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From the Kingdom of Wonder—
a Senior Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia
When I travel with my camera, which is always, nearly everything is marvelous, strange, and worthy of appreciation. I show you the picture that I want to see. The essential truth about this art is that I lie with my camera.
In service to the picture of my experience, I will sometime lift the viewfinder above the trash, saturate the color, and focus on interesting details. I want to create a story that comes from my interpretation of what I see as much as it does from the thing itself. This is true with the story as well.
Mistranslations is my memoir of two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia. It is 69,150 words/246 pages, with nine poems and ten photos. Ready to be published!
Seriously, why go? Traveling is stressful, expensive,
and could be dangerous. You probably don't speak the language and the written words are incomprehensible. The food smells strange. You don't know what you are eating. You could get lost—you don't know anyone. You might get robbed. Or worse.
But, if you do go, you might meet lovely, helpful people and see stunning new landscapes. You might taste a fruit that you never knew existed. You could have a conversation with a stranger that you never see again and yet haunts you for the rest of your life.
Why travel? Because it is an adventure. Because you are curious about other cultures and people. And because travel is the greatest teacher. (But books are good too.) Travel will show you something that you need to know. Travel! Go! Stay as long as you can. Take pictures, make sketches, and keep a journal so you will remember why you went.