Coco is a nickname for Sreymeas which literally means "gold girl". Leakhena told me that when she was pregnant with Coco, she dreamed about gold all the time so she decided she needed to give her daughter that name. "Srey" means girl and lots of women have that as part of their name. I think Leakhena has taught herself English. But now she is teaching Coco, and doing a great job of it. Coco has a wider English vocabulary and understands more than most of my preschool students. That's the difference between one-on-one interaction and a classroom setting. But Coco is of course more fluent in Khmer and that's how she tries to talk to me. She apparently has a lot to say. I only wish I was conversant in Khmer because I'm sure it would be interesting. :)
Both Leakhena and Coco call me "Teacher" as if that is my name. I once told Leakhena she could call me "Sabrina" but she has never used my real name. Calling me "Teacher" is a show of respect. In Khmer "Bong" is a respectful way to address someone, similar to "Sir" or "Madam" in English. Khmer use respectful language lavishly. Khmer almost always address me "Madam" or "Bong" depending on whether I speak to them in English or Khmer.
I imagine I will enjoy the clean, orderly streets of the US. I'll get to drive again! And I'm looking forward to different grocery store items I can't or don't buy here. Like fresh milk. We buy our milk in boxes that have been heated at extremely high temperatures "ultra heated treatment" or "UHT" that sits on the shelf until opened. I buy brands from New Zealand and Australia. And chocolate. It's hard to find fair trade dark chocolate that isn't three times the price of what it is in the US. Speaking of crazy prices, a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream is $14.75 at Lucky Market!
I'm sure it will be a good trip. Visiting family and friends we haven't seen in over 8 months. Noticing the differences between the two places we've lived. But I look forward to coming back to the life we now have here too. I'm already starting to miss it a little and we haven't even left yet. Our friend Mouychean said she already misses us too. And I that's a bit surprising to me. To feel such a strong connection to a new place and new people in such a short time. But I'm glad. My world just got a little bigger.