Seasons Greetings!

Hard to believe that this is our first ever group photo! Please excuse the poor Photoshopping—if you can even tell which 2 are Photoshopped ūüėČ

 

And check out the great card with got from BFT–that’s the Director Sedtha Long under the Santa gear

 

December 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

One Year

Wow. ¬†One year ago today I said goodbye to BFT and made the commitment to come back to Austin and do something to give back. ¬†Reading¬†my blog post from that day, I am still struck by Sophorn’s words as we sat in the tree house sopping up soup with bread:¬†“Everyone wants a way to give back and when you find it you¬†know¬†and you just do it.”

I knew I had found it with BFT, I just wasn’t quite sure where I could take it. ¬†Looking back at this past year, I have to say that my mind is a bit blown. ¬†It started with me driving around Austin like a madwoman with a trunk full of scarves and eventually led to the formation of an amazingly committed team of volunteers that came to be known as Austin2Angkor. ¬†I am so thankful to Caitlyn, Nick, Tracy, Shannon, Vanessa and Nicole for jumping on board and trusting that all the effort and dedication is going to have a huge impact on a community of strangers in a country to which they’ve never been. ¬†I promise, it is worth it, and I can’t wait to share the experience with you!

I know I’ve said it in practically every post on this blog, but I have to reiterate my gratitude to everyone who has ever committed their time, money, space or attention to Austin2Angkor. ¬†From friends and family to the Austin community at large, without each of you we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Looking forward to what’s to come,

Roni

December 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment

Online Donation Hiatus

Just a quick note that our Crowdrise page is no longer in service, so please sit tight while we get our new online donation page up and running.  Happy holidays!

December 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

We got this sweet card from BFT Center today. Happy Thanksgiving from both us and them–we are so thankful for our special partnership and look forward to visiting them in Cambodia soon!

November 23, 2011 at 7:44 am Leave a comment

Changes Coming to A2A

It’s hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner and 2011 is coming to an end. ¬†We feel so grateful for all the opportunities we have had this past year: from our first documentary screening at the Alamo Drafthouse to our recent tent at Fun Fun Fun Fest and subsequent visit to Texas State University, we have felt a lot of love from the Austin community and beyond as we continue to grow. ¬†Our team definitely has lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and it’s a large part due to all of you!

At the moment we have raised just over $7,100 toward our first goal of building a Community Training Center that will provide educational and dormitory space in a remote village outside of Siem Reap.  We definitely could not have made it this far without the backing of Edge of Seven, the non-profit that has served as our fiscal sponsor over the past several months.  At the end of this month, our sponsorship agreement with Edge of Seven will come to an end, and we want to express sincere gratitude to Erin and her team at Edge of Seven for their support this year. 

This also means that at the end of November, Austin2Angkor will be on hiatus as we set up with a new fiscal sponsor.  So if you have been meaning to give or are already feeling the holiday spirit, please be sure to make your donation within the next 15 days while we still have online donation capabilities by visiting www.crowdrise.com/austin2angkor.  Whatever we raise within the next couple of weeks will be sent to Cambodia where the initial stages of the Community Training Center will get underway.  Every little bit we are able to raise between now and then will go a long way!

Thanks again for all your support this year–we wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and look forward to getting back in touch with you soon about our next steps!

November 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

TOMS Books for Bloggers

I came home from work yesterday to find a mysterious UPS note on my door with “Toms” scribbled in the sender line. ¬†I haven’t ordered any shoes recently and I definitely don’t have any friends named Tom sending me care packages, so it took a second to sink in what it may be. ¬†But I had never received any sort of email response about the Books for Bloggers contest I entered a few weeks ago, so still wasn’t certain. After some digging in my junk mail folder, I found the answer I was looking, and it looked a little something like this:

We’re stoked to have been selected to be a part of this program. The TOMS vision has been an inspiration ever since I bought my first pair of their shoes at the Austin City Limits Music Festival back when TOMS first started. Heck, I may have even bought them from Blake Mycoskie himself for all I know.

I’m eager to read this book, as I know I will find some good motivation on how to turn my little-big ideas into bigger-big realities. ¬†I hope that each of our volunteers will also read this book and write reviews on here of what they take from it. ¬†If any of you Austin2Angkor followers out there want to pick up a copy ¬†of Start Something That Matters and join in on this informal book club, I’d love to publish your thoughts on here, as well.

As for the book giveaway–it only seems right that our team read the book first before coming up with an apt contest. Rest assured, we will be getting the Austin community involved in a creative way to help us further spread the word on our something that matters.

Shoot us an email if you want to take part in reading this!

Roni

November 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

Fun Fun Fun Fest Recap

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our tent this weekend to learn about what Austin2Angkor is all about!  We left each day with throats, eyes, nails, clothes, skin and hair full of dust, but we still managed to enjoy meeting so many new people. Several Cambodians actually spotted our flag and stopped by our tent over the course of the festival, as did folks who have traveled to Cambodia. It was so nice to share what we were doing with people who have had first hand experience there.

Not to mention the people watching from our tent–directly across from the entrance, near the comedy stage and right by an amateur wrestling ring–made the long hours quite entertaining! ¬†Here are some of the views from our tent:

 

On Sunday night our new friend and neighbor, Ivory from Invisible Children, did us the honors of drawing the two winners of our South Congress prize packages. Big congratulations and thank you to our winners¬†Erica Almaraz of San Antonio, TX & Marissa Davila of Edinburg, TX. Erica won our grand prize with a night at the Hotel San Jose, dinner at Botticelli’s, breakfast at Magnolia Cafe and shopping at Stag. Marissa will receive a $20 gift card to Snack Bar and a necklace from The Impeccable Pig. Giant shout out to all our fabulous South Congress donors!

We even managed to scarf a few stars of the Fest! We were literally this close |_______________________________| to scarfing Ryan Gosling!

Headlining Comedian/Actor Brian Posehn

and Lizardman!

Thank you Fun Fun Fun Fest for allowing us to be a part of the, well, fun–we hope to do it again next year!

November 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

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