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"Smarter Aid, not more Aid!"

Cambodia coffee: grounds for optimism?



The Coffee Kiosks of Takhmau
The idea of this blog was to show how cosmopolitan Takhmau is becoming, shown most noticeably in the proliferation of coffee shops that have opened up opportunities for girls and women to be out and about socially. They are more respectable and cleaner than the beer gardens but some of these are innovating and fighting back.  In this picture you see another aspect of Cambodian culture - the copy-cat one!  Seeing how well some of the coffee shops were doing other folks wanted to get in on the act, but from more modest origins. So now all over the place we have coffee kiosks or shacks, under a shade, with the ubiquitous green artificial grass!

This blog is also the only guide to Takhmau for visitors and its worth a visit now we have the cheap bus service and [for now free] ferry serviceTakhmau ladies, and some boys, give very good service. Just a word of warning - some places come and go overnight, so I can't guarantee 100% accuracy.  A place I know has closed I will mark in red.

Inspirations, lasting impressions



The humble Salmon - what a remarkable journey it makes with sheer dogged determination to return to where it was hatched, to spawn and die. 
Photographer Mike Smith similarly persisted. It took two years to capture this Northumbrian image at Hexham Bridge.




Very often people ask me “What keeps you going?”  There is no doubt that work in the “Aid and Development” industry is a struggle and frustrating. Just ask Nate!