Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hello and Goodbye

This week I was able to sit with Nic Roberts, Troy's wife and co-founder of RAW Impact. It was good to catch up with her and talk about how life is going. In all my other adventures abroad I was always there for just the school year. I always was the one to leave. Now that I've signed on a bit longer with RAW Impact I am the one to stay and say goodbye to people and IT'S HARD. Talking with Nic about it was nice, she understand the struggles of making friends and then having to say goodbye a few months later.

When living outside my birth culture life is like living an extreme sport and when you share that with someone you can become quick, fast, deeply connected friends. Nothing makes a better friend than a shared experience, a struggle to overcome and the magical-ness of existing in a place that doesn't speak your language. That's what happens at RAW, especially when we all live together as well.

I love Brené Brown and her words on vulnerability. But I am going to struggle being vulnerable if I keep saying goodbye, yet I don't want to! Investing and loving people is a gift we can give and receive. It is a gift that I cherish and protect. Ultimately I wont stop making new friends here but I hope I at least get better at saying hello and goodbye.

Also, as you can see, I straightened my hair for a few days. It was fun but not as much fun as curly Sonya. Another thing to note is this photo was taken inside a Starbucks! It is brand new and only two blocks from my apt. I hadn't been to a Starbucks in Cambodia and walking into it was surreal. It felt like America! The funny thing is even in America I don't go to Starbucks but the feeling of home was welcomed and I may just become a closet fan of Starbucks after all! This also means you can gift me Starbucks gift cards and I can use them here. *wink, wink*

Until next week,

(Son is the nickname I've been given by my Aussie coworkers. It's not 'son' as in opposite of daughter but 'Son' without the 'ya'.)

Monday, February 5, 2018


I only owe $2,222.58 on my student loans!!! 

On knowledge of this I am filled with many different feelings. Had I stayed a teacher/principal I would have paid this off almost a year ago. If I was still a teacher/principal I could pay this off today. However because of my current financial position this could take me 1 to 2 years and that feels heavy.

Do I regret leaving my old job to move to Cambodia? NO WAY JOSÉ. I love being here, I just wish I could have the pay of an American teacher (Lord, knows they don't make much either!).

BUT I'm not going to let that get me down! I get to adventure everyday with Cambodian teachers and schools, people from all around the world who come to Cambodia to serve and learn and my Australian family. Being here and working with RAW Impact is more than a dream, it's the best reality I could ask for.

In Ta Skor village, the RAW Impact Protect team  is working with the families to get them out of debt. It's our own version of Dave Ramsey in the village. If they can put away money every day, so can I. If I can do they can do it, if they can do I can do it!

Don't worry, I'll still eat enough (heck yeah I will. I love food) but I'm going to live cheaper for the next few months to pay this off!

If you need me at a meal time I'll be at home cooking, feel free to come on over.

Poisoned by food!

January gave Lou and I the chance to join a favorite team from Sydney, Northridge Church. We love them because they are a repeat team and we have struck friendships with them, they have great praise worship music every morning, they love people really well and it is a joy and privilege to work with them in Cambodia.

They smashed out a couple bamboo houses in Ta Skor and in Koki. Putting in more hours to finish everything than I thought they had in them! They blew me away with their dedication and energy (this isn't a group of high schoolers, it is mixed with all ages. From 19 to 82!)

While in Siem Reap Lou and I left the group with Jen, the other RAW leader, and we went out to check a few potential schools/teachers. It was INCREDIBLE and we hope and pray good things will come from it! Stay tuned!

In a weeks time Lou and I rode in a Cambodia van at least 15 hours. 10 of those hours were in a three day time frame!! A couple of those hours we didn't even travel far, it was just THAT bad of a road!!! We joined this team straight after our RAW vision week and have been going full throttle since arriving back in Cambo earlier in Jan. We both were looking forward to catching up on life back in Phnom Penh. With RAW when you work a weekend you get the same amount of days off when the team trip is over and we had lots of plans on how to fill those 4 days!

We glad to be back in our neighborhood and decided on dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant.  I had the veggie taco salad and she had the beef one.

That was our undoing.

Around 4 am we both started getting the messages from our bodies that they were under attack and were going to purge the system clean in whatever way necessary.

And thus began our time off.

My body hurt so bad! I couldn't even drink water or my stomach would cramp. Food, NO WAY! So Lou and I were miserable together. Fevered, cramping, achy, tired all of it. That night I slept 14 hours. 14 HOURS!

It took a full three days to get back to my old self. I knew I was okay on day 4 when I talked more in an hour than I had in the last three days combined!

I've put my favorite Mexican restaurant on the Do Not Eat list for the next 6 months. Time to explore more food places around PP!

Nothing like ill health to make us appreciate good health!!

Here is to eating well, staying strong and not vomiting!