Been a while since I wrote! Didn't realize how long! So my family was supposed to come visit and then said no and then said yes and then said no and then said yes and then said no. heheh! And so I had my latest guest stay longer. The whole time I am thinking it would have been so great to have them see all this and then all of the sudden they said yes! They would come! So they came! Brenda was still here but gone to siem reap. She and I had just come back from a trip to vietnam. I had figured that would be my last trip but then my parents came! Made for a mad rush of trying to do everything before they came because after they left I had one working day left before the holidays which are going on right now!
But it has been wonderful! Everything just works out! Vietnam was great. It gave Brenda and I twelve hours of time to just talk and talk on the bus. I gave her my personal guided tour of the city! It is smaller than I even remembered and we even got some of the extra things I wanted done done at the last minute!
Came back at night and the next day I was at gateway going over stuff with the students at Michael at 10. Finished at 1 and had class. Finished and had a piece of apple pie and was off to pay my electricity bill, then go finish some stuff with the ngo I have been helping with their medical project, then fruit shopping for my parents and was almost home when I got stuck in obama traffic. Actually it was kind of cool. Obama landed the same time in cambodia as we were going through immigration in vietnam. So all the immigration people and all of us on the bus watched as he got off the plane. His leaving wasn't as great as I got stuck for 2-3 hours. :( but it was an experience to be had. Once they let the traffic go it was a mad rush for the intersection with the police just watching at the side. Literally cars, motorcycles and bicycles gridlocked in the intersection and us in the middle! But people quickly figured out how to make things move and we got home at 8! AHH! I went over the rheas and they had food for me while I recuperated from my busy day before going home. I hadn't cleaned yet, so had to get up early and do that!
Got my cleaning done, morning class taught, lunch prep and handed out important papers and money and even sat to chat with my medical student before going to class at 1 and then rushing off to get my parents! I was running late cause I was working on stuff and getting them shakes but praise God got there just a second before them!
Got them home and they were dying of the heat already! Now they understand why I told them not to come in April! :) After some rest we were off to a massage. No electricity so really nothing to do. We found a new place and they had a great experience, though the massage was so so and they got to try my thai cooking! :)
The next day we were off to sight see. They were more impacted with toul sleng genocide museum than I had thought. Russian market was just like I thought! Can't go and not buy something. Then off to the killing fields and I love they audio tour they have. Finally home and some rest before thanksgiving dinner at the rheas! Then Brenda had to leave :( but it was great having her!
Off early the next morning at 5. I was up at 3:30 preparing lunch and breakfast. We got a tour guide for the big temple and it was great and it was a good thing we didn't for the others cause mom and dad were exhausted but they got to see it all so it was great!! They have really renovated since I last saw it and it is sad in many ways cause it's worse, but safer! :)
Got home exhausted and I went to sleep.
Up at 6 to work and get to church on time! It was awesome to get to get to talk to them about the Jesus film and the impact it had on them. Got home and just had time to order food and eat after getting them a head massage and their nails done. Then off for watching sky fall followed by a massage and home. Sunday up early to go to church, left early to go to the party, from the party to fcc for some lunch and home for a little rest before tea time and a trip to the airport! The morning had been spent trying to pack and make sure I didn't leave anything important in the suitcases I was giving them.
As soon as they left went to the rheas who were soooo happy to get to see me! The poor girls hadn't seen me in a few days!
Woke up early yesterday and worked on getting the money all straightened out. Everything was accounted for and we left to open an account so that everything can continue without me. I wanted the medical students and michael to have a joint account, but the students had exams so didn't want to disturb them. We weren't able to get the account open in the morning so decided after class. Class went long and extra students from the party showed up. So our boat party was a huge success. Thursday we went to invite all our old students and new girls wanted to come. They came and then they came yesterday to class! We had 3 new girls and 2 old girls show up! So yay! Infact we had to have our old students teaching the new and it was great to watch. The ones who have never been teachers before just felt so proud and they were so good at it! It was awesome! At the boat party we had 1/2 new people and so it was weird dynamics, but yesterday in the more intimate setting it was great. Each student spoke. Tears as everyone spoke and it was the kind of party I had wanted! It was great! Had gifts. i didn't have time to write my cards but was able to speak to them and say what was on my heart! I was surprised by what some of them said and shocked by how many cried.
