Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Guess what. . .?!

Dear world,

My name is Sonya and I work for RAW Impact.

I have lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia the last 12 months and I will continue to live here at least the next 16 (beyond that we shall re-evaluate when the time comes). The main point is I work here, not volunteer.

I'm living the dream. A dream I have been dreaming since high school.

Don't think the work is all easy. It's not, we often hit walls and have to find new ways to teach things. But the work is good and it is exciting.

I work here. I live here.


While I am getting a stipend I am still working on fundraising to finish paying off my student loans. They are less than $5,000 now and I hope to get rid of them by Christmas. If you are interested in helping let me know, every little bit helps!

My hair is rocking the curls these days!

The second edition driving license picture!

I was feeling a bit country the other night ;) 

At long last, my new moto: Foxy Roxy (and all the other cool names I'll call him)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

5 things I am better at now.

1. Drive a moto
  • If you recall, I wrote a very honest blog about driving a moto and being afraid last November. I hated having to drive out to the SALT school. It was far, I often got rained on and it took a lot of deep yoga breaths to not be afraid. Now, I'm loving it. It helps that the road is now paved, it helps A LOT actually. I even hope it rains! Thank you for all the prayers for confidence, courage and bravery. I can now say I like driving the moto out to SALT.
2. Going down the stairs
  • Ha! This one may seem a bit silly and hard to understand for people who have never navigated the Cambodian stairs. They are really narrow and steep. Seriously. The steps are also different levels and sizes. I am 5 feet and 8 inches, which make my feet size 9ish. That means many times my feet do not fit the stairs and my head is close to getting knocked on something hanging. The stories of people falling are aplenty. The first 11.5 months I would walk like a toddler going down stairs; on foot step down, bring the other foot to the same stair and repeat. I always moved out of the way for others to pass me. I didn’t want to feel the pressure of going fast! I’d seen people slip and slide down the stairs and I didn’t want that to be me!! I realized just the other week that I was actually going down them at a normal pace and I wasn’t slipping or sliding! Score another point for Sonya!
3. Unlocking gates
  •  I hate gates and their locks. Yes, they keep us safe but my hand/arm/wrist/fingers were not used to working at such funny angles! Now I don’t hate them as much. I’m much faster at them and am reminded how fast each time a new person comes and they have to open the gate. It takes forever. Haha! Sorry newbie! Although, I suppose I should say a year in and I still drop my keys on the other side of a locked gate. . . and there's rat poo on the ground by my gate. . . blech.
4. Making new friends
  • When I first came I was apprehensive about making friends. I had so many “things” I thought people would be put off by, that they would just think I was too strange. I think we all must feel those “things”, especially when going into a new job, town, culture. I’ve thought a lot about my personality and working on being a better person. While I still have those quirks, I think people either don’t mind them too much (they can be good fakers!) or they appreciate them (here’s hoping!). I mean, even in America people sometimes had trouble following my train of thought!
  • As for the world of Aussies, we’ve all figured out how much sarcasm I can handle before it hurts my feelings. Oy, those Aussies can be real meanies sometimes! Not intentionally, they say they only poke at people they love and care about. . . I say don’t love and care about me so much! When a new Aussie comes and they don’t know the level I can handle the others will kinda try and give a look. Or they will try and change the subject from one they know I’ll get on a soap box on . . . In the end I just say they’re new and will learn soon the level of “love and care” they can give, maybe I’ve even toughened up some?
5. Making friends at church
  • If you have ever moved and started going to a new church you will know the pain of this growth point. The first Sabbath is important, it can make you or break you. I’ll admit my first weekend was rough. I mention it here. Things have been going great. I joined the English Sabbath School (Bible study) and soon made friends. They invited me over to their house regularly for Sabbath lunch and helped me find my church family. The members change a lot because we are the home base church in the capital and many are AFM (Adventist Frontier Missionaries) meaning they have field posts to return to. I’ve been able to tell children’s story, lead out in Adult Sabbath School and just this last week in the Early Teen’s Sabbath School (that in itself was an experience!) I feel like I belong and look forward to more Sabbaths with my church family.