Well, here I am writing from Phnom Penh! I warn that this may be the last post before a long silence from the Mainland. We have been experiencing much more internet blocks in the last few weeks and have decided that the benefits of using the proxy do not outweight the risks. Since I am able to write out of country, I will do so (probably for the last time). If you care to recieve updates by email, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include you in any group emails we send. That is ofcourse assuming that gmail remains easily accessible! As I mentioned earlier, Facebook is already a casualty.
I am enjoying my time very much here. I have visited some projects, met with many other MCCers and met some aquaintences of James'. It really is a nice and relaxed country. I knew the China was fast paced, but I only realized how much when arriving here. The people are so nice, so gentle. The buildings are simultaneously old and dilapidated, and yet so astoundingly beautiful. I've been told that they are experiencing a cold streak here, which means that I've been able to sleep comfortably at night.
Many of the things I heard about are still here. The cheesy Chinese martial arts movies with bad Khmer overdubs. The Tintin clothing. The street sellers with the sandwich of french bread, coconut ice cream, sweetened condensed milk and peanuts. The noodle man went by with his cart, tapping away on some empty gourds. Ma, Diana and Laura, I saw your old house today and went inside. It is now a preschool with a pool in the front yard and the Pakistani embassy across the street. I also saw the school. I have lots of pictures of everything.
Tomorrow I go to a Cambodian church and see some friends in the morning, and then the workshops start in the evening and go for the next three days. It has been a wonderful time so far, but as usual, I pine for news from James and boys to know that everything is alright. So often I am astounded by the fact that James is not here, because it certainly seems like he should be. But I feel like I now have a window into why he loved being here so much. If things go in the right directions, I think it highly likely we might be here someday.
Before I sign off for a very long time, I have to tell one horribly embarassing parent story. Last week we went to buy some milk with the boys. A lady was at the fridge in front of us so we were waiting for her to move out of the way so we could get our milk. She was slightly bent over and I suppose that it was too great a temptation for Jude to bear, for he stuck his thumb out and shoved it hard into her crack (to our horror, right at the sphincter area). She swung around with looks of accusation on her face and of course looked straight at James and I. Not for the first time in my life, I wanted to kick myself that my automatic reaction to something when I am nervous is to laugh! Of all things! What are you supposed to say in a situation like that? All we could really do is let her see that we reprimanded Jude and try to say sorry! Oh dear! How many more of these are we in for!
Best Wishes to you all. Hopefully the internet opens up again sometime soon!