Philosophy Club

Philosophy Club

After a lot of great Open Workshops over the last few months at Kinyei, we’re continuing to host the Open Workshop about Philosophy class; it starts every Thursday from 6pm- 7pm at Kinyei.

What is it about ?
This workshop is both for Khmer people and foreigners. It aims to bring people together to discuss and share the philosophy of life and community eg. This workshop will not just about discussing but also to encourage our minds to understand more about life and other philosophies.

About the Presenter
Diana Thompson from Australia has been running a lot of workshops about philosophy for many people with different ages. She has many experiences discussing philosophy, and she wants to share with people to understand more because philosophy is very important for everyday life .

Who’s it for?
The Workshop will be in English and it  will be the best for people who are interested to know more about philosophy of life and who want to improve their thinking, and share and discuss about their own topics of philosophy. So, please invite people who are interested in this, to get more ideas and learn more about philosophy from each other.

Where to join ?
Workshop place is at kinyei Cafe on the street number 1.5  near central market, Battambang town.

When ?
Every  Thursday from 6 pm to 7pm .

Extra:
If you have a particular skill, idea or experience you would like to share with the broader community, we’d love to talk to you about an open workshop, please contact us by email at info@kinyei.org.

As always, participation in Kinyei Open Workshops is free of charge. Look forward to seeing you there!

Soksabike is hiring!

Hi There! Soksabike is hiring Managers, hear all about it…

Soksabike bicycle tours is a social enterprise offering people all around the world an insight into the traditional livelihoods of the Cambodian countryside. We are passionate about responsible tourism and focus on educating guests in the realities of life in rural Cambodia and ensuring that visitors have a positive impact on the local communities – economically, socially and environmentally.

Our Goal

To educate tourists about daily Cambodian life, to facilitate real cross-cultural connections, and to provide our guests with guidance and information on how they can have a positive impact on the locations they travel to. In addition to these goals, we aim to provide our tourists with an awesome and unforgettable experience.

Position :  Business Manager and Operations Manager or Assistant Manager (1-2 positions)

Background:

Soksabike is an established social enterprise with 3 years of operation in Battambang. A successful applicant will be based in Battambang and work with a high degree of autonomy to further Soksabike’s social impact and success.

Soksabike is a small but active business and requires managers to be flexible, initiative-taking and dedicated to the project’s vision. Management experience is desirable but more important is commitment to self-improvement and the success of the project.

Business Management Responsibilities:

Soksabike business manager is primarily responsible for sales and marketing, business strategy and development of new tour products, with oversight from an active board.

Ideally the business manager will have experience or a strong interest in tourism and entrepreneurship, and some familiarity with accounting / financial management and external communications.

Operations Management Responsibilities:

Soksabike operations manager is responsible for management of all operational aspects of the Soksabike including management of office operations, guides, sales and bookings, and ensuring the ongoing high quality of all tours that Soksabike runs.

The operations manager will have experience or a strong interest in responsible tourism, hospitality, administration and communications.

General Requirements

  • Interest in cycling
  • Has Graduated with a bachelor degree at University (Any major relating to this job opportunity is a bonus)
  • Can start working at 20-30 hours per week, between 6:30 am – 5:00 pm as needed
  • Is passionate about sharing rural Cambodian culture
  • Respects all members of the local community
  • Excellent interpersonal skills within both Khmer and Western cultures
  • Can solve problems quickly and creatively as they appear
  • Has strong spoken and written English
  • Has good communication skills including online communications
  • Has strong computer skills (Excel, Google Docs, Gmail)
  • Flexibility and ability to work in a team towards a common goal
  • Experience working with foreigners a plus

If you possess the above characteristics, we want you to apply!

  • Attach a CV and Cover letter plus any related documents and deliver either:
    • Directly to our office on Street 1.5 (Affiliated with Kinyei Cafe) at the south of Psar Nat (Behind ANZ bank)
      – or –
    • By email to info@soksabike.com
  • Deadline for Application is January 28, 2013
  • Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

For additional enquiries, please contact our current Soksabike Manager : 

Phalla Yai : 077 833 170   Email: info@soksabike.com

 

Ready…Set…100k cycle!

Fearless Soksabike Guide, Untac, will be taking on the Angkor Wat Bike Race coming up in two days on December 1st. He’ll join thousands of cyclists from Cambodia and the world for the 100km jaunt around the temple complexes, raising money for vulnerable, at-risk Cambodian youth.

