Thailand map:
Dec 10, 2003

The life of a backpacker in Bangkok - lazy afternoons and drunken evenings.  Sitting around reading books, watching the latest hollywood movies and drinking cheap beer.  It seems like a good, relaxing life but Bangkok is somehow vampiric.  The slack, combined with the heat, traffic and pollution seems to sucks the life out anyone who stays.  I've been here a week already.  Far too long! 

The week did have one good outcome.  For some time I've wanted to be a writer, but I've lacked motivation or focus to work towards that goal.  I found motivation this week! 

Sitting around the guesthouse, I typed in a stack of journal notes from the last trip.  Typing in a years worth of thoughts provided a fast-forward, high-speed introspection.  One note about intellectual challenges is what really sent me in the right direction.  In grad school, I was developing new technology and I loved the excitement and challenge of it.  Since grad school, I've taken myself further and further from those challenges.  This note asked if I can accept that. 

I realized the answer is "yes, no, sort of."  Yes, I do need a challenge in life to be happy.  But, I realized that the challenge doesn't need to be technical or mathematical.  Writing is a very different sort of challenge than engineering, but I think that it has the possibility of exciting me equally.  I'm ready to start viewing writing as a challenge not a hobby - and start taking it seriously.  Steven King said in his autobiography:  "You must not come lightly to the blank page."  That's the new me. 

Tomorrow I move onto Cambodia.  I'm planning on volunteering, which is something that I've never done before.  I don't know if I will love it or hate it, but I'm in search of new adventures and this will certainly be one.  I found a message on Lonely Planet's message board (it's included below).  Sally teaches English to landmine victim children and is looking for someone to help.  I sent her email for more info, but received no reply.  That's not going to stop me from going; Not knowing what to expect when I arrive just makes for more of an adventure, and a better story. 

Until next week... 


Land Mines English Teach Needed ASAP


I am a volunteer working at the Land Mine Museum in Siem Reap/Ankor, Cambodia.  I teach English to the children who live there.  They are all land mine victims.  They only need an hours lesson each day (except Sun) but they love to chat and play with you too.  We also ask that you help around the museum when you are not teaching, answering questions etc.  I have learnt so much while I have been here. 

There are usually 2 English teachers at the museum but at the moment I'm on my own.  We desperately need one more. In return for teaching the boys you will be provided with basic accommodation and food.  There is no contract and you need no qualifications.  We only ask that you are a native English speaker.  There is no time limit either.  If you can spare only two weeks, that would be great, more would obviously be better.

If you are interested or just want to check it out first, contact me either by replying here or if you are in the area come and visit me at the land mine museum.  Any moto or tuk tuk driver knows where we are.  If I'm not around just leave your name and e-mail address with someone there and I will get back to you straight away. Is the perfect opportunity for you to experience the real culture and way of life.

Sally Blanchfield

michelle - Dec 14, 2003

if you are staying any time in cambodia i'd join you.  but life on the road might be a bit much without much money. 


i just promoted your link to tribe.  hope that's okay.


Ah Micelle,

But life on the road is damn cheap.  You can live well in SE Asia for about $10/day.


Dave - Dec 22, 2003

If only Princess Di had lived those kids would never have bought the landmines to play with in the first place!  Evil corporations...

Heidi - Jan 02, 2004


i just returned from cambodia and i'm looking for an opportunity to come back and do volunteer work with children.  i am not available until early april, but then i can stay a few months - maybe longer. 
i live in new york city and would love to find out more.

thank you and happy new year,

heidi kelso


If anyone is looking to volunteer in Cambodia there are tons and tons of opportunities.  You don't need any experience.  And you don't need to arrange anything before arriving - show up in Siem Reap of Phnom Penh and people will find you.


Laetor - Jan 04, 2004

Instead of 'Steven King said in his autobiography:  "You must not come lightly to the blank page."' try this:  'In his autobiography, Stephen King said, "You must not come lightly to the blank page."' Here endeth the lesson.  ;-)


Thanks Trey.


Clark Williamson - Jun 06, 2007

I am looking for a friend, James "Jimmy" Blanchfield, who may have been in Cambodia during 1973-1974, when he disappeared.  Do you know of him or are you related?

Dave - Oct 11, 2007

>>If only Princess Di had lived those kids would never have bought the landmines to play with in the first place!  Evil corporations...

Errrr WHAT?  ??????  Let me see if I get this: 

"If princess Di hadn't died in a tragic car accident, then children in Cambodia wouldn't have been able to buy landmines to play with?"

Sorry, maybe it's just too early in the morning, but that makes absolutely NO sense to me whatsoever.  :(

sommy - Mar 04, 2008


Can you do me a favour?  I am looking for my uncle in Cambodia specially in the capital of the cambodia his name is Waleed Al-bar and has one son whose name is Ali.  pleaaaaase do it and help me to find him.  finally,if you want to contact me plese contact with me in this email:

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