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Lesson for 2011

Beware of big animals

Cows seemed to be running amok on a monthly basis, getting in the way of traffic and wandering wherever they pleased. Than Sambo the elephant stole the show when he began his week-long rampage on residents in Kampong Speu. After days of inaction, government and animal experts were finally able to subdue the 53-year-old beast and bring him to Tachmau Zoo, where he is now posing no danger to onlookers.

Watch what you say

It wasn’t a good year for opposition voices. Sam Rainsy and Mu Sochua, perhaps the two most well known members of the Sam Rainsy party, were both punished for their critical actions and comments towards the government, and Ros Soket, an opposition newspaper man, also spent time in jail. He clearly did not learn his lesson, however, since he said he would focus his efforts to expose corruption on Hun Sen the same day he was released from jail.

Protect yourself in bed

Cambodia has been a success story for the fight against HIV/AIDS in the past decade, however the threat of the disease has not gone away, and world health groups have said that because of a lack of education and concern among youth in the region, teenagers and young adults are the most vulnerable group to see a rise in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. As it is becoming more common for Cambodian youth to be more sexually active, the need to use condoms is higher than ever.

Go see your country

You have probably seen some of Cambodia already, but surely there are many places you have yet to see. You might think that they will still be there, and still be beautiful for your whole life, but due to industrial projects and population expansion, Cambodia’s natural wonders are rapidly changing. If there is a trip you have been waiting to take, go do it now, you never know when it will change.

Be careful crossing borders

Borders have been a risky place to be this last year. Members of the Sam Rainsy party had multiple run ins on the Vietnamese border, including one that left Sam Rainsy and two villagers facing charges of disinformation in court. More recently, Thai government officials were found on the wrong side of their border with Cambodia, and now their fate is also in the hands of Cambodia’s courts.

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