So after two weeks of mission trips, everyone needed a vacation! I hadn't spent enough time with Michael and Pert and so we all planned a vacation to Pert's desired spot of Koh Rong. Two days earlier we had a surprise visit from one of Rithy's friends and so we were able to get some info about what to do and expect.
We dropped off Jeffrey and took a van and just got the last ferry and then got to koh Rong and caught a boat to SokSan - our desired destination. There was one beach cottage left so us girls took it :) YAY! But not so yay at night when we heard the loud crashing waves at night. We slept in a mosquito net and there was a strange creature making noise at night as well as the loud pitter patter of rain on the tin roofs next door :) hehe! we didn't even have a sink in the place! But it was all good! Once we officially woke up and went out to explore. It was sooo beautiful. I wanted to be able to snorkel and see the glow in the dark plankton, but really just swimming all day would have been ok :) The boys were ready to go before we were and so we just planned to catch up with them once we were ready. It was so hot that we almost didn't make it to Michael, but because we did we found a spot to eat pizza for dinner! The water was blue, the sand so soft and white and we swam for an hour or two after taking lots of pics :) I LOVE the water! And then we were off to our $10 adventure of the day - snorkeling, fishing, island dinner and watching the sunset followed by swimming with the glow in the dark plankton. It was an amazingly fun time. Hehe! ok, the snorkeling was horrible, but good for the newbies, the fishing made Tiffy sea sick, the island and sunset was beautiful but I had to leave my camera behind because the water was too deep and we had to walk to shore and we didn't get to spend enough time with the plankton but I loved it!!! We got back and had horrible pizza and I think I have been officially declared a food snob heheh! But it was sooo great to be eating pizza! :) The boys and me left early the next day and girls decided to stay behind for two days. It took us all day to get home, but because of all our snafoos we were able to have their return all worked out smoothly! we got stuck on the other side of the island for a few hours and got to hang out and just relax, our van ride was delayed as well so I got to get a not so taste by desired sandwich and passion fruit drink and be happy :) We made some friends on the way over, but mainly I just slept. hehe!
Got home and was debating an upgrade for my two days alone and hehe! Guess what! they gave me one for free! so I had two days in a nicer room doing what I wanted, when I wanted and without anyone to worry about! YAY! The first day off was a blur, but my first day of real vacation! hehe! I loved all the people on the trip, but I was always disappointing someone by talking to someone else and didn't have time to meet everyone I wanted to because I didn't want to bore the group! hehe! So, I met up with Kimmy and it was great. We have been friends now since 2009, but until the last visit we never talked about anything serious ever. We just always had fun and laughed a lot together - watching movies, sight seeing, or just laughing at a restaurant. Last time I think I become her mentorish. This time as we lay on my bed chatting in the air conditioning she said I was the only person she could talk to about stuff. Kind of shocked me, but I'm so glad God put us together! Wish we had more time but we were both too tired to talk more than a few hours. Went to java with the boys and their gang and that was fun hehe though I was hoping it would just be the three of us :) hehe! Tuesday Rangsey - one of my original students who is no longer part of the group due to family health issues came to see me. Last time he drove 3-4 hours total to see me for 20 minutes and this time he drove 1 1/2 hours one way to see me for 30 minutes! I almost started crying when I was talking to him. It's such a blessing to be sooo loved. And as he told me his future plans (stuff he hasn't told anyone but his mom) I again felt soooo sooo privileged. I'm so blessed that people share so much of their life with me. I don't even understand why they do it, but all I can say is I feel so blessed!
The girls came back just in time to go off to the government official's house with us! It was a fun night. We got to invite Tharanga last minute too and so we all had fun! :) we got our ekg machine working and Tharanga had a great idea for my feeding program and although Rithy had said he wouldn't do the garden program earlier, that night he said he would and confirmed it the next day! He doesn't want to do it, but he thinks its a good idea so he will! heheh! I love him and HIM!!! God really is the best! Makes all your desires and dreams come true - one of my favorite verses Psalm 37:4!
So had a great meeting with the medical students after a morning at the russian market with pert and the girls and michael of course. We grabbed lunch with tharanga and just made it back in time for my meeting! I have to say, I was so tired, I wanted to drop, but just talking to them brought me back to life. As soon as we were done with our productive work meeting we were off to Pert's goodbye party on the boat. As I watched him with the students, it brought back memories of my goodbye party. My parents were there. I actually unexpectedly started crying at mine. I hate crying infront of people and I hadn't realized how much I loved them all till that moment. The next goodbye party of Pert's was the next day and that one reminded me of my second one too! This time his students were crying and he was barely holding it together. My second one my students had surprised me by crying, even some of the guys - maybe cause the same realization hit them cause they were talking.
But I am getting ahead of myself. During the party I found out Pert hadn't been to diamond island, so all you really have to do is tell Michael - which I did and off we went. We all got on the ferris wheel, hung out with the kids and then headed off to eat. Nothing was sounding good and suddenly Pert remembered a place he wanted to try and there we were. We were just talking about bkk and we ended up there eating at a really really good pizza place! YAY! It was a day where you could see God loving Pert and fulfilling all the little desires he had had and talked about but hand't happened! :)
The next day was the shelter. There is a great shelter in cambodia that I met 3 month into my year in cambodia. I had my very first team coming and I was nervous. I didn't have anything for them to do and they were coming for 3 weeks. Of course I had told them that and they had said they just wanted to come see me, but I hated them wasting their time. When I was at class the first day after they arrived, I somehow started talking to a person and she found out why I was there and told me about her friend who ran a shelter. That same day I think we were talking to the director and soon the girls were doing art and dance therapy there! And we have had a great relationship since. Last time I went and did first aid training and saw all the girls. So Chandra wanted me back. That's where Pert and Christine ended up volunteering as well. So we were there bright an early and started seeing the girls.