So ended the party at 3:30, had a 5 minute interview with a potential teacher and then were off to the bank but the medical students called right before I left so they got to come and get insight before it closed at 4 and sign a joint account with michael. I trust all of them completely but now we even have accountability. Right after that off to meet someone to possibly sign on with again as a teacher! and then home at 8 :) had a great talk with the rheas, finished some work, home by 11 and was out like a log. I think 4 hours of sleep does that to you!
Got up early and its been a very productive morning. Just need to sell more stuff! pray for me!
Life is busy and yet it all falls together at the end anyways. Yesterday we spent the day running around and didn't have water and it didn't come in during our short window of opportunity, but lo and behold as we were on our way home, I got a call that the water people were waiting. We were planning to see a folk dance thing, but were too late so we changed our evening plans. Michael decided to stay and I made Tom Yum and Pad Thai and I had bought cheese cake before and so it was my very first tasty dinner! and we watched a movie on the projector. The movie was predictable and not so great, but it made a fun night.
I am leaving in 2 weeks and it just hit me yesterday! AHHH! So much to do and take care of before I leave. Stuff to sell, people to find to finalize things and yet at the same time, God has to do it all!
The english classes are going well, but we still need another teacher. Interviewing someone saturday. Talking about possible business opportunities for the girl with someone as well on saturday!
Been eating cheetos for my meals! It's horrible! Three days of 3 meals of cheetos! but soon things should settle down!
God is good! So yesterday we had our first outreach to the school! We got ready at 6:30 but even though our late student was early, everyone else was late. So we didn't get out till close till 7:30. Then we had a flat tire. They fix those in pretty amazing ways in cambodia. I took pictures and watched pretty amazed. Not only did our motorcycle tire pop so did the late groups :) Then we were off. I don't know if we were rushing to get there on time or what, but I haven't been so scared on a motorcycle in a while. My driver didn't avoid potholes but went over them and I was holding 2 bags of tooth brushes plus my bag :). At one point my bag flew off my shoulder down my arm and in a true movie style move i caught it just as it was about to slip off my fingers and then hold on again to the motorcycle before the next pothole.
When I thought the ride might be over we got to a ferry - a flat bunch of boards on two canoes :). We got there around 10. I think we were supposed to start at 9. The principal was super nice. They had a little for us to eat. Ratana's mom had made us traditional khmer banana leaf wrapped banana rice things and there was water. We started class and although this was our least prepared event, everyone did great. Timing and everyone ended up great. We broke into 4 classes and did the sessions with the teachers rotating. And then at the end we gave out candy, tooth brushes, tooth paste and deworming medicine. Everyone was happy and thrilled. And mostly it was all new information. We did fire safety and no one knew to stop drop and roll, we did teeth brushing and they got to practice on our new set of teeth that we bought. We did hygiene and deworming with gross pictures of worms coming out of noses and stuff and of course helmet safety. They knew why they should wear their helmet, but hopefully the watermelon on the floor will help them really let it into their hearts. :)
Came home just as the afternoon class was starting. And then after class was on the phone for a long long time. Poor brenda. As much as she enjoyed her first three days here, now she is getting into the daily things and it's a lot more tiring :) she missed morning class this morning cause she was sleeping :)
Went shopping for food after that and I had cheetos for dinner as we walked the mall cause there was no electricity back home. Got home and we were both exhausted. 4 hours on the back of a motorcycle scared as could be hehe! But having to just leave it in God's hands tired us both out :)
Our new class and location is working out. Pray for our new teacher. I just want one to help Michael so he can be free to move around and do his thing. There is one who wants to charge full days wages for 2 hours of work and doesn't seem to see what is wrong with that and another who might do it for 1/2 the price and is just as good and I actually know her. Just pray we hire the right teacher to take over. Michael is great, but like me, he needs freedom to do other things as well as this.
Also, I need to sell everything, so please pray for that as well.
