Thursday, 19 March 2015

words from the toddler part 2

He says thank you in Khmer, but please and sorry in English. He can say no and yes in both

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Words from the toddler

These days he is still obsessed with saying "moto" and "helmet" as well as "triangle". Also "robot" and doing a robot dance. Also loves milk and bike but usually hates having a bath- it sounds like we are torturing him at bathtime.

He's really into numbers and English letters/alphbet.

He can count 1-10 in English , it was only 2 weeks ago he started saying seven, he used to always skip it before, we guess cos it has 2 syllables. He has been able to count 1-5 in Khmer since around Dec but gets confused after that as 6 in Khmer is "5-1", 7 is "5-2" etc.

He can sort of join in singing a phonic song and the alphabet song (English) and can recognise some letters, esp A.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Defrosting, feels like "normal" life is starting

A photo posted by Katherine Seat (@katherineseat) on

Most of the last 3 months we feel like we have either been sick or busy doing moving house related things. Or both! Also it feels like its been cold weather for ages.

Finally over the last week things started to change. 

We are defrosting, and spend less time with colds and other annoying unwellness. 
Soeun has been getting to know his new church and going to various things such as services, soccer, pastor training etc for awhile now.  Now finally he is able to start being involved in things.

We just moved some furniture around yesterday, now we have things mostly set up, just need to pick up a bookshelf and then we can unpack the books! Soeun will start teaching in less than 2 weeks so it 'll make prep much easier if he doesn't have to dig through boxes.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

New things in our life since we moved to SR (and some recent photos)

Before I forget let me jot these down...

.....we're not on town water. Which means we have no water bill, instead an electric pump to get the water out of the well. Its often and red/brown colour  when it flows out of the tap. We are thinking of getting a clay filter but in the mean time we buy 20litre bottles of water to drink, they cost about 75cents each. I Carry them home in the stroller.

In Cambodia we use 2 currencies 

......Soeun has an alfresco office. Our house is much smaller but our outdoor area is much bigger and very shady. The toddler loves this and it suits Soeun as one suspect for his dizziness in Aus. is house dust/dustmites.

Hammock fun with friends

.....after spending a large part of my adult life trying to say "cookie" instead of my default "biscuit" I now find I'm going the other way. Up til now all the expats/English speakers I would see in a normal month speak Nth American, but now it seems I'm surrounded by Aussies and Brits! I go to say "diaper" then I realise I could actually just say "nappy". 

There are quite a few elephant statues  around town. I notice them because the toddler yells out the E sound that he learnt from a phonics song.

...the Toddler goes on a moto now. He is big enough for a helmet, and happily we have left the crazy scary traffic of the capital. 
The boys cooked a duck on our new barbie!

...our neighbourhood is the most Khmer looking I have ever lived in, yet the most expat as well. We live in a group of houses all owned by the same family. Some of the houses are occupied by family, and they rent the rest out to expats. Our last n'hood there were heaps (maybe 100?) khmer families in our housing development. It wasn't until we had been there for a year that I got to know another white family. Within a week of living here we already met all the expat neighbours, 3 different nationalities! Yet at the same time the toddler has some khmer play mates who have introduced him to playing with frogs and fish.

Arvo nap in the hammock at the baray. feels like its raining sometimes. Its actually just the mango sap falling all over us, making everything black and sticky. I think it means we'll have mangos soon!

Enjoying our new sandpit way of shopping. We used to live near a big market, we could get all our fresh produce there, I could walk there with the baby in the stroller. Near the market were heaps of other shops where we could get nappies and fried rice etc cheaply. Other than that we made trips to foreign supermarkets for things like oats and some dairy products.  But now we've got to figure that all out again, there is a small market over the bridge, and a bigger one about 20 min walk away (ppl don't usually walk that far, but its cool season so I've been making the most of it). There are also some small shops out on the near by main road. I expected that they would have cheap nappies and things I was used to, but turns out they just have beer and post cards and overpriced coffee beans. Obviously for the millions of tourists who come through. There are 2 main supermarkets we go to as well, one of them has a playroom upstairs. 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

the settling in continues

Glad to be in our new home, haven't had this settling in thing for awhile.

