Like A Chicken Without A Head

Thanks everyone for your concern over my grocery store obstacles. I'll eventually be able to find these things, it just takes time as one-stop shopping means nothing here.

Although, one-stop shopping would be highly convenient given the crazy month I'm having. October is the month where everything happens and four out of the five of this month's major events are coming up next week. Here's the itinerary:

* Monday: Lord George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury in the UK, is speaking as part of the ALC's Eminent Leaders Lecture Series.

* Tuesday and Wednesday: The Asia Economic Forum will host prominent leaders from around the region and world, including Cambodia's Prime Minister, the richest man in Indonesia and the aforementioned Lord Carey. And I've been told I will have to facilitate one of the sessions. (If anyone knows my abounding fear of public speaking, you'll know that this is not a thrill for me.)

* Thursday: UC will graduate 140 AAs, BAs and MAs in its fourth commencement ceremony.

* Friday: Asia Faiths Development Dialogue, again, will bring together some prominent leaders, including the former World Bank VP, to discuss how inter-faiths dialogue can lead to social change and a peacefully sustained society.

Thankfully, I can say I haven't had to play a major roll in the organization of all these events, but I have wriggled my way into being the public relations spokesperson for the university. It can be a difficult task, though, because I've found that Cambodians tend to not value the openness of communication.

For example, the other day I sent out press releases to the local papers regarding Lord Carey's lecture, and a reporter approached us to ask for an interview. Bandol, having a slightly more political background, and I, obviously with a media background, saw the motives of the newspapers situation a little differently, and got into a bit of a heated debate. He said that if Lord Carey wanted an interview, he would have asked for one and the newspaper was just using us for a story. I told him, it's the reporter's job to ask for interviews, not the subject's, and it's her job to write stories. In all actuality, we were using the paper to give our organization free promotion.

He finally complied, though rather grudgingly, and asked Lord Carey if he'd be willing to give an interview. Lord Carey agreed. Everyone is (hopefully) happy.

In other business keeping me busy this month, I am in charge of marketing our leadership workshop at the end of the month as well as putting together a presentation for it. I think the marketing is going ok. Yesterday I ran into a sticky situation, though. I was mass e-mailing the NGO community and G-mail suspended my account for 24 hours because it thought I was SPAMing. Of course, this would happen when I'm super busy! Fortunately, I have a backup (though highly unreliable) work e-mail that I was able to use. As far as how my presentation is coming together, I'll just remind you of my fear of public speaking.

Outside of work, I need to find a way to vote. I registered for an absentee ballot but I've still not seen it, so I'm pretty sure it's not going to make it here. I suppose I'll need to contact the Embassy about that one, but I also heard word that the FCC Cambodia -- a journalists hub -- will help take care of things like that as well.

So things are a whirlwind around here these days. Hopefully, soon my body and my brain will be better attached.

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