How’s he feeling going into the race?

You know, I feel prepared. To prep I would train with Phearon, a ride to Sampeu Mountain 2-3 times up and down. People who see me ask questions, why are you doing that hard work? Because normally they don’t do it, they don’t understand why someone would.

Untac on Bike

Untac during prep for the 100km race in Siem Reap

Untac has also been training with BTB Bike and Rithy who showed tips about riding bike long distance and train properly. Untac will be on a mountain bike, since he prefers it.

He’s heading up to Siem Reap by bike with fellow Soskabike Guides Phearon and Reaksmey today. He knows that the first half  is ok, but last 50 km is hard, where he loses power. So what moves him to go on?

Just think about the team here, pride for Soksabike and think about going through hard thing, legs or ass sore but mind control body instead of body control mind. I’m going to drink lots of coconuts and eat lots of bananas. Maybe try to eat spaghetti for power.

Stay tuned for more updates from the race. For now,

Goodluck, Untac!

Cambodian Barista Champion 2012

As some of you might have picked up on by now, two of Kinyei’s original baristas Untec Nem and Sean Oun just got back from  Phnom Penh where they went with a small cheering contingent from the cafe to battle Cambodia’s Finest (baristas) in the annual Cambodian Restaurant Association barista competition. There were 15 contestants, all from the capital, many representing big names like Brown, Gloria Jeans, and Sofitel.

And Untac won.

Now I’m not saying we didn’t entirely expect this – Sean and Untac are passionate learners, they’ve had the very best of help from visiting barista volunteers and our long-time supporters over at Jasper Coffee, and both the guys did Battambang proud on the day, whipping up quality joe with aplomb, panache and poise – but given our relative isolation as a coffee house in Battambang and the strength of the competition, it was definitely “wildest dreams” material to hear one of our guys called to the stage to accept the gold.

Their “signature drinks”, developed for the competition by the guys themselves in collaboration with Battambang’s small but loyal coffee drinking community are being chalked up on the board: Sean’s viennese style coffee with chocolate and whipped cream (incidentally one of the few coffees in the comp a judge didn’t just taste but polished off completely), and Untac’s “street latte” – a cafe latte infused with traditional Cambodian “duk ompeu” or sugar cane juice pressed with Pursat oranges.

Apparently the next competition is in Singapore where national champions from all around the region will compete to qualify for the World Barista Championship. That’s hugely exciting but for the moment, the team is enjoying the afterglow of the new sights, ideas and friends they found in Phnom Penh – a city many have only visited once or twice in their life.

So a huge thank you to all our supporters for your pledges, your well wishes and to those of you who have visited, your invaluable time and assistance – believe me it’s paying off.

This week! 3 Open Workshops at Kinyei

We are excited to host three technology related Open Workshops this week at Kinyei. Murray Bourne will be joining us from Singapore to deliver workshops on website development, image editing, and PHP programming. The schedule of workshops will be:

Tuesday 2nd Oct 
10:00 to 12:00 pm
Workshop (open workshop for anyone managing a website):
Topic: What visitors really do on your Website and what to do about it

 

Wednesday 3rd Oct 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Workshop (open workshop for anyone who shares digital images)
Topic: Image editing

 

Friday 5th Oct
5:00 to 7:00pm
Workshop (open workshop for anyone interested in Web development)
Topic: Introduction to PHP programming

About the Presenter

Murray Bourne is an educator, trainer, and Web developer. He has a keen interest in applying analytics to improve a wide range of human activities, including Web usability. Murray is an Australian who has lived in Asia for a large portion of his adult life. He is currently a freelance trainer based in Singapore.  facilitator with many years of experience in Japan, Singapore and Australia. Most recently he has facilitated workshops at InSTEDD in Phnom Penh.

Who are they for?

Workshops will be in English and Khmer (it there is interest, translation will be provided). The workshops will work best with a mix of participants so please invite both your expat and Khmer colleagues.

How to register?

Email the following to info@kinyei.org.

Your name:

Number of people participating:

Which workshop(s) you are interested in attending:

Organisation (if applicable):

What do you want to achieve in this workshop:

Workshop places are limited so please register to ensure a place. As always, participation in Kinyei Open Workshops is free of charge. Look forward to seeing you there!