It's been a super busy since Thursday. Brenda came to visit and it's been great. This is the first time I have felt like I can actually host my guest properly. Friday was a holiday, so after meeting the medical students in the morning and going over stuff we went out for lunch! I ended up at the wrong indian restaurant, but it's one people talk about a lot. I didn't like it much. After that we went to the rifle range. Since I have been here I have seen tuktuks with posters advertising AK-47 shooting. So Brenda and I went. It was a little pricey, but now that I am almost leaving, I want to do and try all that I know I can't do elsewhere. I thought it would be outside. But it was at an army place and indoors. They gave us ear mufflers and then said shoot at a target way far away. I was surprised but did pretty well :)
After that we went to watch a movie but found out there was nothing we wanted to see on and so sat around and talked. Came home and off to movie night! Amazing how popcorn and candy can fill you up and wake you up enough to stay awake for a little bit at least!
Came home actually tired and stayed reading.
Saturday we decided to go out and do stuff with a plan. So went to Toul Sleng - the genocide museum and then the russian market. Found a lot of stuff there that I didn't even know I wanted. Probably bought more than I have in the entire time in one shot that day! We started to eat and ended up talking and not making it to the killing fields. I have been to Toul Sleng 3 times but it always gets me. The horrible things that people can do to each other is incredible.
Then we were off to a massage. I was going to try something new - aromatherapy massage, cause they are so cheap, but the oil had no smell and I changed it to a cheaper safer and known massage :) Michael called while we were there and joined us for dinner. He had wanted me to interview his cousin. :) but she has a great job and so we ate dinner and went over to friends house.
Came home exhausted but I ended up staying up till 2-3am, reading and chatting with various people.
Sunday we went to church. It was great! Really spoke to both of us a lot. Even worships as great although I don't usually like the worship team. I thought we would have to leave church early but it ended early and so we had time to shop for groceries and come home in time for the medical students. But while they were there Michael called saying he had someone for me to meet who wants to volunteer in the future. So had to make a quick pad thai(which brenda actually loved although she has been avoiding my food the last few days in fear it will suck) and we were off. I had a 5:30 lunch date so given how late it was we decided to head into the city since we were already 1/2 way there. Saw Wat Phnom and then it looked stormy and so didn't quite make it to cover and it started to rain. We ducked into an open gate under a shed with a bunch of men. Any other country we would have felt awkward and a little scared, but these guys gave us chairs to sit on :) after that we were off to eat. While eating a fireworks show went off across the river and what a cool unexpected beautiful site it was! My friend didn't show till 8 but we were glad we got to spend an hour with her since she really needed it. Got home around 9:30 tired and exhausted but of course had to read.
Woke up this morning for class. It was great, our first day at the new place and it worked grew! Michael was at an interview so just had me and brenda and while I was still finishing the medical students came asking me to go with them to the province we are going tomorrow cause we needed official permission from the chief there. So despite my plan to get caught up, off I was on a back of a motorcycle for 2 hours. But praise God at least the weather wasn't boiling hot.
Got back in time to take Brenda home from the cafe. Poor girl was dying and made a quick lunch and just finished it and got to talk on the phone briefly before running over to teach. I had given Michael the afternoon off cause he worked in a medical camp on weekend. Finally done with class, which was great! B comes to both and I really love how well he is doing!
God is great!
Everyday is super busy! I can't believe I haven't written in so many days. It's already thursday here. Wednesdsay was my last day of doing medical trainings personally. They made me a cake and we played a game to see how much they had learned and it was wonderful! I was shocked how much they remembered. Since I couldn't eat the cake, I gave it to a bunch of people. And it was perfect cause as soon as I got home there was class, and so they got some. then the medical students came and they got some. Then i took it to the Rheas after my dinner and then the next morning the morning class got it and then it was all done! Everyone got to enjoy the beautiful cake :)
Today after the morning class I had a meeting with a korean doctor that the students yesterday told me was interested in doing the same thing I am, and when I heard his heart, it was exactly what I want to and am doing with the students! So YAY! I hope he takes over and helps!!
I've been cooking! The Tom Yum soup is almost perfect and the pad thai got started today! It's almost great but definitely good! I don't like the super sweet kind so I am pretty happy!!
We moved locations today! I went to the cafe yesterday, made sure everything was ok and we did it!! The afternoon class helped us move the posters! Michael doesn't like it, but I think it's just change he doesn't like :) The afternoon class was thrilled with the pool table and was happy to be there! Now it feels more like our home class so I think the morning class will be happier too! And it's so much closer and central.
