check out the "On the road" section! … [Read more...]

Health Care for Expatriates in Cambodia

Published in AsiaLIFE Phnom Penh April 2007 A thriving health industry in Phnom Penh no longer warrants an urgent plane ticket out of the country for routine care. To boot, medical care is easy on the pocket. But while most practitioners aspire to the western model of care, the system is far from user-friendly and choosing a practitioner is not a simple task. On top of the usual precautions are considerations to a developing country’s medical environment. This is a brief guide to navigating the (western medicine) landscape in Cambodia, with tips for routine and emergency care, and a short look at medical insurance. Where to find a good doctor?• Go public or private? The public sector is much maligned, for good reason (though to give them … [Read more...]