Friday, February 01, 2008

Early surprise gifts

Christmas came early yesterday with the arrival of some packages containing books and cd's. I was a bit worried as I'd expected one of the books weeks ago but they took well in excess of six weeks from despatch to arrival from both England and the States. Publishers Rowman & Littlefield sent me the Benny Widyono book Dancing In The Shadows, about the UN official's two spells in Cambodia at the heart of the UNTAC operation and later as a representative of the UN secretary-general. Benny is coming to Cambodia soon so I'd better get on and read his insightful 322 page book! Another package contained 2 children's books from Lee & Low Books in New York. The 2006 publication from Michelle Lord called Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin was accompanied by the as yet unpublished A Song For Cambodia, the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond. Michelle first heard about Arn, the founder of Cambodian Living Arts, when she watched the Flute Player documentary and travelled to Cambodia to adopt her youngest daughter, and has produced her second book for children with illustrations by Shino Arihara.
Also arriving at my office address, which is more secure post-wise than my home address, was the debut solo CD from Yaz Alexander called Life Begins. It's been playing ever since. And I even get a namecheck on the CD sleeve. Thanks Yaz. She's already planning her second album for later in 2008, alongwith a world tour to promote her Life Begins disc. Also sent with the package was her Cry For Freedom single which was specially commissioned by the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund to commemorate the Bi-Centennial of the Abolishment of Slavery in Great Britain.
Last night I popped into the Dara Reang Sey Hotel to catch up with Dara, who I'd not seen for a couple of months. The welcome as always was very warm and it was great to hear that her staff numbers are up to 45 and that she is sending them to English or computer classes every day to improve their knowledge and day-to-day effectiveness. Their new sister hotel, with the same name, should be completed in Siem Reap in the next few months - its located by Psah Leu on Route 6. It was also good to bump into Don Gilliland, who was in town for a few days before returning to his home in Bangkok. Don had also been roped into editing one of the To Asia With Love series of guidebooks - his is the Burma edition - which he has now completed and so we discussed the ups and downs of life as a guidebook editor. My own To Cambodia With Love is still in the 'hard-graft of editing' stage.

1 comment:

honglanhuang said...

dear Andy,
thanks for your kind words. I will now come for the Forum on the Khmer Rouge on 18 February at Meta House which I am sure you know about. I also will give a high profile lecture about my book at teh Uniersity of Cambodia probably 9 March as they are ordering enough books of mine,