Saturday, 19 April 2014

bus trip

We took a bus trip to the province a week before Khmer new year and the bus was this crowded! Wholesale boxes of cigarettes down the aisle plus huge bags of stuff, no room under the bus to put our stuff. And seems the tickets and seats didn't match up, i got baby and me settled in what we thought was our seat but then was told to move. Two girls thought it was their seat as their seat numbers were above it, but our seat numbers were too. When others got on they told me i was sitting in their seat....

Monday, 14 April 2014

Diarrhea, dizziness and lots of fruit! SOme of the things we brought back from out New Year visit to the family in the village. This week is actually new year, but we went early to avoid overpricing and overcrowding (Baby's first bus trip!) It always takes awhile to recover so this week is staycation. Nice to be at home with no one visiting, we think the baby is more healthy, not sure.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Surviving hot season

- Rise before the sun
-Lots of cold showers/ bath/ hose downs (if your tap water isn't stored up in the sun!)
-Embrace the mango
-Don't be 30-something weeks pregnant
-Lots of cold showers/ bath/ hose downs
- Get fly screens on the windows so you can get some air flow at night without too many mossies.
- Keep fans, lights, devices charged
-Lots of cold showers/ bath/ hose downs
-Don't be a mad dog or English man

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Returning to Cambodia in HOT season

... so far hasn't been too bad. Last hot season was really hard but so far (just a few days) its a it easier.  One good thing is we have power all day and night! another is I'm not pregnant so don't feel so hot! and we got a pool. It says to set it up in a sunny place, but as you can see we put it in the only bit of outside shade we have.

As always there are lots of changes we see when we get back. SO far I've noticed there is a new school next to the baby shop on the corner, the moto park near the market moved location and got a roof! shade!! and the place i eat near the market doesn't do dishes for lunch and dinner anymore. They still do pork and rice for breakfast but when I went to get dinner last night they only had fried rice or noodles. 
Its interesting that many people say Baby's skin is blacker now than when we left a  month ago. I think they are surprised as they would think of Aussies as having white skin, so why would a half AUssie baby get blacker when they went to Aus? I told them we don't have tuk tuks or motos so we tend to walk places. (Khmer friends often will go by moto even if its just a short distance). Also, as its cooler and there are footpaths and parks its nice to walk around just for fun, that part is harder to explain though. 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Trip to Australia

Well, back in Cambodia after a month of visiting family in Aus! So great to take Baby to see Aussie side of family. Also made quick social visit to one supporting church as well as visiting 2 of my sisters (including a new baby and new house) and Soeun preached a couple time at a khmer church. We also did a first aid course, drank lots of yummy milk and enjoyed my parents backyard. The Baby got to sit on grass, Soeun got to eat fresh veg and herbs and I got to use a Hills Hoist.

Friday, 31 January 2014

New things! New year, new market, new teeth, new friends

Even though there are a lot less Chinese people here than in China, Chinese New Year is still celebrated by many. In the lead up the market was extra busy and full of shiny red and gold, then yesterday arvo quiet. A few fire crackers around, and some people decorating their houses and putting out fruit etc.
 Well I was going to write that we are all healthy now- after a month of passing back and forth colds between the 3 of us.. Baby's first time to be sick.. but now Soeun is a bit unwell. We've been having lots of limes, ginger and other fruit and veg. It didn't help that we slept badly last night, partly to do with the mossies. It was really weird- suddenly at 6pm we had HEAPS in the house. I've never seen such a sudden cloud of them like that. We zapped heaps with the racket, then sprayed our room. The floor is still littered with dead mossies.
 The near by market keeps growing and changing each month, there are some photo over here on overflow blog.
I recently met another white person who lives near us! very exciting, she invited me to a play group in the area as well as church. I didn't know there were other expats that met here, its great to get to know some Nth Americans.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Last few days on the streets

Some of the main events of the last few days include the shooting on Friday morning, where around 4 people died and more injured, then yesterday morning Freedom Park was cleared. It has been the place where the protesters have been hanging out and having rallies over the last few months. The PPP clip has some more details also this blog is a helpful summary:

Democracy unraveling

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christmas, protests, cold weather, power cuts, plumbing problems etc etc

We've just had a time of busy-ness and sickness, hopefully things will be a bit calmer in the next little while. Christmas is always a busy time for Khmer Christians, our church had Christmas on 22nd, then the youth had Christmas on 28th, then a big overnight thing on NYE. All these events take up a lot of Soeun's energy and time. To make it worse I asked him to take Dec 25th as a holiday and we were going to have Christmas lunch with some Aussies.... but then I got sick on Christmas eve and he spent the rest of the week bringing me fluids and looking after the baby!

When the main roads are blocked due to protests this is another direct road into town.

Countdown NYE food at church! Are the chicken using their feet to countdown?!
So after the NYE thing he came home exhausted and a bit unwell.

