I was very happy that I had the chance to visit Cambodia Town in Long Beach, California, during my trip to the States. I have to say, I was missing Cambodia quite a bit, but Cambodia Town made me feel at home.
The U.S. Department of State organized the trip for me, and on the evening of July 27th, Congresswoman Laura Richardson and I had a three hour candid discussion with a group of leaders from the community. It was a great chance to receive advice and counsel on what Cambodian-Americans think should be done in Cambodia. They raised many issues during our talk, such as promoting U.S. business in Cambodia, the difficulties Cambodians face with our visa process, and the importance of improving education for Cambodian youth. It was wonderful to not only learn about the great things happening in Cambodia Town, such as the various youth programs its community center provides, but to also see such pride and authenticity in this Cambodian enclave. I had such a fantastic time that I bought a Cambodia Town street sign, which I have already proudly hung in my office!
Thanks so much to everyone who welcomed me in Long Beach. I loved meeting you all and seeing the similarities between yourselves and Cambodians I’ve met in Phnom Penh and around the provinces. I encourage all who attended to not only send me pictures, but to also come out to see how beautiful Cambodia is. I love this country, and hopefully I’ll have the chance to get back to Cambodia Town soon to share more stories with all of you.