Everyday has been super busy. It's pretty much nonstop from the moment class starts or before until night. somehow unplanned things happen all the time, but it's great!!! Today I have another visitor coming in at night! Excited about it!!
God Bless! pray for us! WE have a teacher
Today was a great day! Woke up super early even though I fell asleep while watching tv yesterday with the Rheas and it wasn't even 9 :) But I am reading a fairy tale book on my kindle and its awesome! So I was up till 10 and up at 3:44am :) couldn't sleep so read and checked emails and then at 7:30 the day started after a quick phone call with my sister. The morning class had a new student. We went out for dinner a week or two ago and I encouraged her to come, telling her even at her age she can learn cause look at me! :) So she surprised me by showing up today! She was good. She already knew a lot of her ABC's and so it was great teaching her. Also I have been wanting to teach the other kids cause I wanted to show Michael how to do it and as it worked out it was perfect. What's great as I am doing these one on one new students they are learning perfect pronunciation. It's really cool! Met up with the medical students to cover things and we got a lot accomplished :)
After that started to make lunch and started talking to my sister and brother-in-law and missed lunch cause class started! One of the new girls came and it was great. She really wants to learn. Michael was worried this morning cause tomorrow I am training and he didn't know what to do with the new girl. I told him to do vocab so he could participate, but he wasn't getting it. But this afternoon when he started vocab, I just had the new girl new girl join the bigger group and now I know he isn't worried about tomorrow morning without me! So Yay!!
And then lunch :) I put way too much salt in my food, but it ended up being ok cause I had a lot of extra stock. My appt for today got changed to tomorrow and one of my tomorrow appt's got changed to 2 weeks from now so everything works out perfect cause I can now catch up on things today! YAY!!! :)
God is good! Things are so busy here, don't know what to do, but it's all great!
Yesterday was our big medical camp. They had told me to be ready by 6. Unfortunately the night before I kept getting phone calls and so didn't get a lot of sleep :) so I was super happy when it started to rain and everyone came late :) Of course we started over an hour late :) but soon we were on our way. We had breakfast on the go as a team as well. Hot french bread right out of the bakery! It was great! It took over two hours to get there, we got lost, the minivan was over stuffed but we made it, all excited!!
Apparently there was a big something going on in the temple where we were apparently going to do the camp at the temple and so had to change venues. It got changed to the village chiefs house. We got there and there were no patients. But as soon as we got set up there was a lot of patients. We had 104 registered in a jiffy. And we started seeing patients. They were everywhere. We kept asking them to move and they kept coming and watching everything. It was an interesting morning. Tharanga and I were super busy preceptoring and we decided that I will teach them more stuff before the next camp so that things go faster and smoother. We had a special lunch cooked by one of the student's family. And then back to see patients. We had a great camp. last camp we saw 77 and this time 104 or 105. The second 1/2 of the days they really improved and I think they learned a lot more :)
We got home super late. I had put a cut off at 3:30 and we didn't get out till after 4 and home till 7 something. Everyone was exhausted, but the scenery was great! We were on dirt roads, fisherman, farmers in the field, ox driver carts. I wish I was sitting next to the window.
i have been wondering who will take over and if Tharanga will say yes and he did! So yay!
Came home super tired and stayed awake by force so I wouldn't wake up too early and just when I was about to go to sleep my uncle from India called. His son is going to Japan and he wanted tips on Japanese food tips for vegetarian and I am truly an expert on that!
Got up early in the morning and was super tired. Thought about cleaning but instead stayed in bed and did the laundry. :) Came down to find Michael and the students there in my dirty messing living room (the motorcycles from the day before caused 1/2 the floor to be dirty. I was thinking as I left that when I come back i will clean it, but instead michael and the girls cleaned the area! I couldn't believe how nice it looked! YAY!
So had time to eat and talk on the phone before the next set of students came. They are all so great. After class Michael and I talked and now it's time for me to catch up on everything!!