Notes on Kinyei’s Barista Train Up

This rainy season in Battambang the Cafe team has stayed plenty busy skilling up with a number of barista workshops, thanks to the expertise and generosity of two standout trainers. We are all thrilled after visits from Jasper Coffee resident experts Stacy and Evan with our new know-how and honed machine skills, bringing our espresso quality up a few notches, and helping us set new goals for the future of the Cafe.

Kinyei had a fantastic time hosting Stacey Irving in June. She brought her extensive wisdom of all things espresso making, as well as her passion for crafts and crocheting. Stacey taught the Cafe team to be proficient in self-critiquing their barista skills, and made additions to our work-in-progress Kinyei Barista Training Manual.
She also delighted the crafty Cafe staff with a paper crafting session, thanks to materials donated from AWARE global, her craft-based NGO.

Evan Ong, celebrated espresso machine technician from Jasper bestowed heaps of knowledge on the newly appointed espresso machine technicians. The group learned everything from milk steaming tricks to the technical workings of the machine. We’re gearing up to offer our own machine technician services to other cafes in Battambang that run into snaffoos with their machines. Mel recounts,

Evan was really impressed with how the guys picked it all up and how well they worked together. He showed us a nifty trick to block two of the holes in our steam wand so now our milk is phenomenal!

Evan was awesome to have around to share his own stories of a start up business – a dive shop he helped to develop on an island in Fiji in order to provide job opportunities to young people that didn’t involve moving away.

One of the most impressive things about our Barista expert friends is their own investment in community projects. Stacey’s AWARE project, and Evan’s startup dive shop business are inspirations to us at Kinyei, and we’re psyched to connect with others that prioritize community based projects in their lives.

This August we had our fifth intake of aspiring baristas in the Cafe! Welcome to Vatha, Bopha, and Chhaiya. And it’s just in time for the Cambodian Restaurant association’s Barista competition in October. Stay tuned to see who takes the torch from Untac!

Circus Oz tickets up for grabs

In a surprise act of random awesomeness supporter Mike Finch of Circus Oz just announced that he’s donating a double pass to the show to whoever donates the most to our campaign in the next 11 hours (at time of writing).

You can see his rules below (there aren’t any really) – just make sure you give us a name to go by on the donation page and you’re in the running. HUGE thanks to Mike, we couldn’t do this without supporters like that!

June visitors and happenings at Kinyei

We’re mere hours (look right) from the end of our Start Some Good fundraiser and with the support of 128 backers, we’ve raised over $15,000! We’re blown away. Thank you everyone! And if you’d still like to donate or share with friends, family and interested folks, there is time yet…get those pledges in by 11 am Sat Melbourne time, 9 pm Fri US EST. Also, IF we can crack $20k by the end of the campaign Mel and Katie will perform a special number on the ukulele and post it online!

It’s truly been a packed month in Battambang; we’ve hosted three visitors with lots of wisdom to share, and one more to come. Kinyei has been buzzing with new know-how and tips on social media, and tools for cross cultural communications. The management team in training also soaked up a knowledge on good leadership skills, and got back to basics discussing “what is a manager?”


John Jablonka, a Darwin-based cross cultural communications guru, spent a week coaching Kinyei team,  and facilitating focus groups on culture, problem solving and planning. He was a real home run with the team and we’re looking forward to hosting him again in the not so distant future!

We were also lucky to have Sarah Moran on a trip from Melbourne to BTB running a series of social media workshops for the team. It’s safe to say her workshops were a hit and that there were more participants than computers!

Beijing-based Nick McIntosh joined in to assist with the tech workshops as well as document the good learnings happening all around.

And in just a few days we’ll be welcoming Jasper‘s own barista trainer Stacey Irving to boost our espresso making prowess. She’ll also be speaking on coffee appreciation to the larger Battambang community. The team is ready for this refresher, after all we haven’t had the expert barista’s eye in our shop since James visited last year. Here’s to another month packed full of learnings!

 

Update! to an Unlikely story at Kinyei

Run with her son, daughter and grandchildren

Not even a week old and our story on how Phalla helped reunite a long lost Cambodian family around the world already requires a part 2!

Things have unfolded quickly since we reported that with Phalla’s leads, Run was able to discover her cousin in New Zealand.

Yesterday morning Run spoke with her sister in Phnom Penh for the first time in 30 years. She also talked with a cousin, and found out about family living in Australia, and a niece living in the US that she never knew about. We’re so floored for Run as she rediscovers her family.

