WARNING: This will be a long post. But I promise it will be good.
I honestly don’t know where to start. The last few days were one of the best days of my life. For those who know, the last few weeks have been a bit rough, and it finally got to the peak Tuesday night. It was painful and even until Wednesday, I couldn’t help but tear up every time I thought about it.
Once I was at the airport, checking in, eating some food, and the closer I got to knowing that I will be in Cambodia in a few hours, the more excited I got. Charmaine, Dominic and I were going alone. Not with school, not with parents for 4 days 3 nights. I was out of my mind, I couldn’t believe we were actually going.
We have all been preparing for it, but Charmaine has been busy booking travel, accommodation, etc. Before we went, I was still pretty nervous about what we would do. We didn’t have much of a set plan. But this trip has been so much more than we expected.
It has been so perfect, the timing, the people, the place. God has the time and the place to bring us closer to him and to pick us back up from a hard fall.
We arrived and Kim (a DHL employee), along with the hotel airport shuttle bus was waiting for us. We headed back to the hotel, got settled in and found Vannak and Rind coming to the hotel in no time. While the three of us along with Kim sat on Dominic’s king size bed planning out the next two days, seeing them was all I could think of. I volunteered to go to the lobby to get them, my heart was racing and I wanted to run up to them and give them a big hug.
We finished planning out the next two days, then went out for a nice dinner before crashing for the night The traveling over, accommodation, transportation and everything worked itself out.
I was woken up half an hour before my alarm because my lovely roommate was afraid we were late. I wasn’t cranky or anything because I was so excited about the day ahead I could barely sleep.
Once we headed out, we managed to buy 400 loafs of bread in the morning to hand out at the landfill. We went to CCH, an NGO near the landfill that takes in kids under 18 to educate them and allow them to study. Then they were gracious enough to drive a truck out with us to hand out bread as well as survey any new orphans. We spent quite a bit of time there, went to lunch, then went to the Tuol Slang Museum to do some more filming.
In the evening, we were invited to a thanksgiving dinner at Grandma Peggy’s house. She is a missionary from Missouri who works with the Open Gate Fellowship Church. I have known her since December and she is an amazing lady. There were about 15 people at the thanksgiving dinner. Being able to give thanks together, fellowship together and just catch up was the best thing I could ask for.
I had a grin and a smile on my face all night. To be able to see everyone from the church in Cambodia was absolutely amazing. To be able to run up to them and give them a hug, to joke with them, to know that they are just as happy seeing me and having me company. It was a great first thanksgiving.
Rind and Kim joined us today as well because it was their holiday. So as usual, we met up at the hotel and headed out to the killing fields. I was able to be on the motor bike with Rind driving and Vannak behind me. I was sitting in the middle, I’m sure it was entertaining watching us. After doing more filming, the rest of the day was pretty relaxing, even got a little bit of shopping done before lunch.
We went back to the hotel before heading back to the dump to hand out another 400 loaves of bread. It was a little overwhelming with families coming back for more, climbing on our truck trying to get food. Hearing their voices and seeing the expression in their faces breaks my heart. It made me realize no matter how much bread we buy, it will never seem enough. We cannot just go everyday and give out bread, it has to start with educating the children.
We were able to take Kim, grandma peggy, vannak, rind, and rachel out to dinner before we left the next morning. We went to a nice restaurant near the water festival so the street was packed every where we looked. Seila came for a drink before he had to head out again. It was incredibly nice to see him again.
I was no less hyper than the night before. Just a little too happy 🙂 We had a fun experience with the tuk tuk’s that we rode that night. We were heading up a slope and the tuk tuk’s stopped. Being on the second tuk tuk, we stopped as well and watched Dominic and Rind get off to push it up to get it going again. Vannak and I pointed and laughed.
Who knew, a few seconds later, our driver was telling us to push the tuk tuk as well. We pushed and had to run and jump back on afterwards. I guess that’s what happens when you point and laugh at someone else.
We headed back to our hotel room, we all sat and ate some fruits that I bought earlier in the day at the market. It was a nice down time with the TV on, although I was definitely a little out of my mind. I had to say bye to grandma peggy that night, it was sad but I know I will be back.
Vannak and Rind sent us off at the airport. Every time, it’s the same. I could not say good bye, I held on tight to them and told them I love them. Looking out the airport to Cambodia, the motorbikes, the people, I was determined to be there again. There is something about Cambodia that makes my heart race and puts a smile on my face. I guess no one will really understand.
We all survived without getting sick or having any major incidents happen. We are all incredibly surprised at how smoothly it has gone and how everything just flowed. We had no time restrictions and therefore, was more flexible with everything. I would never had dreamed of it.
It was my first thanksgiving dinner. A great dinner, great people and great fellowship. I am so thankful for everything.
For my parents for supporting me, Charmaine and Dominic for coping with my craziness and occasionally crankiness, for everyone who put in their time to help us organize this whole trip, everyone in Cambodia who constantly puts a smile on my face.
And most importantly, God for showing me himself again. For picking me up so quickly, He always has perfect timing and He puts the perfect people in your life to make you the way you are. For guiding me every step of the way.
Please pray for the next couple weeks as I get back into school and have to work hard on my college applications. God has put Cambodia into my heart and I would love to take a gap year and volunteer there with CCH. But please keep praying for God to show me where he wants to bring me next year.
Thanks for baring with this long post, I hope you have enjoyed it. I have Charmaine’s entry which has many details that I haven’t written as well as the photo albums from this trip under my posted items. So please feel free to check them out. Feel free to talk to me about it as well, I would love to tell you more about it.
Love from Cambodia,