God is great! So everyday has been action packed since I got back from the holiday. No time to talk about yesterday, so I’ll talk about today. I got up early as usual. The Rhea girls needed a ride to their tournament cause their parents had to fly to Bangkok for medical evaluation. Pray for Mrs. Rhea. So I volunteered to get up early and take them. I love how God worked it out so that it was a blessing not only to them, but to our girls as well. So I had told Michael that church will only happen at 1 every Saturday, not two times a day. But he’s been so busy, he forgot. So while I was downstairs getting breakfast started, guess who appears, but two girls for church at the 7:30 time. J Had I not planned to pick up the girls at 8, I would have been in my room and they would have left thinking I was sleeping. So I let them in and with the movie we got yesterday I was able to turn it on while I left to drop off the girls. Came back and made coffee for everyone. I was starving and watched the movie with them and then we sang. M had brought her little niece who is twoish and so she was the only adult besides me, so I sang in English with her and then the usually shy girl sang in khmer, loud and beautifully! It was wonderful. I taught her my favorite song and it was pretty amazing how much she could read and how fast she picked it up.
As soon as they left I was on the phone until the girls called and said they wanted to come home. Of course that was my lunchtime, but I got there, got them, bought them ice-cream and came home. They got third place in the tournament. I had 15 minutes left before 1 and so praise God I had some of the vegetable stock left over from the previous days experiment with tom yum soup and so quickly had everything going and the soup was better today than yesterday and I figured out what it was lacking! I forgot something very important! But it was still really good!
The group came and one of the new girls came. We watched the Jesus film. They were really interested after reading the comic and so I thought the movie would be good to see and we went to buy it, but yesterday ended up getting it free when we went to a church to ask if they had English teachers we could hire. :)
At the end we talked about miracles and God’s love for people and I shared how Michael and I met J
As soon as they left I left to meet a stranger. On my way to Koh Kong I was at the bus stop forever and saw this Sikh guy. I don’t always talk to strangers and there were many foreigners there that day and didn’t feel like talking to any of them, but him, for some reason, I really wanted to. So I said hi and started talking. His bus came soon after that and we exchanged emails before he left. When I returned he contacted me and came over for 15 minutes before his flight back to Singapore. I shared a little about what we were doing and he saw the empty center and said he wanted to donate pencils to our school outreach and that his Cambodian based indian female colleague could use a friend. So I contacted her and we met up today. Both our schedules are tight but we worked it out and it was great. I honestly had no plans about talking about God. I was just going to talk about current stuff, our lives, etc and she asked me a question, I just couldn’t answer without starting with how we became Christian. As we talked I could see something was going on in her mind. She then told me how there had been two Christians in her life in India who had told her about Jesus and how she had even prayed at one time and asked for prayer right before she came, but hadn’t been keeping her relationship with God and she is having a tough time with her employees and was thinking about God and then here I was sharing all this. So we went to her apartment and prayed. We’ll be meeting up again in our free-time. But it was great. Interesting how God reached her through this random stranger guy. He’s awesome!!
Came home and hung out with the girls before heading home. Got an early day tomorrow. We leave at 6 for the medical camp! J
God is good! So I came back from my much needed vacation. My vacation to Koh Kong and now to thailand were the first real vacations in over 7 years! So needed! And of course while I was gone, God was doing His thing! So Michael and I don't always see eye to eye on how things should be done, but I don't know what happened while I was gone. But on the motorcycle ride back, I could't believe what I was hearing! Everything has changed and he wants to do everything I think is the way to go. He kept saying things and I was just amazed. We talked for 1-2 hours after I got home and it was great and exciting!
Today we had our first 7:30am class start as well and at the 1pm one we had 3 new girls. There was an outreach we did with una about a month back and it seemed like nothing came out of that, but these three girls came from there! So YAY! they were super excited to learn and called on their own! So God is good. I still want L to come, but maybe one day. In the meantime, what I started for her is blessing others. So I just sent out an email to ask a girl if she will join our staff and take over the new class. I have just enough time to train her :) Also Mrs. Rhea showed up and loved the class and so it should be great having a native english speaker around when I leave! I love it! God just does His thing.
This sunday is our medical camp. The students are coming in a few minutes to discuss the details before the camp and probably to get some money for the expenses :) I think the meds are bought, but lets see.
Things are getting super busy and I am almost leaving! AHHH! but it's sooo cool at the same time. Everything will be established and running when I leave and it'll run like a well oiled machine :) hehe! ok, at least close to it!
