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Writer Christian DeVries recently traveled to Heifer projects in Cambodia and Vietnam to collect field stories. Below, Christian gives us a snapshot of the culture he had the chance to see while traveling for us.

Photo by Christian DeVries

I love the spirit houses you see everywhere in Cambodia.

Beyond the rich colors and beautiful designs, I really enjoy seeing what people leave as offerings.  Incense, food and drink are common.  Occasionally, they have figurines, photos, or remembrances of loved ones.  The variety and style of each house is a reflection of the family that loves and cares for it.
These mini dwellings are displayed prominently in homes and businesses across the country.  According to Wikipedia, "The house is intended to provide a shelter for spirits which could cause problems for the people if not appeased."
In almost all of the restaurants and hotels that I visited, there were indoor shrines that were even more ornate.  Shrines and pagodas are also scattered across Vietnam.  I have included a few in the slideshow here.


Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She and her husband raise two daughters in a house way too small for their four pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping.