Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Rainy season and roads

Soeun was calling out directions to the tuk tuk driver on Sunday night, five of us were going home from church. The driver is new to the area and didn't hear all the directions so we ended up on a really bumpy road. Most roads are bumpy but this one was particularly bad, plus at this time of year its all muddy and the potholes are full of water. It was pretty scary and painful! Soeun was holding the toddler and i was holding the baby, trying to figure out the best way to hold her neck and head with all the lurches and jolts. It felt like at any moment we could end up in the water and mud.

That set the theme of conversations for the week too. Lots of expats we know teach and send their kids to a particular school that has a long muddy road, it sounds quite dangerous at this time of year! The international church is meeting there too now, and the church bus ride this last Sunday was apparently a little too interesting.
This month 2008 in Phnom Penh

You know things are bad when a tow truck needs to be towed.... from Oct 2008

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Winter in Aus

Hot season here was hot and stressful..and then we went to Aus just in time for winter! It was very cold! And it was stressful to go back to Aus after fleeing due to ill health.

But we were well looked after and the birth went well, very fast and safe. And the baby is easier to look after than we expected.

The toddler had lots of fun getting to know his Aussie relatives and enjoying Aussie things like parks with grass and play equipment.

I had fun making use of the oven. (One day we want to get a full size gas oven but they are expensive and we don't really need one at this stage.)

 In Aus I not only had the use of a full size oven but also people who like eating oven cooked things as well as the ingredients and other equipment that goes along with it. Oh and also good oven using weather.

 I made some food I've made before also quite a few new things mostly involving flour and often yeast and or butter!

Friday, 11 September 2015

First rainy season in SR

Taken from just outside our front door, our floor was covered in water last night.
Yesterday Soeun was trying to prepare for a class he will be teaching next month. The books he wanted to look at were in a cardboard packing box, in the corner, wedged in by a table and the huge wooden thing our landlord owns. On top was 2 plastic tubs of other books. It was just too much effort to get to the box, esp as we only just moved the furniture that way the other day, trying to make space for a desk so he could sit down and work.

Luckily, in the evening our floor was suddenly covered in water. It had been raining for ages and stormy. We were waiting for the power to go out. We raced to pick things up and moved the furniture so we could get to the cardboard box of books hopefully before the water soaked through.

As we were racing around the toddler was trying to help us and slipped over a few time, while the baby lay neglected in her bed crying. Once we got all the things up that needed to be up I sat down with the toddler and baby and tried to calm them down while Soeun took the water out using a dustpan (with a long handle, kind of like a spade) and then a mop and then floor maps. Then he washed the whole floor- so its really clean now!

Friday, 4 September 2015

After an Aussie winter

Back to hot weather, power cuts and no wifi.

The endless supply of wheat and dairy is over, and once again I'm feeling the frustration of not being able to find somewhere comfortable to sit.

The first little while back in Cambodia each time is hard.

Things are ordered differently here, beautified differently, hygiene is done differently.

And of course I'm tired from travel and the different time zone and weather takes awhile to get used to again. Also I didn't speak/hear Khmer for about 3 months .....

We only just moved house a few months before we went overseas, so we are still settling in here. It was not  a case of come back , unpack and get on with things. We are still moving furniture around, looking to buy a few cupboards and a bed for the toddler, rummaging around in boxes and bags to find the blender/ that book for the lesson Soeun needs to prep/  the baby things etc etc....

I miss having a bedside table to put my glasses on, and my clothes stored in a cupboard in the bedroom. At this point in time there is no spare floor space on either side of the bed and my clothes are in various places so getting changed/having a shower takes a bit of planning ahead.

And what to do with the Toddler here...?? In Aus he enjoyed visits to parks- vast spaces of grass to run on and exciting play equipment, all free! We don't really have those spaces here, there is a private playground we can visit on Saturday mornings, its cost 2 US dollars tho, and at the mall there is a small soft playroom, that cost 75 cents.
First time to fly solo with a baby

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Medical appointments , paperwork and are all the family members eating and sleeping/?? are the things ive been doing and thinking about over the last little while. All 3 of them are sleeping at different times to each other and to others in the house. They each eat different foods and at different times as well. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

waiting rooms in Aus

A warm room, and a comfy chair with my kindle while the Toddler goes to the park with Grandma. As we are back in Aus I've had various errands and appointments  (clinic, Medicare etc) which means waiting in waiting rooms. Its actually been quite fun!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Not a saucepan

What do you call this?

The toddler was playing with this kitchen thing and calling it a saucepan. I wanted to correct him and tell him what it really is called, trouble is I couldn't think of a word. So I asked on Facebook. I got lots of responses and I realised why I couldn't think of a word- there are too many. Here's a  summary of the responses so far.
Pretty much everyone from the USA said "spatula" but other nationalities had lots of different words. (also pancake turner)

 "fish slice", "spatula" 

 "flipper", "spatula"


egg flip
egg flipper
egg lifter
flippa thing

Thursday, 14 May 2015

emerging from 4 weeks living in the urgent

First there was Khmer New Year, with relatives coming and going with no notice. Being part of an Asian family is really hard for a Western introvert, and most felt at times of the year when extended families get together. Unhappily coincides with the most hot humid weather.

We were exhausted by the end of it, happy to have our space back when a storm struck and the whole town was plunged into heat and darkness. A flurry of communication surrounded the 5 day power cut as everyone struggled to cope with the heat, cancelled events and not knowing if the power would come back on today or not.  (At this time of year we struggle to sleep even with 2 fans in our room so when there are no fans...)

