The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh put then seven of us, Cambodian bloggers, on a helicopter to visit the U.S. Mercy Ship and the crews whose mission was to help Cambodian people living in Kampong Som and Koh Kong (two South-Western provinces of the kingdom). Our articles about this one-day trip can be found here, here and here. We took photos, asked the crew members questions, and interviewed the Cambodian beneficiaries of the Mercy Ship project.This arrangement by the embassy was quite unprecedented. Seven Cambodian bloggers were invited to tour USNS Mercy, a hospital ship from San Diego, California. This kind of visit had long been organized for mainstream journalists, but at this point, bloggers had the honor!
Supporting U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide, the USNS Mercy hospital ship, along with its crew of U.S. Navy and Army personnel from Australia, Canada, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, and the Philippines, and a host of NGO’s from throughout the land, come to Cambodia to help poor Cambodians who do not have access to proper medical care in remote provinces.