I had to leave early to see Rithy on the radio!!!! I was so excited he was taking me!!! I took 125 pics of him in the 1 hour he was on the radio! hehe! My day off I had prepped for his talk, but not good enough :( next time I will do better. But I'm sooo proud of that guy! I felt like a proud mom hehe! and I had nothing to do with it. I feel like I am living my dreams through him. hehe! Came back to the shelter and saw Pert's party and we finished up with the girls and then came home with Chandra. I feel missionaries everywhere struggle with isolation - I saw it in Japan and I see it here too. I've been blessed by the ability to travel home a lot and so it's always great to be able to bring fresh joy and love to people who have to stay in one place and sometimes are a little burned out because of it.
Went to meet another NGO who is interested in home gardens and had a great talk with them and got a lot of ideas. Almost didn't make it home cause my moto driver was crazy!!! My backpack got hit by another moto and it was all our fault! Never prayed the whole way before! We did our diabetes teaching the next morning and then dropped Pert off at the airport. Sadness :( but hehe then we celebrated. Sharon went off to siem reap for a couple of days and Tiffy and I went to the salon to do our nails. It took three hours!!! but they were beautiful and only 5 dollars for hands and feet with designs! :) I even found super glue for my sandal that was falling apart again! And good thing too because the next day I ended up climbing a mountain in them. But before that we all decided to hang out and watch a movie. When we brought the movie to the hotel even the staff wanted to watch it, but they were in the middle of a party. So hehe! it didn't quite work, but there was popcorn, mango and fun! We ended up playing spoons till bedtime and everyone had a great time.
The next morning we were up bright and early for the school outreach. Rithy arranged it just cause I wanted it. The poor students who taught weren't even trained, they were given the curriculum the night before! And with that they did great! hehe! then we went to a mountain to eat. Rithy is so sweet. It was super hot that day and it was 1pm by the time we got there. He told me it would take 10 minutes to climb to to the temple of the top where there was a great view. So of course after a few minutes in the hammock, I went. It wasn't 10 minutes hehe! but it was certainly worth it and although I can't trust the guy, I know this, that he loves me and he always has my best interest in mind. I am just sooo blessed with such super people in my life! so we took pics an then got shaved ice and then walked back down :) Ate lunch and we were off to the place where they are keeping all our stuff.
There there was drama. Someone was there trying to take stuff away. So I tried to be the bad guy but in the end Rithy had to take charge and say they couldn't take anything without the proper paperwork and even then Rithy would have the final say. It was tense for a few minutes but I'm so proud of that guy. hehe! Can't you tell how much I just love Rithy! The more I get to see him in action the more I love him and feel like I trust him and his judgment. 4 years ago he was just a kid but now he's a leader! hehe! So the other day he messaged me and said how I am his idol. I found this out last time I was in town, but what really made me so happy was that the guy he is training to take his place said Rithy was his idol on facebook! :) YAY!
We got home tired and the next morning we had the engagement party! That was fun! Rithy had said he'd call me 1 hour before it was time to go. So I get a call at 7:30 and he asks if I am ready! I'm like what! and he he said he called earlier and I didn't pick up. So I rush to get ready and run to the party with wet hair and not ready! only to find out when I got back that he had called 5 minutes before! that guy!!! I would strangle him but I can't, hehe! he too sweet. When someone loves you more than you love them and always is looking out for you, even in the smallest things, like lying so you will eat the fruit both of you want, how can you be mad at them at all! All you can do is laugh. I guess that's why it says in the bible we love him because He first loved us. Once you feel God's love for you - that unconditional love, how can you not love God back. He's just so good!
We came home and I slept for a few minutes and woke up hungry. I decided since everyone is always saying to try something new that I try something new at java. Big mistake. Couldn't even eat it and had to order my original. Should have gone with Pert and his positive reinforcement of my wanting the same thing - the heart knows what it wants. came back and then it was time to go out to meet Chandra at the night market. We had fun chatting and the girls got to see the night market, the palace at night eat at hummus where we had a great time eventhough the food was horrible and come back full of joy. Tiffy and I stayed up till 5am talking - what I know she has been wanting to do since she got here. Work up 2 1/2 hours later and were off to drop of Sharon. Off to Java, hung out with Tiffy and then off to airport with the Tiffster! tears :( and then then dinner with Michael hehe! I wanted to help him celebrate his getting the job he's been wanting for 6 months hehe! but he doesn't want it now! :) i thought we would go to the intercon - our old spot for cheap fine dining, but we ended up at java hehe! said my goodbyes as he had class the next day but to my surprise he missed class. I really am soooooo loved! Michael never misses his class. I love that guy!
So I was hungry the last morning. Didn't have time to eat, but went to the lounge and wow! the remodel is amazing! And they have so much vegetarian food!!! On the flight I got two seats to myself and got to sleep! And the next flight I got to be on the top part of the flight and there was sooo much leg room! YAY! God is sooo good!