Two years ago we often lost power for the whole day, so I'd worked out my fridge/freezer strategy for that, but 5 days is a lot longer than 8 hours! So I gave up on my usual shopping/cooking habits, we just had to go one meal at a time. And we didn't know how long the water in our tank would last so we tried not to use to much water, which meant we also gave up washing up, esp at night when it was dark.

The last night of no power the toddler had a high temp, it had started that morning. We were giving him ibuprofen but his temp was still  high. For the next 7 days he didn't eat much or sleep for long blocks of time, it was like looking after a newborn, a few hours of sleep , a few hours of screaming, felt like he needed constant attention. (So even tho New Year was over and the power cut was over we still didn't get a chance to restock the fridge)

After the first few days we were both exhausted and didn't know how long it was going to go on for and if it would turn out to be a normal childhood fever thing or something like dengue. So then we started  taking turns at night so at least one of us got a block of 5 hours sleep.

(took him to the doc on day 3 and 5, had a hospital in mind we would go to if any other symptoms happened ).

(Did I mention the weather is hot and humid at this time of year?)

Then thankfully he got better. I thought we were just going to collapse and breath a sigh of relief but after all that it was hard to change gears and go back to normal eating and our house was chaos. We have 2 bedrooms and a living/kitchen area. We and others had been sleeping in them over the past few weeks, swapping around depending on the heat, where the sick toddler was and who was looking after him. We don't really have a bedroom as such anymore. (Plus still hot humid and haven't really been proper meat and veg shopping...)

We had lost a few weeks in which we were planning to get ready for a trip we were supposed to be taking. I thought we had 3 weeks after New Year and the trip to psych ourselves up for it but all of a sudden it was almost time to go.

So then it was a 4th week of living from day to day, trying to decide if we should change our plans or not, and if yes which of the options we should choose.

Anyway, I think things are are bit more settled now. The last few days we have cooked meat and veg at home and eaten dinner together!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Waiting for normal life to start.... last weeks holiday, this weeks fever

I keep waiting for a time when we don’t have relatives staying in our house and/or one of us isn’t sick, waiting to start normal life in Siem Reap. But maybe this is normal life!

We have been here less than 5 months and already had relatives staying with us on about 5 separate occasions.  None of us has been seriously sick, but the toddler has a fever a few times, we’ve all had colds, I have various pregnancy annoying things etc etc.

That’s what I was feeling a few weeks ago, then we had Khmer New Year and I just felt really exhausted after that,  and starting to get anxious about the next thing coming up. Feeling like a holiday. No time/money/energy to travel but started day dreaming about spending a night in a hotel in town.

Then last week was so crazy- most notably a massive long power cut all over town. A lot of things got cancelled because of it, and we never knew what would happen from day to day. Lots of checking in with other expats on fb about whether the power was on or not and what the latest rumour was about how many poles got knocked down in the storm etc etc.

But in a way it was kind of a holiday, some of the normal things we would do in a week were out, and it was hard to cook with no fridge and not knowing how long our water would last for.  No washing up or sweeping in the evening as it was dark and I couldn’t see the mess.

And it was a good excuse to have the holiday I’d been wanting, we  stayed a night in a hotel in town (number 2 place in the world to visit according to trip advisor, big tourist industry). They had a deal on because of the power cut, lots of expats were doing the same thing.

However on the 4th and final night of the outage we were at home with a sick toddler. It was hot and noisy. He is still feverish, this will be the 3rd night. He has been acting like a newborn, sleeping in little bits all day and night and screaming in between or looking floppy.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The week after KNY

Just when we were recovering from KNY Soeun woke up with this crawling on him. It was the day after the internet went out, the same day the toddler vomited, and the day before a town wide multi day power outage. As if being pregnant with a toddler in hot season wasn't hard enough. And there was the dead things in our drinking water....

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Almost KNY again...

"This week hot season has arrived with a bang in Cambodia, and expats have responded with a whimper."
Move to Cambodia

The other week I was getting only a few hours sleep thanks to a toddler fever then my own cold, it seemed too hard even to just do the normal things...thankfully that pretty much over now. 

Now the struggle is just with the hot weather, extra teaching and preaching for Soeun, the New Year holiday (relatives coming to stay- its never a holiday, its a hot busy time), and the usual things of being pregnant with and looking after a toddler.

So glad our health is better and than we have electricity and water! It was getting quite hard when I still had a cold and the hot weather started , then there was a half day power cut... I tried to get myself and toddler to an air con mall but I was too sore and tired to move......
I bought 500ml of blue food colouring! Water fun, play dough....if only the toddler was as excited as me.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

a bunch of annoying things all at once

Recently the toddler had a fever for a couple of days. Thankfully it turned out not to be anything weird or scary, he also had a runny nose and i suspect sore throat etc. Anyway, he is better now but I have a horrible cold. Its always hard to sleep when I'm pregnant anyway, plus the hot weather, and now with a cold and the toddlers sleep pattern all messed up, eeerk! Everything feels too much effort.

Welcome to the hot season finally

Throughout the long cold cool season we were lucky to have hot showers. This heater pictured above was attached to our shower. It recently made a loud noise, burst into flames and gave off lots of black smoke! Scary. Now the toddler says "fire" whenever he goes into the bathroom.

Anyway, annoyingly that meant we spent 3 mornings in a row waiting for the workman to come, and then waiting for him to work. The water was off for awhile. When you have a messy toddler and you're pregnant its pretty annoying not to have access to the bathroom for so long!

So now we have a new water heater (not that we need to use it at this time of year, the weather is hot and the tap water is often hot too) and the shower has much better water pressure and  we have an outside tap! We can use the hose Soeun bought when we first moved in. Water the herbs, clean the dirt off everything, wash down the toddler after watermelon or messy play and its a great new toy for hot season!