Saturday, November 26, 2005

No luck for Dorr!!

Well, I know what you're thinking, but Rachel really doesn't have an abnormal love of hugging stone crosses. She's unusually close to this giant celtic cross since there's been a tourist ledgend that's sprung up which says if you can put your arms around this cross and clasp your wrists, you'll be married within the year, but no such luck for Dorr. Posted by Picasa
So last wednesday a friend of mine who I knew from college (a fellow Anthropology major) is now working in England and we planned last spring that she would come over and visit for Thanksgiving. It's been really fun to have someone from Wheaton here and who know's a lot about cross cultural living and travel, as I transition back into life here. Thanksgiving was fun, we spent it with some long-time American friends, and it really felt like family. On Friday we took a short trip down to Glendalough which is an ancient celtic Christian monastery. It was absolutely, bitterly cold. But the reason we're laughing in this photo is because a dog has just come out of the river that we are standing above and shook itself off right beside my mom as she was trying to take this photo. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Well, this is going to be my last post from Cambodia. I leave the day after tomorrow to go back to Dublin till I return in January to Wheaton. Last night some people had a small good bye party for me, it was such a perfect night. We went to the top of the "training centre" where I've taught english so many times, and put out mats and ate cocunut (all different type of cocunut). The sunset was so beautiful (not captured well in this picture) and Sopee set up some music which was this really classy piano instrumental music, to be going in the background. It was one of those perfect moments. We sat around and laughed most of the night and then when it got dark and the food was gone, we changed the music to some good old traditional cambodian and did a bit of dancing. That's a great way to end my time in Cambodia.

Thank you to all of you who have been keeping up with me as I've been here, emailing me, praying for me. Please keep praying for me as I leave and re-enter life in the west. It's going to be difficult. I was realizing last night just how difficult it's going to be to readjust as I was taking my nightly shower. It dawned on me that now it's become perfectly normal for me to put a krama (cambodian trad scarf) around my waste, go down stairs, take river water from a giant pot in the middle of the room and fill an old dirty paint bucket with water in order to take my shower in the corner of the room. That's completely second nature now and something I don't think alot about, little things like that tell me it's going to be a huge shock returning home. Please also continue to pray for those in my community that I'm leaving behind, this life is not a life that they can leave, it is the supreme expression of my wealth as a westerner that I can freely (not in the financial sense) come and go. Please pray that God will continue to bless them and the new long-distance demention of our relationships. Posted by Picasa

Good Bye Party from Younglife

This is a picture of a group of my ex-students and some co-workers who organized a small goodbye party for me. It was a really fun time, and sad as well, but I'm so thankfull for these people and the memories they've given me. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Well as most of you know, I spent last summer in Jordan learning Arabic language and culture really getting to love the Jordanians, Palestinians and Syrians I got to know there. Well, I'm definitely not the most informed person over here in Cambodia, but I have heard of the latest bomb attacks. I've received emails from a few friends still in the area and they say the nation is very tense at the moment but that the government is taking very good measures to keep the peace. It's particularly strange for me because I know the locations of these attacks quite well. The leader of our group while we were in Amman lives less than a mile away from two of the hotels that were attacked and we passed them everyday on our way to class.

Please pray for all the families (mainly Jordanians) who have been affected by this unexpected tradgedy. Pray that there will be freedom to grieve appropriately and that normal running will be restored to the country soon. Pray that all Christians (Arab and Western) in the area will not be targeted in their communities as reasons for these attacks and pray that all will be kept safe in the future. Again pray for peace in the middle east, not only for a lack of violence but for a restoration of justice for those who are oppressed, reconciliation of torn relationships and for God's kingdom to be evident clearly there.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Here's another one, Can you spot me? (yet another chance to strain your eyes)... Posted by Picasa
So this is us at the beach, I love this shot, it really gets the kids excitment at the opportunity to swim in the ocean. The big guy in the front is a friend of mine named Sopee, he works with younglife and is amazing with the kids and teens. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Weekend at the BEACH!!

So I just got back from a weekend at the beach with over 200 AIDS orphans at a camp put on by our organization called Project HALO. It was an unbelievable time of games, singing, crazy dancing (Cambodian style) and of course swimming in the ocean. The water was so warm! It was great. For most of these kids this was their first time seeing the ocean, and so is especially a good treat. I had to keep reminding myself that these kids were all orphans, because they were just like any other great group of kids aged between 7-15 having fun together. Some of my friends also went along as volunteers and helpers so it was also a fun time of hanging out and working with them. They even judged my Cambodian good enough to where I could lead one of the games (they had about 13 games set up that the kids would give you tickets to play at). I think the best thing about the weekend was the dancing. Khmer dancing tends to be pretty slow and reserved, but this stuff was more like the crazy stuff you find in Hindi Films.

Two of my host siblings were able to go too. When we got back, one of them, Terum, shared some questions he had with me. He asked, “What do you have to do to accept Jesus?” He also asked “What happens if you used to believe in Jesus and then stopped?” I shot up a prayer for wisdom in what to say to him, and then tried to formulate some answers in Khmer (especially hard because there’s a different vocabulary involved when talking about God). I hope that some of what I said was helpful to him, but I’d really appreciate your prayers for him as he’s obviously wrestling with some serious spiritual questions, and there’s no one really that he’d feel comfortable asking these things to. I’m sure it’s one of those times where you really miss having a father and mother.

Thanks for all your prayers for me. I’ll be seeing some of you in about 2 weeks time (believe it or not).I’ll be arriving home in Dublin on Friday the 18th of November, but leaving here on Thursday morning. (And, if you’d like to come to the airport to collect me, my host mother has gone and bought me a traditional Khmer suit for me to wear on my journey home, so you’ll get to see me in that). That’s most of the news for now, I’ll probably post at least one more time before I leave, and I’m sure I’ll be posting more as I go through reverse culture shock when I get back to the western world.