a blog about the cultural experiences my husband and I have because of our work abroad...what's delightful and beautiful about different countries and cultures...what we have learned from living and working in countries other than our home country...and how those experiences have changed us

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Goodbye Cambodia

In a few short weeks Stephen and I will bid farewell to Cambodia. For the last 2+ years we've lived, worked, and learned in this third world Southeast Asian country. And we have been changed by it. But over the course of those many months, we've gradually developed the desire to find a situation that better utilizes our particular skills, passions, and temperaments while also allowing us to serve some poor and under-served people. Our time in Cambodia has been immeasurably valuable to both of us and we are most grateful for the opportunity to experience life in a setting so different from the one we were born into. Stephen is proud of the work he has done here and he leaves behind staff who appreciate him and are sad to see him go.

I will miss the way the Cambodian people have treated me with such dignity and decency, the friendly smiles and gracious thank yous from tuk-tuk drivers even when I tell them I don't need their services today, the patient Cambodian servers who wait for us to tell them we are ready to order and when we would like our bill. There is much that is beautiful about Southeast Asia and we will miss all of those things.

Over the past 28 months, we've captured many images of Cambodia; a few of our favorites are below.

 Outside the National Museum

 Dragonfruit, my favorite.

 White flesh dragonfruit. There's a purple flesh kind too.

 So many motorcycles and scooters in Phnom Penh, And people use them to transport everything imaginable.

A truckload of people. This is how garment factory workers get to and from work each day.

 I love the way so much attention is paid to presentation in Asia. Doesn't that latte look just beautiful?! The napkins are folded into roses. And the pineapple fried rice is brought to the table in a scooped out pineapple. 

 A moto driver is transporting a ton of bananas to market.

 Sohka beach.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat.

 My class of adorable preschool children.

 Trucks piled high.

 Buffalo riders.

 Pony carts.

 We never cease to be amazed by what we see loaded on a moto.

Ancient ruins - Bayon.

Monks sitting inside Angkor Wat.

 Ancient ruins in the jungle.

 A menagerie of tree roots.

 Rice farmers.

Tonle Sap Lake flooding.

 The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh.

 Symbols of Buddhism

 A woman selling snails. They bake in the sun on her cart and she seasons them with an orange mixture when someone buys a bagful. 

 Fishing boats at sunset.

 A woman carrying food stuffs to sell.

 A young girl selling bananas to feed to the monkeys.

Carrying a bike on a moto.

A food cart, Cambodian style.

Independence monument at night.

Soon we will take the red-eye flight from Phnom Penh to Seoul for the last time. Then it's on to the US for a brief sabbatical to spend time with family and recharge for our next venture. So goodbye Cambodia. We will hold you in our hearts and minds.

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