Where There Be Dragonshttp://www.wheretherebedragons.com/program...
3200 Carbon Place Unit 102 Boulder, Colorado 80301 United States
Cambodia: Battambang, Phnom Penh, Pursat and 2 other cities
June 28 - August 8
Known throughout the world for the incomparable ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a country that evokes images of overgrown jungle temples, elaborate stone carvings, robed monks, and complete religious splendor. Our Cambodia course peels back the layers of an underexposed country to explore topics related to religious and political persecution, the pressures of modernization and the impacts of development. From our starting point in Phnom Penh we travel deep into the majestic forests of far eastern Cambodia, along the Vietnamese border where we spend our days trekking through the jungle and enjoying quiet nights sleeping under thatch-roofed village homes. Our travels to Siem Reap expose us to the extraordinary splendor ancient Angkor Wat. In Pursat, we meet with representatives from international aid and development agencies and work on much needed community service projects. In an idyllic village not far from Phnom Penh—along a meandering tributary of the Mekong River—we live in simple homes, cook over wood fires, and experience daily chores such as harvesting sugarcane and washing cows in the Mekong. During the last week of our journey, we travel to remote areas of Cambodia's coast, including the undeveloped islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanleum where we explore fishing towns, play on deserted beaches and critique the benefits and drawbacks of newly planned development projects. Our Cambodia course takes on complicated, thorny issues, the intensity of which requires intellectual and emotional maturity and a willingness to explore the unknown with tolerance, openness, curiosity, and compassion.
Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons Cambodia: Studies in Development and Peace Summer Abroad Program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, future itineraries are subject to change.
Orientation in L.A., fly to Phnom Penh: Gain our bearings in one of the most intense cities in SE Asia. Visit the Killing Fields and the S-21 concentration camps; meet with experts on the Khmer Rouge and interview Khmer Rouge survivors. Visit local markets and begin immediately to study Khmer history, culture, and language. Travel by train to the rural province of Pursat, in western Cambodia: Explore traditional Cambodian culture and community values; study rural development issues with the organization Sustainable Cambodia. Begin Independent Study Projects.
Short but rugged journey to Battambang, Cambodia's second largest city: Compare and contrast urban Cambodia with life in the countryside. Travel through the channels of the Tonle Sap ("Great Lake") to Siem Reap: Explore the magical temples of Angkor Wat by bicycle and by foot, and engage in reflective solo time; learn about the art, culture, and history of the ancient Khmer Empire.
Return to Phnom Penh: Enjoy traditional shadow puppetry; meet with prominent politicians, development workers, and historians; make progress on Independent Study Projects. Study of poignant issues facing contemporary Cambodia, such as human trafficking and sex tourism, and learn about the intense work being done by various organizations to clean up Cambodia's landmine-affected regions. Home-stay and group service projects in a village north of Phnom Penh, along a tributary of the mighty Mekong River.
Return to the Cambodian countryside: Travel along rough roads by truck to reach the start-point of our trek in the remote wilderness of Mondulkiri Province in northeast Cambodia; watch for endangered wildlife; learn about ethnic minority issues and discuss the effects of tourism and development in those areas.
Student-directed portion of the itinerary. Options include visits to pepper plantations, a visit to the caves of Kompong Trach, or travel to the Cambodia coast to explore fishing villages and discuss the environmental and other effects of tourism and development. Independent Study Project presentations. Return to Phnom Penh for last-minute visits to our favorite markets and streetside vendors, and prepare for flight home.
Tuition includes everything except international flight medical insurance and small personal expenses (personal calls home personal snacks aside from meals laundry services, email/internet cafes, etc.)
American, European, Canadian, Australian, South African, Kiwi, Worldwide and Asian Participants.
Dragons programs are authentic, rugged and profound learning adventures that expose the beautiful and complex realities of the countries in which we travel. Featuring extended itineraries, Dragons programs encourage deep immersion into strikingly different physical and cultural landscapes, combining the best in experiential education, travel, service learning, and physically and intellectually challenging experiences. While programs vary in their focus - with some trekking and wilderness intensive, others strong on service and development studies, and still others language-oriented - all Dragons journeys are designed above all else to be fun, safe and honest educational experiences.