Getting to Know One Another

By Duth Kimsru

I would call it a day, a very great day! After all none of us are the victims of jet lag and that that makes us engage in the program more actively for the whole day.

Today seems to be any easy day with just program orientation and city tour with a great lunch break in between. It’s the first day and also the first time; hence we did self-introduction a few times which gives me a chance let give tell people my name and a bit of my work. I’m always very happy to talk about PEPY Empowering Youth and the work I am involving and most importantly to learn about my other fellows’ works. It helps to me wanting to explore more about their work and the reasons behind their leadership. I’ve talked to my roommate and she has helped to understand better how her work could contribute to help stateless person. I myself never been a stateless, then I might understand, but not in a full. Her work is great and I am very happy to meet her in the program and become roommate.

I also learned from the state department representative, Adam Meier gives us some information about number of students who got the opportunities to come and study in the US as well as number of American students spread went to study outside of their countries. Less number of American students go to study in Asian countries, I wish our education system could improve further so we could also have a rich and diverse groups of students from all over the world aiming for getting the degrees in our part of the world and it has a more equal balance.

Lunch gathering at Deena’s home was awesome. I was able to meet my fellowship coordinator and many host families and other coordinators. Everyone put a big smile on their face, and that what makes me feel so warm and thankful to meet each individual of them. The dinner setting is very much different from what my family used to each me. They always advise me to not talk while eating because it consider to be impolite. But here we have a great time with the delicious lunch and getting to know amazing people. I usually like to talk a lot; but today I feel there is so much to learn; hence I listen more. Seeing all of them interacting, I am thinking of meeting my host family even though I haven’t met them yet.

For the city tour we were able to learn some shopping malls and places to get things that we need while we are here in Montana, a very colorful and peaceful state. We stopped by a market that has varieties of vegetables, fruits and Asian groceries. I’ve seen the tropical fruits with a totally different look from what I have back home and it’s going to one of the study that I will tell my family with pictures so that they exactly get what I mean. I also got a chance to think of what type of Cambodian food I could cook for the home-stay family.

I would end my blog with the orientation in the morning. After learning about the program and what Kelsey has put together about cultural differences, general logistic, and ideas to think in advance has helped more to gain more confident to prepare myself for the upcoming days and I am looking forward to meet many more people. In all, inspiration lies in the core values of people and their work.I am very grateful to take part in this program. I am inspired and motivated to grow further and want to do more great things for those who are in need. As one of my favorite quotes learning from my school leaders, "I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." by Rabindranath Tagore. In my own word, I would say helping others is an inner happiness!

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