Friday, June 30, 2017

This is Life.

Today is June 30, 2017.
  
Today was my last day of work one year ago as a Teacher/Principal in Oakhurst, California. It was the end of my last pay period and I haven’t had one since.

I have almost been here one year. ONE YEAR. I have never lived abroad for this long in my life. I always left around August and came back around May/June. Not this time.

A couple weeks back was a bit rough. I found myself missing my family. My trip back to the states left me wanting more. More memories, more laughter and more family adventures. It was a strange feeling, homesickness.




Even more homesickness came the following day. I went to Joma for coffee, per usual, all the usual suspects were there; Jay, Tessa, Maddi and Renee (no Brett as he was working from Australia) and ordered my coffee. The strangest thing happened as I sat down in my seat, I focused in on the music (which could be anything and everything--even if it isn’t the Christmas season) and heard a song that triggered all my senses. Instantly I was back in Honduras listening to a mixed CD on repeat dreaming of all my friends back at Southern (the Uni I went to in TN), imagining all sorts of scenarios for what the maker of the CD mix was trying to tell me. I was no longer a 34 year old teacher in Cambodia but I was a 20 year old young girl in Honduras who thought she would save the world. I had been whisked away to memories of young puppy love, dreams of adventure and the great unknown of university life.

The music just washed over me. My voice caught in my throat as I tried to say that I loved this song and that I might cry and as the end of my sentence came out so did the tears, I was crying. Through a bit of embarrassment I tried explaining that I was okay, even as I was beginning to look a bit like a crazy person. I laughed as I wiped away the tears and explained the best I could what was happening. I was explaining how the song was connected to my time in Honduras, the first place I lived outside of the country and to the time in my life when I didn't have a clue as to what would happen next. In reality where I was then is where they are now. They are shaping those memories that will trigger them to cry in a public place in 14 years. They'll get it then. They'll get that homesickness for family, home and familiarity but also homesickness for a time when responsibility was less, getting a pay check isn't a big deal and puppy love the norm.

It was a strange morning to be sure.
  
All in all, I’m okay. I, shockingly enough, get homesick sometimes.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Soccer/Football

I went to my very first soccer match this week. It was Cambodia Nationals (that means they are part of FIFA) against Indonesia. It was just scrimmage game, which is good because Cambodia lost. Well, I am almost certain they lost. I'm not sure because there were HEAPS of people there and we didn't want to wait till the bitter end and get caught up in the swarm of people leaving Olympic Stadium. We left with 8 min to go, or so. I can confidently if they didn't score in the first 80 min they aren't going to score in the last 8.

 It was quite fun to watch. It wasn't too hard to follow what was going on, kick the ball, run after the ball, try and make it go in the net with the goalie and run some more without stopping. I don't think it will be my last game, my upstairs neighbor plays for a local team and I hope to go to one of his games in the near future!

Cost of ticket: $1.25
Contribution to pay for tuk tuk:$.75
Evening out with friends: Priceless

Enjoy the little news report of the game and stay tuned to my youtube channel for more vlogs coming soon!!

 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Live from my Phnom Penh Apartment!

A week back I took the opportunity to try a live video to give an over view of what I do for RAW Impact. It was fun to share and have live comments on Facebook. In case you missed it or aren't on Facebook here it is on my blog. It was really fun to make and I think I'm going to do another one, only 30 min and I'll try doing it live at the market!

Enjoy!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Time line.



Recently the North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventist's (SDA's) office of Volunteer Services (that's a big mouth full!) gave me a shout-out on social media with a #tbt from when I lived in Tchad in 2007. It sparked a trip down memory lane and I spent the next several hours looking through all the pictures of time abroad. I think I sounded like the classic old person... "wow, look at that! I'm so young looking! Wasn't this photo just a few years ago. . .or was it? Oh man, it was almost 10 years ago. . . I AM old. I don't think 34 is all that old but it is an age where I can stop and realize I have done a lot and lived a full life so far. But really, was it that long ago I was in Honduras or Tchad?! 

With it being my birthday this weekend I thought It'd be a perfect time to give a little timeline with photo's of the years. So here we go!

Age 1?
Christopher is a doll face!

Age 2?
 

Age 3?

Age 5-- Kindergarten

Age 10--4th grade
Flower print, second row far left
Age 17-- Senior Yr 

Middle top row

Age 18-- 1st yr of Uni
Middle bottom row
Age 20 --Honduras


Age 21

Age 22

  
Age 23  

 Age 24-- Tchad, Africa




Age 25-- Georgia, USA 


















Age 26-- Summer in Yosemite 


Age 27-- Norway


Age 27-- 10 yr high school reunion

Age 28--Wawona, Yosemite, California



First legit race at 27 (half marathon)
Age 29-- Tanzania 


Age 30--California 
With mom (30 yr between us)
 Age 31-- California 
Bro, Christopher 
The perks of being principal and teacher.



 Age 32-- California



Age 33-- California
Second full marathon race

Age 33-- Cambodia



 Well, there you have it. Sonya through the ages. 
What are your thoughts? 
Do I look older? 
Do I look different? 
I always thought I looked older than I was but now I think I may have just looked like a baby like everyone else! Ha. 
Please share your thoughts! 
Did you know me way back when?
 Can you see a difference now? 
Which picture did you have the hardest time recognizing me in? 





 Even this was 5 years ago now....
Here's a bonus side by side with 10 yr's apart.





Saturday, April 15, 2017

My Help Comes From the Lord

Today we went on a moto day trip outside of Phnom Penh. It was a perfect time to go because the Phnom Penh roads were quite clear. It was like Phnom Penh turned into a sleepy suburban town. We didn't have too much difficulty finding our hill/mountain that we were looking for. On top of this mountain is Prasat Phnom Reap, a local Buddhist temple. It was an interesting feeling being on top of that hill, with those temples, on the day I go to church and the weekend of Easter. I had just last night and this morning read two chapters from a book on the life of Jesus covering Gethsemane and Calvary. So thinking on those things and being in a place that was celebrating Khmer New Year with special religious ceremonies was sobering. 

A few weeks ago I was listening to a sermon by David Asscherick (this one I think), an American pastor in Brisbane, Australia and he was talking about how the Israelites kept give up on God and worshiping at the holy places of Baal and the other neighboring gods. The places of worship were on a hill, they were all the highest places. Just like in all the other religious places left in Greece, Rome and surrounding countries, the holy places are the highest places in the area. However, the God of Israel is a god of the valley. His people were in the valley and he didn't even have a permanent temple, which didn't mater because he was with his people there, where they were.

This arvo I remembered all that and then I remembered Psalms 121:
I look up to the mountains--
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever. 
Psalms 121
I don't need to look to these high temples, these places with the reclining Buddha, sitting Buddha or any other place of offerings. I can look to the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth and he will hear me and my cries for help are enough. Because our cries are enough, he will hear any of us. While Jesus was on his way to the cross he thought of us and prayed for me, you and each person who worships on a hill.

It was a sobering realization this afternoon and a beautiful thing as well.

Take a minute and read through those two chapters, Psalms 121 and share with me what you think.

Happy Easter.

I'm thankful for all that Jesus has done for me in my life.