Skills Development





Spaghetti Dinner for Students
28 August 2008


Tashi Bradford is a sign language linguist who is working at the Deaf Development Programme for one year to continue the sign language dictionary project and train the DDP staff. She lived for a time at the DDP House, the hostel for deaf students taking job training in Phnom Penh, and on her last night there prepared a spaghetti dinner for the twenty students in the house.

Tashi cooking spaghetti Tashi, an American now living in France, started working at DDP in early August. She stayed at DDP House almost three weeks, to learn more of the local sign language and deaf culture, before moving to her own apartment.
Tasting while cooking One of the students observed Tashi preparing the spaghetti and had the chance to participate in one of the related experiences of cooking this dish.
Waiting for supper Five of the young women at the house gathered in one of the rooms to wait for dinner to be ready.
Eating dinner Finally it was time to eat and the five outside tables were prepared. The students eat their evening meal outside each night except when it is raining.
Another table eating dinner The second and fourth girls in this picture are wearing pajamas. Pajamas are for sleeping here, as they are in other cultures, but they are also like a house dress, a most casual style of clothing. Many people go home and take a shower and put on pajamas for the rest of the day, no matter where they are going or what they are doing.
Another table of students The photograph is a bit deceptive because the students seem to be eating the spaghetti but actually ate almost none of it. Many Asian people have no experience of eating anything except their own native food, rice with meat or vegetables prepared in different ways with different spices. They are very finicky about eating anything that is not rice. To them, eating something that is not rice, no matter how much of it, is not a meal. Pushing the spaghetti aside, the students went in and cooked a full REAL meal of rice and dried fish.
Holding a light when the power failed
Halfway through the meal, the electricity went off and twenty-plus people were trying to eat in the dark. Phirom, one of the house parents, took a bright flashlight and stood on a table to give a little light so everyone could finish eating. Having seen this, we will provide one of our small generators for DDP House.
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