As for my vacation! It was delightful. I haven't seen Janelle in years and it was sooo great. I never realized how much we have in common and what an amazing individual she is. What she has done in 3 years is simply remarkable. She has basically single handedly run a donation organization after moving to thailand. Not only did she not have a michael and have to figure everything out, she has been totally alone here, but the insight and ability she has to run multiple projects at once and to see what will work and what won't is simply inspiring and amazing. All of us are gifted so differently. hehe! But us missionary types really don't know how to take breaks so it was good for both of us to get away. The first day was bangkok and I loved seeing everything. Did the touristy thing and went on the river and saw the palace and the lying buddha. Went to the famous back packers place. From there went to the mall for frozen yogart and a movie at a fancy couch movie theater. Horrible and disgusting movie and we both wanted to walk out but didn't say anything to the other person (Alex cross) and then off to a massage :) from there we went to one of the roof top bars and got a nice view of the city. Then we were off to the redlight district. That made me feel sick. They were selling sex shows out in the open and the things they have these girls do, makes you sick. I didn't go and see their "free trial". Just had no desire. Ugh. How people can do that to other people is horrible and disgusting. I took pictures of just stuff in the market but don't have the heart to post them. Just disgusting and I didn't even see the disgusting stuff.
Went to eat dinner on the street and made it home after midnight. Next mornign we woke up and headed to the government bus station. 5 1/2 hours and we were at the ferry terminal on our way to koh chang. What is awesomely cool about Janelle is that we have the same taste in food. So we both picked the same icecream, drinks, food etc.
We got to our resort and it was way nicer than I had thought and it was on the secluded side of the island. Since we were tired, we didn't do anything but plan the next two days roughly. Janelle took a nap while I had to try everything. So I was in the pool, lounging at the pool side, sitting under the little huts reading. And then when she woke up we were off on a kayak ride. We were horrible at our first attempt, but it was fun and the sunset was beautiful!
Since we had missed lunch we were starving by the time we got back and praise God the food was delicious!
The next day we were off to cooking classes. I was a little disappointed with the place, but that was short lived cause the food they taught us to make was delicious! I couldn't belielve it was my cooking! And I learned all these things I have been wanting to learn! From there we were off to the waterfall. The other couple from the resort had come too and so the cooking class said we could enjoy the waterfall and then they'd drop us back! YAY! Free rides are always good and a blessing! The water was freezing, but once in, awesome. I got spoiled in koh kong with having the waterfalls all to myself so didn't like so many people there in the water, but it was still great! I had wanted to go to a waterfall and God made it convenient!
We came back and after reading for a bit were off in the canoe and we had it down so we were able to go more than twice the distance in the same amount of time or less! IT was great!!
Came back to more great food. I was out like a log after that.
The next day we were off on an elephant ride in the jungle. Wouldn't recommend it but I did get to ride on the elephant's neck but was too scared to stay there too long :)
After that we went on a 1/2 day trip to Koh Wai. They dropped us off with old snorkeling equipment and left us. We had been told they would give us a lunch voucher but it only paid for 1/2 a lunch. :) So we were like, this isn't going to be great, but it was!!! It was almost the best snorkelling experience I have ever had! I loved it and so did janelle. We saw sea urchins, sea anenomeas, tons of fish to the point where at one point in the beginning the number of them scared me. The water was warm, the beach was white sand and besides the other tourists, not a lot of people there! Simply marvelous. And we got blessed with a speed boat both ways! We just missed the storm because of it. Got back and found out it had been raining all day in Koh Chang so we were really blessed to have been away.!
French fries at night and dinner and then I was out again. But of course I had tried out the hammocks and everything else :) Woke up in the morning and didn't have a sure plan of how we were going to get to the airport on time. The minivan people were delaying and I was almost worried, but we actually got there early. had a delicious lunch of subway and a dunkin donut mocha (which is really really good) and had a great time talking to Janelle. Vacations are so much better wtih someone! heheh!
Then on the plane, I just happened to be sitting next to someone from PP that I know who was able to really talk to me about some things on my mind. The whole trip a wonderful blessing and smiling Michael to greet me with wonderful news about what he has decided :)
pray for us as I end things here and make a lot of decisions! We have a lot of stuff that we are jamming into this month and I'm excited!
thanks for all your prayer and support and love!
God Bless!! none of cambodia could have happened without all of you!
Save Each One
Updates about Save Each One and the Women's Center in Cambodia