Yesterday I took a friend and her kids to an indoor play area in town. We were going to stay there all day to make the most of the one hour tuk tuk ride. But the daily protests  turned violent and people advised us to go home, as they were worried the streets would become more chaotic. A few people were killed, that was what everyone was talking about.

We had a power cut for about 10 hours, so I didn't have much internet access, and I discovered Baby does not like the dark. I was very glad when the lights came back on around 7.30pm!

Baby is enjoying sitting and eating with a spoon. Doesn't seem to matter what s on the spoon , he just likes eating from it.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Water freezes at 0 deg C, Cambodians freeze at 22deg

The main thing people are talking about is how cold it is these days, the paper said its the coldest in about 30 years. Some of my friends are feeling sick and miserable because they just can't get warm, even though they are wearing their warmest clothes.

Its been in the low 20s, so for me its a relief as Im usually feeling too hot. I went for a walk the other day, about 2km, something i would do everyday in Aust, but its just too hot and dusty here (and I'm sharing the road with motorbikes and 4wd, even without a pram and the potholes it quite exhausting).

This is one of the times that being an expat is frustrating/isolating. Most of the the people I see in a normal week are genuinely feeling really cold, and I don't think they believe me, or really get it if I tell them I'm not.

It is much colder than usual, ( I even found my pair of socks as I wanted to wear them the other night. In the end I didn't because it was hard to walk, too slippery, all our floors are tile) but I feel happy about it, not something to complain about!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

You know its cold season when...

... people wear big jackets in the morning.
...going outside takes way less effort.
...doing anything physical takes way less effort.
...people tell to you to put long pants on your baby.
...all the other babies are wearing winter clothes. Aussie missionary writes on fb that it got down to 23- Freezing! Awesome! Bible study group the fans get turned off and the scarves come out.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

expanding city, changing neighbourhood, time to explore!

Now that the city has expanded out to us (in a way), and I've done all the hard things for the year (in a way- moving back to Cambodia twice, once from Aust, second time from having Baby in Thailand) I'm finally getting to know the people around us and enjoying the area. Also now that I'm not pregnant and I've had my shots not so concerned about what i eat- eg MSG, typhoid etc. (not that i'm trying to get sick!!)

Plus its cool season- doing everything is WAY EASIER than in hot season.

Recently discovered some places to eat, close by, cheap. Dinner is about $1.50 (US dollar) and this pork and rice breakfast in the photo is about $1 dollar.  And unlike other khmer places i've eaten it doesn't feel to chaotic. I used to eat for 50 cents with some khmer teachers, it was on a street corner, lots of motos whizzing by just just centre metres away etc, so exhausting. This food is 3 times the price and for me thats worth it. They even hold my baby when I eat.

And if you know phnom penh traffic and "public transport" you'll understand what a big bonus it is that I can walk there.
Out for breakfast, pork and rice, yum!
There was a 50 cent place near us when we lived before but whenever the Bible school students went there the got sick, so I never tried it. I did eat "khmer noodles" on the street near by but they always made me a bit sick. But they were so yummy and the seller was so nice so I kept buying them and eating them and getting a little bit sick. I don't think I ever got sick from street food in China, but here its different.

Eating out alone at nearby shop, so easy and cheap, free baby holding with my 1.50$ fried rice, comes with icedtea, great for weekends when Soeun is at church til late
When I first moved to this area of town there weren't any internet cafes, and we didn't have it at home either, it seemed like no companies service this area (maybe they did but it was expensive). Now we have net at home and a net cafe a few min walk away! So internet access is much easier, and at this time of the year not many power cuts, probs as easy as it gets.

Also these days there are lots of paved roads, which make means my back isn't so sore and my house isn't so dusty.

There are a number of Western cafes/ food chains that deliver here now, we tried a few years ago but they always said they only deliver with in the tourist map, now I get get food from Java (1.50 delivery fee), The Pizza Co, The Shop Too and probably others. Also there are now some supermarkets only 5km- ish away from here, it used to be a longer journey. Sometimes I'd be bringing cheese back by bike, 40 min in the PP sun is not good for dairy products!

We used to eat either on campus with the students (which also cost around 50 cents) or buy food from the near by market and cook it ourselves, not living on campus has been quite different.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Lull between broken things getting fixed

Over the last week we've been enjoying not having any people coming to fix our house. The original tradespeople from the company who built the house didn't come back for ages, so our new landlord found another one. So finally they drilled up more tiles and cement on our roof and in our bedroom, and fixed the electricity the bought some more tiles and put them on. So now we have electricity and the power works- and we don't have to step over holes of rubble to get to the washing machine. And we don't have water seeping in in the roof.

Having the noise and dust and people was pretty annoying, felt like there wasn't anywhere safe for Baby.

However the wet/ mildew patch on the downstairs ceiling is growing. And we noticed there are other wet patches on internal walls, so maybe a pipe is leaking or something. We did point the patch out to the landlord last time, but there were more urgent things then. Fixing this might been not just drilling up certain bits of the floor, maybe they have to hack out huge chunks of wall???!!