Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tramkok - And they call her Duh

My training village is Tramkok - a small but somewhat wealthy town about 12 kilometers outside of our hub site Takeo. Out K3 group is split between Tramkok and Traing and so on any given day I could only see about half (usually less) of my fellow Peace Corps Trainees. Tramkok is nice (or a bit better than Traing) because we have an air conditioned gas station that sells (gasp!) cold beverages, an internet cafe, and a tuk tuk stop. This becomes incredibly useful when we need to travel to our hubsite once a week for seminar and need to have the option of traveling by tuk tuk instead of riding our bicycles.

My family is still wonderful and I (finally) have a sense of who my family members are in my immediate family. With so many extended relatives and neighbors hanging around all the time it was quite impossible to tell who was who. I have three sisters, two brothers, a mother, and a father. I was a little bit confused about the whole father thing when I first moved in with my family though. It was not until yesterday that he showed up and I am almost afraid to ask where he has been as some Cambodian men have two lives (such as a wife and a mistress) and must (more often than not) live in different cities. I do not know what my family's situation is.. but I have yet to feel comfortable enough to ask them... especially while he is there.

Names names names. I have been told that that there are only about 40 names used in Cambodia for the majority of the population. There could be as little as 10 names in Cambodia and I would still get my family member's ames wrong. For some reason.. on my first day when I asked my little sister what her name was she told me Keena (or what sounded like Keena). She has been the one that has helped me with everything - from setting up my mosquito net to practicing Khmer. For the last two weeks I have been calling her Keena and she has been responding to it. It was to my great surprise then, when my language teacher came to my house to find that her name was not Keena. Her name is Duh. How ironic is that?

So after that embarrassment I have decided to just call them all my little brother, big brother, little sister or older sister until I know, without a doubt, what their name is.

1 comment:

  1. Kellee you are so funny:) Keena and Duh are so similar, so it is understandable how they got mixed up;) also quite ironic indeed! I tried to locate tramkok on google and i cannot find it. It must be a very small town. Miss you!