Rainy season has officially hit and we LOVE it!  I have already been drenched on the way back from class and we have caught out in the rain while riding the moto.  It’s a great excuse to check out a new place while we wait for the storm to pass!  Not to worry, our rain jackets have proved up to the challenge of rainy season so far.  When the start of rainy season coincided with house hunting, it was a great way to see if a potential house flooded!  Good news — it did not and now we are preparing to move!



These Rugs

Items we had no idea were missing from our household – these rugs. These rugs are made out of sweatshirt material and are about $0.50 in the market (or $0.75 if you are bad at negotiating). They are everywhere! No two are identical and they come in every color imaginable. We have a stack at the office to use for putting on the motos to keep the seats from getting hot. We put a blanket on one for Geordi under the desk and that’s where he sleeps while I am doing homework.  Have a spill on your floor?  No problem!  Just slide a rug over to mop it up and throw it in the laundry.  Someone told us when we moved here we would want a few and I definitely believe them now! I have a feeling that when wet season begins we will find even more uses for these rugs…


Becoming Home

“Hey, look over there!” We were in a tuk tuk headed to a teammate’s house on Saturday when suddenly Ian starts pointing out the side excitedly.  I looked over and by the side of the road I see a couple people with huge grins standing beside an orange juice cart.  My first thought is, “those people look familiar,” followed by, “wait, those are friends from church!”  Sure enough, some friends of ours have an orange juice stand on the entirely opposite side of town.  We asked our driver to pull over and stopped to chat and of course, have tasty orange juice made from Khmer oranges!  (Khmer oranges are very different from what I am used to, including the fact that they are green, not orange. But the juice is still delicious!)

Events like this are starting to happen several times a week.  In addition to this one, Ian is going moto shopping with another friend from church this week.  I had a girl from school pull up while I was walking and gave me a ride to school.  I guess it’s suddenly hit me just how many people we are getting to know here.  It helps make Cambodia feel even more like home!


Lessons Learned

      Sometimes (okay, frequently) things we take for granted are a little bit more complicated when living in a culture not our own.  I’ve found this can lead to comical events and meeting awesome people (or finding awesome hot chocolate, see above).  Cause in point, our night recently:
      Burgers.  I just miss burgers here sometimes.  We eat a lot of chicken and a lot of eggs, but nothing replaces a good burger in my mind.  Some friends told us about a burger place so Ian and I went on a date. The place reminded me of Five Guys and was really awesome. The buns were potato buns and purple but other than that, totally normal. I’m really excited to have a good burger option!  All I’m sayin’, three kinds of cheese were involved, another thing rare in our diet here.  Ian keeps needing photos of us for stuff and not having them so I’ve decided he owes me a “couple selfie” everywhere we go together, even if it’s just for burgers.  Be prepared for lots of silly ones until we get better at this!
      We also went to a Khmer bike shop to get Ian’s birthday present, a bike pump!  Now, before you laugh, keep in mind in Colorado I gave him a bike pump for Christmas and he loved it so much he almost brought it to Cambodia!  Here, Ian got a cheap one with his bike not long after we got here and left it downstairs for several days so of course it disappeared. Lesson learned early! His tire is flat so I took him to pick one out for his birthday. We had a blast, he picked one (which we carried with us to the burger place).  We met an awesome family while at the shop.  The kids were hyper and had fun practicing their English on us.  The dad offered us a ride on his way to take the kids swimming.  We had fun talking bikes with him for a while.  Of course, the pump didn’t work with Ian’s bike when we got home so our next excursion we will have to remedy that. All is well though — our neighbors noticed Ian working on his bike and pointed to a shop around the corner that would fill his tires. Evidently a lot of Khmer just stop somewhere to fill up tires.  Lesson learned!
      At the end of the evening we stopped by a workout equipment place and bought a kettleball. I ignored the 2 thinking 2lbs wasn’t enough and so I bought the 4. Then I got home and was talking to my sister before I realized it was 4kgs, not 4lbs!  Oh well, another lesson learned and it will be good for me!  I am really excited my Lyme treatment is going well enough that I am starting to be able to work out again!  I am looking forward to being healthier!
      We were really tired this particular evening or else maybe we would have noticed a few of these things (such as unit conversion).  However, cross-cultural living definitely keeps us on our toes!  We never know what will be similar and what will be different.  Aren’t you glad that God is the God of all nations and has it all under control, no matter where in the world?  I sure am!

A Whole Other Language

Ian found two Bibles for me as I’m learning to read. One is a kid’s Bible and one (pictured) is the full Bible in both English and Khmer. One of the cool, but challenging, things about Khmer is that there is a completely different vocabulary used when talking about God. It’s a sign of respect to use this super formal way of speaking. I’m looking forward to learning it!