10th of 10 list: Reasons why you should read my NEW blog

List 10 of 10: 10 Reasons you should read my new blog


  1. The coming2cambodia name has become obsolete now that I no longer living Cambodia; the new blog will be universal and stay with me as I travel.
  2. I will continue, on occasion, to blog about the situation in Cambodia (just as I have continued to blog about Moldova issues and Chile issues).
  3. Recipes from a different continent. Yum Chilean food!
  4. It makes me happy when I my stat counter tells me that people have stopped by; comments make me even happier.
  5. How else are you going to keep up with my comings and goings?
  6. More photos both on the page and on my flickr account.  Perhaps I will even get better about actually posting Photo Wednesday photos on Wednesday
  7. Up coming posts on the debate over the legalization of prostitution.
  8. Harley, the dog, is coming with me to Chile for the new job and will be making guest appearances on the blog including a post on tips for traveling internationally with your canine friend.
  9.  I have moved the entirety of An MSW in Cambodia over to the new site for your archiving pleasure.
  10. The last, but most important reason, because Clare Says! (Note: the new website is http://claresays.wordpress.com)

9th list of 10: Things I need to do when home in States for 17 days

As I started my 101 entry, I thought I should do something fun. Inspired by Polly, I have decided to make 10 lists of 10; here is number 9.

  1. Travel to St. Louis, see friends, get dog and bring her home– this process is hampered by the fact that I no longer have a car and am jetlagged; however, it is doable thanks to my wonderful parents who are doing the driving. (Thanks mom and dad)
  2. Travel to Chicago and get work visa for Chile– aparently, this is something I have to do in person. Since I am in Chicago anyway we are going to see Wicked which I am uber-excited about.  (You can tell I am excited by the need to use the much under-utilized adjective “uber”).
  3. Travel to Duluth to see sister, brother in law, and their kids.  Yay! Also, see my sister’s house.
  4. Go to the dentist– this one is somehow less exciting then the last few.
  5. Have my friend Soda come visit– and thankfully drive with me up to Duluth.
  6. Bring Harley (the dog) to the vet so that she can fly to Chile with me.  Yay! My pup is moving to her third country in her 4.5 year life. 
  7. Go to locker that I am renting to store my stuff and renew contract.  While there put in anything left at parents’ condo and take out anything I want to bring to Chile with me.
  8. Visit Grandma multiple times.
  9. Talk to people in Chile and figure out 1- who is picking me up at airport; 2- where I am going; 3- how I am getting to Vina; 4- where I am living in Vina; 5- how to open a bank account there; and 6- contact organizations I am working with and remind them of my imminent arrival.
  10. Sleep.  If at all possible. It would be nice to arrive not completely overtired and/or sick. That said, point 10 is almost impossible.

7th post of 10: Reasons I am excited to be going to Chile

As I started my 101 entry, I thought I should do something fun. Inspired by Polly, I have decided to make 10 lists of 10; here is number 7.

  1. I have lived there in the past (8/96-8/97 and 12/99-12/00) and always said I would move back.
  2. I will be living on the beach as opposed to the capital city.
  3. Harley, my dog, is coming with me and these past six months I have missed her like crazy! (Although, my friends Meghan and Kheli did an amazing job taking care of her).
  4. Unlike in Cambodia and Moldova, the counter-trafficking movement is relatively new and therefore not set in bad habits yet. 
  5. I actually found someone to pay me to sit on street corners and talk to the children who live and work there.
  6. Dancing is a favorite pastime of mine; one which was not completely satisfied in Cambodia, Moldova, or St. Louis.
  7. Looking forward to seeing my old host family and friends down there.
  8. The 18th of September, only 6 weeks after I arrive, is Chile’s Independence Day Celebration and is a ton of fun. (Incidentally, it is also my friend Amy’s birthday.
  9. It is in the same time zone as my family in the states.  I really liked living in Cambodia, but the time difference was hard because it made it nearly impossible to talk to my parents on the phone or find my family and friends online.
  10. Pastel de Choclo—it is a typically Chilean food that is not vegetarian friendly, but is very tasty.  It has beef, chicken, and corn as the main ingredients.  Someday I will post the recipe.

2nd kiss-a-thon against discrimination

Gay y lesbianas protestan en Chile contra la discriminación en el Día de los Enamorados, originally uploaded by MUmS – Movimiento Unificado de Minorías Sexuales.

I didn’t grow up in the right generation in the United States: apathy does not suit me well. Not saying that all in my generation are apathetic, I mean, there are my friends. But, as general sweeping generalizations go, this one is not far enough off the mark. That and the fact that I think I would have been a good hippie.

I like protests. I especially like well planned ones. Original ones. Ones that make a statement. Ones that are non-violent. Ones that are provocative. The kiss-a-thon (in Spanish Besaton) last year in Chile is among my favorites.

What you are seeing in the picture is the Moneda, the presidential palace of Chile. It is located at the heart of downtown Santiago. The people in front are protesting for equal rights for all LGBT individuals, a law that grants these rights, and a law with a clause that punishes hate crimes as such.

I love the poetry involved in a kiss being a form of protest.

The second national Besaton will be held June 30th, 2007 at 4:00pm in front of la Moneda. If you are in Chile, sign up and attend.

Blogging for LGBT Families

2007familyday150x200, originally uploaded by coming2cambodia.

Once again, I am posting a non-Cambodian, non-human-trafficking post; but it is none the less important. Today is Blogging for LGBT Families day (as you can see by the lovely button) and I thought it would be nice to help add to the list of countries included. This post, written from Cambodia, by an American, is about a Chilean lesbian parent and the organization founded because of her struggle.

When I lived in Chile in 2000 and knew the people over at the gay rights movement (MUMS.cl), it was mostly male– per norm, lesbians were invisible in a still grassroots and small gay right movement. However, that has now changed and there are several organizations specifically for women. Today I would like to introduce you to one: Las Otras Familias (The Other Families).

Karen Atala, a Chilean judge with three children, had her children taken away from her by the courts in 2004 when she moved in with her partner. The courts granted custody to the father, he ex-husband. Ms. Atala, being a lawyer and judge herself, appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of Chile which ruled on the basis that, “[the children] would suffer psychological harm living with Ms. Atala and her partner…[and that] they would become confused about gender roles and suffer from discrimination and isolation.” The court then nullified all her rights as a mother and gave permanent and total custody to the girl’s father forever. She is still fighting, now on an international front, to have her children returned to her.

This court decision does more that just throw into termoil the lives of her daughters and herself; the court has set a precedent in Chile that would strike fear into the heart of any LGBT parent. Las Otras Familias, which emerged from this, is an organization that combats discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for women in all areas: legal right, work rights, maternity rights, etc. It is amazing the strength and community that has come together, spoken out, and continues to support one another in the face of injustice.

It is amazing to think of all the difficulties faced in developed and progressive nations when it comes to parentage and sexual orientation– it is even more devastating in the second world and third world. If you haven’t seen it, go check out Dangerous Living, a documentary that looks at coming out in the developing world.