excerpts from my journal:
day 6/saturday/dec 15/Phnom Penh
made banana pancakes for breaky. then we went to the genocide museum and killing fields, it was a lot and also somehow not enough to take in. it doesn’t seem real that this happened when my mom was graduating from highschool. the photos, the skulls, the facts in front of you make it real, but looking around at these people on the streets, in the market, i would have never guessed such horrors had ever occurred in this country. soo many skulls, too many…all real people with their own stories. maybe it will become more real when Pastor Keat (our contact) shares his story with us. i couldn’t help but notice the abundance of butterflies flying over the mass grave sights, as if God was reminding us that there is always new life and hope.
day 12/monday/dec21/Phnom Penh
chapel in the a.m. the kids from a couple of my english classes performed different songs and skits and i felt like a proud momma watching them up there. it has been awesome staying at this school for two weeks because you actually get to build somewhat of a relationship with the kids. after chapel we cleaned it, went to the Christmas party in our class for twenty minutes than quickly got changed and left for “the island” to do irrigation. it finally felt like outreach, bumping along a dirt road in a hot van in a rural area.it was a lot of fun getting to work with our hands and help out Pastor Keat. we spent a good 4 hours fitting blue pipes together in the churches mango grove. Pastor Keat blessed us all with cokes- its crazy how much you can appreciate a small gift like that when you have been working all day. made it home just in time to shower before our evening english class/christmas party.
day15/monday/dec 24/Siem Reap
temple tours! woke up at 4 am! aaah, so early. left at 4:30, was dark and freezing cold on the tuk tuks. watched the sunrise at Angkor Wat, so incredibly beautiful. went to like 5 more temples including the one from Tomb Raider with the overgrown tree roots all over the place. lost Clay for a good two hours. some of the girls rode elephants but i lost my park ticket so they wouldn’t let me ride one, pretty bummed. an amazing Christmas eve altogether.
day 21/sunday/dec 30/Siem Reap-Kampong Cham
so today was a little cray cray, first our bus driver said he wouldn’t be passing the bridge that Uee (our next contact) told us to get off at. Uee kept telling us to give the phone to the bus driver (as he is driving) so he could talk to him, but my cell kept loosing signal. finally it seemed like they had sorted something out and Uee told us to just ride all the way to Phnom Penh and he would meet us there with a van. six hours into the ride the bus pulls over at a bridge and tells us it’s time for us to get off. we follow orders and get off. the bus pulls away and we are standing on the side of the road with our luggage, completely bewildered. we cross the street and hang out at a small shop, call Uee tell him we are by some bridge and then sit and wait for an hour and a half for him to come get us. the lady at the shop was very nice and brought us flattened cardboard boxes to sit on. i pulled out the guitar and played some worship as a crowd of people gathered to watch the travelling white parade.
once Uee came it was another hour and a half to Ampil, a beautiful drive out into the boonies. its super old school out here, complete with horse drawn carts, cows being herded down the streets, and kids playing jump rope in front of their houses. our new home is a tree fort! i love it! it’s actually a church but way up on stilts.hard floors to sleep on but i piled up some blankets to sleep on and hopefully that does the trick. early to bed tonight. thank you jesus for a pillow to rest my head on. tomorrow i turn 26. weird.