then off to Sihanoukville. We arrived at the place and went directly to a restaurant where we sat on the beach and eat while a hotel was found :) End up playing uno, walking the beautiful beach and having fun till we all were exhausted and then off to the hotel! I have to say - um, next time I'll have to give them a budget for their retreat because our hotel room was um... not ok :) but anyone can do anything for a night :) hehe! The hotel was soon forgotten as we got to the beach! the beach was pristine, the water warm and I could have stayed there forever. however after lunch and more crab/shrimp/prawns (apparently they bought a bunch when we arrived and so they had that for breakfast lunch and dinner for 5 meals straight! Sometimes it's great it be a vegetarian. :)
Came and home we went to our favorite cafe as a treat to us :) hehe! monday we were up bright and early for the next medical camp. We got there and there were a ton of people already lined up and waiting. There was a ceremony to give away the equipment and then the medical camp started. It was really sad. The medical camp was being held in the health center and people were so desperate for care that they were climbing through the barbed wire instead of coming through the front door. I was trying to keep them back but some made it through anyways. Soon we had a crowd of people surrounding us and I was so thankful for having worked with crowds in india. I sent them all back to the covered area where they had seats next door and we did registration there. There were the most aggressive patients I have ever seen and even though I was a little annoyed at their belligerence and refusal to go back and do things as we asked them to, like 2 patients I had to ask to leave 5 times and wait in a seat in a seated area instead of right outside our pharmacy. They kept refusing until they realized I wasn't going to stop till they left :) But honestly in hindsight I guess even though the health center is right there, they must get such bad medical care that they are so desperate. :(
So we had 1/2 new students this time. I was a little worried, with a crowd that was already so much and new students, all the training from the past was going to have to be done again :( but hehe! they were so good, I was actually so glad they were there by the end of the day. I was talking to one of them and he is the younger student being trained by Rithy (our leader in cambodia) to start taking over the medical school portion or recruiting students and do our school outreach in the countryside. When I heard that I was so happy! I am soooo blessed by working with such great people. A lone girl went to cambodia with a desire to follow God and look who God has put her in touch with. I have michael who I can trust with my life and now these medical students who I can trust not only with my life, but to take care of everything and keep helping the people of cambodia long after I am gone, because of their great love and passion for their people. Pray that they find God so that all that they do isn't just in their strength but leaning on God. The medical camp was great. Saw great patients and had teaching moments and although I had asked to stop registration at 100 patients, we saw 180 despite starting late because of show of giving (heheh! Can you tell I hate that kind of stuff :)) that was made in the morning.
We came home late and exhausted and of course we went to java to celebrate a well deserved hard work day and an early goodbye dinner with michael and pert just in case. One thing I have learned is that you have to seize every moment because you never know what will happen at anytime and your best laid plans fall at the wayside, especially when it comes to your freetime. :) hehe! And even the dinner was cut short because Michael had a patient he wanted me to go see in the hospital. So off we went. Didn't come home till 11. 6am-11pm was our day :)
So the next day was supposed to be a free day, but just while sitting having dinner my day started getting so packed I had to say no to some things because I didn't have time. In the morning however the plans all changed again. I had to cancel the goodbye head massage with pert because my friend came late and the medical student meeting got cancelled because they got called away to do something, but it was all so perfect. My Cambodian friend came over and she really needed to talk and honestly in all the years I have known her, we have never had a serious conversation, but she came wanting to be mentored and talk. We usually spend our whole time laughing, but today we actually talked and she cried and we prayed together at the end. I love how God's timing and ways are so perfect.
Then we were off to prepare for the two ktv medical camps (fronts for prostitution). We went to the new one and they weren't expecting us but when we told them we had prearranged it they suspiciously let us sit in the front waiting area and see three people and slowly more as they realized we weren't dangerous! In the beginning they said they needed to ask for permission for us to come back. By the end they said i could come back anytime. They weren't open to anyone else coming yet, but next time, I'll take students with me.
For the next camp, we prepped, went to gateway to get our volunteers and off we went. Theary -one of my favorite medical students. I apparently taught bible study to her back in the day when I lived here and last time I had the privilege of her going to a medical camp with me, she ended volunteering to pray with patients and they were saved, healed and it was what I have been praying for. This time having her there was a blessing as well - like what I have been dreaming of! So first of all patients didn't come with just the usual problems of heartburn and vaginal discharge. It's super sad but these girls drink 20-40 beers a day and its no surprise they all have vaginal discharge. The first girl Theary took aside after I was done and she talked and prayed with her, led her to God and the girl was crying and wants to come out of this life! YAY! She talked to another who didn't even get to see me because she got called away, but not before she found Jesus :) Claire on the other side started talking to patients as well and Rang Sey - one of my original 4 medical students came and he helped out as well. He drove 2 1/2 hours to see me and all for 30 minutes of which only 5 minutes of it were with me alone :( I was sooo touched and again I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such great people who love me so much!
As we all gathered at gateway to say goodbye to each other the head girl there came over to me after I had my 5 minutes with Rangsey and asked if I wanted a coffee. I said no, cause I had been called to have dinner with the government official (and had to cancel dinner with pert and michael), but she got all teary eyed and said she wanted to treat me to a coffee because of all I do for the cambodian people! :) I couldn't refuse that! And the coffee was so good too! I really don't know anyone who is so blessed with so many people who love them so very very much.
So I was sad to be missing dinner with pert and michael but when a government official who is helping you wants to have dinner with you, you dont say no :) But it was such a blessing. I love this couple. As soon as I walked in the wife took me by the hand and took me back to the kitchen where I saw R - one of our original students there cooking food. After hugs I found out she has been working next door for a year :) and they hired her to make food for me today. I had seen her at the center learning english (which made me so happy because she had dropped out after a year and it had made me sad because she had so much potential. When I originally met her we said good morning to each other only. When I met her a year later after she had been learning english in our center she could translate for me!) and then she had dropped out. Last time I had been in town I had encouraged her to go back and start learning and hehe! I was happy she was back) Now R is a great cook and last time I was here she had cooked for us and when we were coming back on monday from the medical camp Michael had asked me if we wanted her to cook for her and I had said no, but later on I was thinking, I should have said yes and look at God, even that desire was fulfilled. What I loved was instead of treating her like the help, they had her sit with us on the table and eat dinner! :) I went with the wife to drop her off at her "house" (a one room rental) and the wife and I got to talk a lot. I didn't even realize she spoke so much english and so it was great! Got back and we all chatted a little longer before I left.
There is a doctor they were working with that I really didn't want to work with but they seemed to be so excited to be working with him that I didn't want to say anything. That night the whole night was them and the government official talking about how they didn't want to work with him and the reasons why and I was so happy that they didn't want to work with him, but at the same time felt I was defending him all night because