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Albeiro Rodas

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My story

I am proud to be a Colombian and I work everyday, trying to contribute to humanity, also in the name of my people, their suffering, their talents and their ideals for a best country.

When I was a boy my dreams were to be a journalist (I wanted to be a reporter for BBC, that was since then my favorite news agency... at the time I listen the Spanish edition and I admired always their care for language.)

Then I dream all the time with China. I saw its culture and history as a wonderful world.

One of the persons I got in love in my teen days was Karl Sagan. I watched all the unforgettable chapters of Cosmos and I dream I can do a program like this in Cambodian for the Cambodian children and youth.

I read a lot in my young years: Borges, Kafka, Herman Hess, Garcia Marquez, Fernando Pessoa, Ryszard Kapuściński, Tomas Carrasquilla, Fernando Gonzalez, Vargas Vila and many others.

I finished journalism and social communication at the Pontifical Bolivarian University with a lot sacrifices, coming from a poor quarter of Medellin, Barrio Doce de Octubre. In 1995 I fall in love with another great person: Don Bosco. I followed him and I am with him since then.

In 1999 I stayed for 7 months in Cartagena working in the Salesian Technical Schools of Las Bovedas Street and I considered that time one of the most beautiful of my life for the people I knew. But that same year I left my country in a travel to an unknown world, speaking only Spanish. In Italy the Salesian superiors send me to Cambodia.

I can say something odd: I dreamt with Bangkok several years before. When I saw that city, I remembered a dream I had with it. I admired very much the Asian kindness and smile.

On October 12, 1999 I arrived to the Phnom Penh International Airport. The Cambodian I saw then and the Cambodia we have now are totally different. This development is a matter of a permanent study for me, because I find it amazing, interesting and a key to understand many problems of our modern world. Cambodia is a big social laboratory to see, as well as Colombia.

Comparing Colombia and Cambodia is always my attitude. Sharing experiences between these two nations opposed in the globe is my fascination.

Between 2001 and 2005 I got a new great adventure. The Salesian superiors sent me to study theology in Bethlehem, among the Palestinians. A Colombian, missioner in Cambodia, and now at the center of the planet in the troublesome Middle East. What I saw, what I listen there, gave me a big contribution of how I see things now. It was there where I understood that political and ideological interests are put over humanity almost everyday in our world.

In 2005 I returned to Cambodia already as a priest of Don Bosco. It has not been easy to combine the fact of being a priest with a journalist. It is a big challenge, because as a journalist we have to assume a full scientific position. Then the Mystery of God cannot be brought to a press conference following the rules of investigation. However, the priest urges to take action against the evils of this world, the evils that attempt against humanity. The journalist puts in order the notes. The balance is difficult to stand, but it tries to work.

In Poipet I was for 12 months and I began to investigate the drama of human traffic. It is to my understanding one of the worst threats to Cambodians.

I am not in Kep City, a paradise. In this tropical paradise we are building a new technical school, while I continue with my project of the schools of journalism.

You are welcome to visit us. You are welcome to participate in this dream, the one to support young people in order to have a best future. I need a lot of funds to do so, but also help with volunteers, persons with an ideal to build a better world.

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