Saturday, March 11, 2017

Good on ya Sonya.

I love having my name rhyme with things. Around all my Aussie friends it rhymes with their encouraging phrase: Good on ya! Tessa and Renee, the two legend I share an apartment with these days, often affirm me with that phrase. Then they immediately apologise because they think I've probably gotten tired of hearing that--to which I let them know I LOVE it and they can say it all they want.

To make it even better sometimes Renee breaks out into song. It's the greatest song ever. Please enjoy and feel free to sing along the next time you see me.


Packing up Gertie's Basket

When I go to church I have a few things I take with me. I need my dress, cardigan, Bible, water bottle, purse and a possible potluck contribution. That's a bunch to add.
This is what I start with:
Having a bike basket is like having a car, it ends up holding trash and other rubbish.
 It's important that I put the full water bottle closest to the handle bars because of the extra weight shifting around as I turn corners or simply dodge around the traffic. Second I put in the books (Bible and notebook). Then in goes the clothes and purse with the bread on top!

This is what I end up with after packing it all it in:

Steady as she goes! Keep straight on with the bike not leaning too far to the left or right and she'll be right.





Thursday, February 16, 2017

Six months in.

How do I summarize the last 6 months?

I realized mid morning that today marks six months here in Cambodia. Should I make a list of things I have seen, done, experienced, thought were crazy? Do I tell stories that show the adventures? Should I just do a pile of photos to recap the time?

I left work early today because I am working this weekend and wanted to have some personal time. As I was getting Gertie the Green Slug out of parking I decided I'd "treat yo-self" to a special lunch. I had to think of what was my favorite restaurant I'd been to in the last six months, not many that's for sure. I decided upon Farm to Table, which I had eaten at once with a group during vision week last month.

So here I sit waiting for my very American harvest salad with a side of humus.

I've decided I will do a top 10 list of several different topics.

General Memories

  1. Trying to find the red dress I had seen in Russian Market again. It's a crazy maze. I imagine it is much like a magical maze where the isles switch and move each time you turn a corner. I eventually found it but I had to back track several times past several of the same people. It was worth it though, the red dress is beautiful.
  2. Watching the boat races during the Water Festival. Specifically meeting up with Souven by substituting words with pictures--like a photo clue hunt? Also the fireworks! 
  3. Getting lost on my bike and finding my way back again. 
  4. Staying the night in Taskor Village because I wanted to hang out.      
  5. Exploring the temples with Brett and Tessa in September
  6. Riding the motorbike out to Taskor Village on my own.
  7. The glorious, refreshing, cooling rain season
  8. Making it to church almost 5 miles away and back on my own!
  9. Celebrating American Thanksgiving with my Australian and Khmer family
  10. Relaxing with my RAW family at our staff retreat in November and rock climbing with the staff in January. 


General Craziness

  1. Riding my bike in the rain with Abbie on the way home from IBC.
  2. Riding my motorbike home in the rain, solo and very wet.
  3. Trying to communicate with pretty much anyone in Khmer
  4. Figuring out that I should take a change of clothes to church so when I arrive after riding my bike for 45 min I can change out of the sweaty clothes into dry appropriate clothes.
  5. That crazy-eyed goat that my motorbike touched. . . . 
  6. Traveling to the airport at any time, with anyone and always.
  7. Getting lost at Central Market with Brett and having to circle the whole place so we could find our bikes . . . and then riding home in the rain.
  8. Eating BBQ with The Family in December and practicing my Khmer
  9. Riding a bike/motorbike anywhere. 
  10. Shopping in Russian Market for groceries.
  11. Veggie stall
      Bulk items


Team Trip Memories

  1. Getting to share my story with the team from Brisbane State High School. (the story of how I thought I was done with my dream of working internationally and how it was actually there was more for me to learn before I was ready to move again)
  2. Doing Moga with the Brett groupies from BSHS on hard cement next to a drain ditch.
  3. Walking with Louise through the back alleys near SEEDS of Life school.
  4. Hanging out with Brett and Pete after the teams were done for the night.
  5. Getting our lunch take away and eating en route to the airport with Abbie
  6. Having to refuel with coffee after getting back for the afternoon and before going out for dinner
  7. Being prayed for by the Northridge church group from Sidney. 
  8. Introducing the teams to village life when they spend the night like a village local.
  9. Driving to Phnom Penh with Jay and Jared and then driving/sitting in traffic with Jay on the way back.
  10. Visiting with Pidow and talking Khmer at the level of a three year old. I repeated a lot and pointed, said the word and smiled a goofy smile.

Friend Stories

  1. Going out to diner with Louise and two new friends from another NGO. (It was so much fun to make friends outside of RAW, especially teacher friends!)
  2. Going to the Japanese expo with Brett to support Mai and her work.
  3. Yoga classes with Mai (I also coach her English on Sundays) 
  4. Forming Moga with Brett and Abbie
  5. Hanging out at 72 (the corner restaurant that has yummy local meals for $2)
  6. Having regular Friday night girls Bible study night, with popcorn!
  7. Helping Harriet prepare the salad for my first Aussie BBQ (no shrimp were put on the barbie in case you were wondering)
  8. Meeting for coffee at Joma with Brett, Jay, Blake and Pete before work.
  9. Getting introduced to Bloom cupcakes with Nic and feeling the comradare in being able to eat two  (they are quite tiny and with two you can try two flavor AND you help the NGO that helps women twice as much. I shouldn't even need to justify my eating two cupcakes to you.)
  10. Going on coffee runs for the office in leu of an afternoon recess.

Locations




  1. Ta Prom Temple and the others too. 
  2. Kampot for staff retreat
  3. Kayaking on the Mekong

  4. Karatié
  5. My front porch in Phnom Penh











  6. The mountain on Hwy 4 towards the coast
  7. Taskor village at sunrise
  8. Village roads
  9. In a café watching Siem Reap traffic
  10. iblock that RAW is building the bamboo houses on

Pictures


This picture got turned into a meme after I posted it on a dogspotting fb page. It has several thousand likes. I'm kinda a big deal.
 

Transport

And here is to many, many more 6 months!