Time for an update on my everyday life….
I have been in country for two months, and in some aspects I feel like I landed yesterday and in others, I feel completely at home.
I have a great little apartment in the Village. When I say little, it isn’t that little, it is actually bigger then my old house in OKC. It is the upstairs of a house right down the street from work and directly across the road from my little coffee shop. It has one living space, my bedroom and bathroom on the lower level and up three little steps is where I spend most of my time. I have started calling it the loft, but in all actuality it is a giant multipurpose room. The kitchen is in one corner, lounge space in the middle and my washer and clothes line in another corner. I have spent the past weeks, buying things and making it my space. When I moved in, there was really no kitchen. I had a sink, shelf and a large dorm style fridge. After a few weeks of sandwiches and stuff that did not have to be cooked to be eaten, I did some appliance shopping. I bought a cook top, fridge, microwave and a toaster oven. I have really been enjoyed being able to cook some simple things for myself and feel a little more normal. The best thing about my house… the view ---
I have affectionately begun calling it my backyard, and it is absolutely breath taking. I also have a great little balcony on the front of the house, that on days when I lose power, I drag a chair out there and read. It is nice, I can watch what is going on in the village and I am sure it amuses some of the people around me.
Daily life is pretty simple, and very similar to the states. Wake up in the morning, far to earlier for my taste… the village seems to start waking up around and since I sleep with windows open, I usually wake up around 4:30, don’t worry, I do not get out of bed at that time, but do the toss and turn and light sleep for another hour or so. Then I finally give up and get up. Start the day, surprisingly I have no coffee pot in my house, so I get up, get ready and then spend some time with the Lord. If I have a skype date with someone at home, those usually happen in the morning. So maybe I skype maybe I don’t. I usually head to the coffee shop for breakfast around 7:30, walk across the road and settle in. Sometimes I eat alone, and sometimes friends are there. I am making friends with the little kids that are there. It is amazing how a smart phone can make them all like you. Order breakfast in the open air coffee shop, I usually have fried egg and an iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk. Every now and then I will get egg noodles with pork, just depends. I spend breakfast laughing with friends and listening to the language around me, trying desperately to pick out words or phrases that I may know and of course a good portion of this time is spent giving Da a hard time. At 8:30 I walk down the street to work. I usually have language in the morning and then spend the rest of my time reviewing, working on media, newsletters, and giving Da a hard time. I have had the chance to go to a few meetings, and let me just say… I really have to fight my adult A.D.D. and pay attention, because of the ever present language barrier. It is getting better though; I am getting better at hearing the sounds and am picking up on the missing ending consonants. I usually eat lunch at home or sometimes I do lunch at the dining hall at work. I am building relationships with my office mates and I am loving it. Getting to the point that I can joke around and get them to laugh, they all speak English to some level. They all want to help me with my Khmer and my heart is happy when I can grasp enough words, or better yet, can participate in conversations. Still have a very long way to go, but am feeling a lot better about the language.
Evenings are usually pretty quiet. Sometimes I visit friends, but most often I am at home, just relaxing and studying. Go to bed around 9, but that is a victory, since usually when the sun sets, it feels like it is midnight, and it is usually only 6:30!!!
Weekends, are usually about the same, minus work. I tend to head into the city on Saturday with some friends. Do any errand running that needs to be done and hit up Lucky. Lucky is the grocery store and Iet me just say, grocery shopping in Asia, is a task. I usually try to make a list… but there is no consistency to what is at the store. Just because I was able to buy something last week, that does not mean I will be able to get it this week. It is always an adventure, and just like home, I have found my favorite Lucky, and if it all possible, I try to go to that store.
I have had the chance to attend a church, in town, one time. It was good to have the corporate worship time, but unfortunately the message was not all that theological sound. I plan to visit a few other churches and see if I can find a place that I can attend semi-regularly.
Hope that you have enjoyed getting to read a little about my everyday life. I still wake up in the morning and kind of shake my head that this is my new normal. It is very easy to get distracted and homesick and wonder if I can really do this… so for now… I am trying to embrace the new normal and the Goodness of the Lord.
by grace and with much love, sarah