An Unlikely Story at Kinyei

Personal connections are made everyday at Kinyei and Soksabike; it’s part of what we do here. Every now and then, though, something extra amazing happens that helps us to remember how powerful channels of communication around the world really are.

A few months ago, a message came into the general Soksabike email inbox. It was not the usual request for a tour booking; this message came from the US and inquired after lost family thought to be living in Battambang. Written by Run and Larry from Tennessee, the message told the too familiar story of a family disrupted by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Run is Cambodian born and raised, and had left Battambang during the conflict to stay in the Thai border camps before leaving for the US. Now, 30 years later, Run asked after her grandfather, mother and younger sister who were last known to be living in Tuol Ta Eik village in Battambang.

Run had been looking for ways to communicate with residents of Battambang to find information on her family for years. Finally facebook and similar social media channels provided a pathway in. Months had passed and Run hadn’t had much traction asking around to those claiming Battambang residence facebook. Run had come across the Soksabike website looking for another way to access people that would know Battambang.

Phalla, Soksabike’s main bookings officer, came across the message and took pause. “How should I reply?”, she thought. Phalla’s mother lived in Tuol Ta Eik village. Maybe she could start there and just ask around. It couldn’t hurt.

“Ok, I have relatives, maybe I can help”, she wrote back to Run and Larry. She’d give it a try, but wanting to temper their expectations, told them she really had no idea if she would actually be able to help. She asked Run for her family member’s Khmer names.

Thinking logically, Phalla started her investigation with the Tuol Ta Eik Commune Chief. She met the staff of the Commune Chief, and presented the facts. “I said, I have a person I know who stays in the US and who is looking for her relatives.” Phalla recounted.

With some luck it seemed to Phalla, the staff member recognized one name from the list Phalla brought; Run’s grandfather, Cham Roeun Yam, who had died some time ago. The staff confirmed that the family used to reside in Tuol Ta Eik, and that all members of the family had either passed away or moved, except for one known granddaughter whose whereabouts could not be confirmed.

Phalla waited to give the staff time to ask around in the community. Although there was hope that the names had been recognized, Phalla was a bit doubtful on what would turn up. When she returned to the Commune Chief’s office, Phalla received the news that the staff had a chance meeting with a police officer that knew Run’s grandfather and family. He suggested that Phalla go and meet with the police, but Phalla was reluctant. She’d prefer to avoid trips to the police station.

There had to be something else she could do herself, without going to the police. On a whim, Phalla decided to ask her mother’s neighbors in Tuol Ta Eik. She hadn’t thought of it before, but the neighbors were nearly 80 years old, and had lived in the village for decades, perhaps they would have known or heard of Run’s relatives. She asked, did they know Cham Roeun Yam? Phalla was delighted. Yes, they had known her grandfather, who, they informed Phalla, had been the pagoda chief and had passed away in 1975. And yes, they could suggest another close friend of the family that might be a good resource.

The lead the neighbors gave to Phalla was fruitful. A dear friend of Run’s cousin from primary school, the woman was now a pharmacist in Psa (market) Runlakoun not far from Tuol Ta Eik. Phalla finally had good news for Run; the next day she gave Run and Larry the phone number of Run’s cousin, now living in New Zealand. Soon after that, Run and her cousin spoke on the phone after 32 years of separation.

Run’s cousin also had news; Run’s mother and sister are thought to be alive and living in Phnom Penh. So the search goes on, but already with such a fortuitous connection, the future is looking bright.

Phalla is energized and visibly moved by the story, and by her own role in it all. “I’m really happy, first, I have never done anything like that, I felt a very happy feeling, I didn’t think I would find even someone that knows her relative, I just thought I could try” she says, her eyes lit up.

“What’s funny, I look around and go far before I look right in front of me, and think maybe I should look closely. It was an accident, really, I found the answer at my mom’s house”. And all this time, the neighbors Phalla saw everyday had the information that the strangers from thousands of miles away were looking for.

Phalla’s excitement is infectious. We couldn’t be more proud to have her on our team. Phalla and Run have since been in communication sharing about their lives and families. They recently discovered a shared passion. Run owns a small craft shop in the US; for those that know her, this is just about the best news a craft enthusiast like Phalla could get.

Please share this story! It’s a testament to what strong communication channels are capable of. At Kinyei want to continue to promote these strong channels through the projects and the people involved. Best of luck to Run as she will interview for her US citizenship on June 14!