Last time we started renting a house we thought we would be there for 2 years but the first year we didn't know from month to month. The landlord was trying to sell it and only had to give us a months notice.  We did end up being there for two years in the end, but I found it easier to make our "only 3 months in Thailand" room more of a home than our Phnom Penh house.

Mostly unpacked but still hadn't seen our external hard drive we use for back. Was starting to get worried, and Soeun was having trouble preparing lessons, missing that and his books still all in boxes. Thanks to a blocked drain today I found it- phew!

Enjoying a visit to the baray with Daddy and the boys group, eating worms and frogs. Mummy enjoyed the chance to stay home by herself.

Finally we have water outside! Its really annoying not to have a garden tap or hose, esp with a toddler and a herb garden. Weeks ago Soeun bought 20 m of hose and set it up but then found our pump wasn't set up for that. Some delays and communication with landlord and plumbers.....nothing for awhile.....Then other day he found a way to connect it to another water source, and happily was able to clean and water everything out the front.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

instant neighbourly-ness

One of the first days we were in our new house it started raining- inside the house!!

We live in the brick downstairs section and another family live in the wooden bit upstairs. I grabbed some buckets and mats, moved some boxes of papers and started thinking about burst pipes and plumbers.

Then I ran upstairs to have the second ever conversation with our new neighbours (English speaking expats). I was relieved to see that the water was just coming from an overflow from the pot plants they had just watered, and not a pipe. Actually they realised one of the plants was missing its saucer, so they promised to make sure there was one there before next time!

Soeun planted lemongrass and some other things in our new front yard!

That evening the toddler locked himself in the bedroom, we had done a lot of things to fix the house up before we moved in but hadn't yet moved the low bolts from the doors. Luckily it was a screen door so we could see each other- but it was still very distressing for both of us. He was screaming, and it seemed like he thought I locked him in there. He seemed to be bringing me peace offerings, as if that would help him get our- one by one he carried all the things from next to my bed and tried to give them to me. My water bottle, my phone, my beanie my kindle etc

Anyway, so I ended up running upstairs again, for the third ever conversation with our new neighbours. They were able to bed the door and get the bolt across. Phew!

We went to the small nearby market this morning to get veg and fish. This is on the way back in our shared driveway.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Getting used to our new kitchen

Our sink is so low I sometimes kneel or use a chair to wash up. I usually wash up straight away as the Toddler can reach everything in the sink and most things on the bench.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Big bike finally

Well one stressful saga has come to an end thankfully.

For Soeun's new (pre) ministry trips he needs a big bike (250cc). End of last year we sold our small moto (125cc), received some gifts from Aus, and got the deposit back from our old landlord (3 months rent, new landlord only asked for 1 month). So then we had enough money.

He has a friend who knows engines etc  who has been looking around for him. A few times one has come up but it hasn't worked out. As we live inSR now, and the place to get one is PP its meant at least one trip back, and lots of phones calls. Then recently finally money was transferred and a bike bought. But then how to get it up here?

Usually people put them on buses, taxis , trucks to transport. Soeun had friends running all over PP to find someone who would do it. The road has got so bad in the last 3 months it seems no one does it anymore.

In the end he found a bus that would take it part way the other way around the lake, the he road the last 3 hours back. (after staying at a friends church over night).

First days

Been sleeping at our new place maybe half a week now. The toddler has started screaming in the evening instead of going to sleep. Stressful. Hoprfully will get easier as we all get used to our new space.
After a month of no tv and no home wifi we now have both. Akthough still using mobile data and usb stick as the wifi isnt always working. Sadly our new cable doesnt have aussie channel or the english language entertainment channels we had before but it does have at least 3 english lsnguage cable news ones.
We re not on town water so it looks brown!

Friday, 9 January 2015


This is the most khmer looking neighbourhood I've ever lived in but also the one with the most expats. Before we even moved in we met nearby residents from aus germany csnada snd heard about the uk family who were on their way back.

Its also the closest ive lived to downtown , but as this town is  smaller people talk about this area as if its way out.

Still moving

Had our first breakfast in new place this morning. Then spent the day at the old place packing etc.

The family who live there will be back in just over a week. The house helper already started doing a big clean ahead of their return. She has her own key. I was surprised one day to come home and find our toys and books packed up on the shelves with the other familys things. I hunted around the house to find some stuff. Another day we were there at the same time so i tried to ask her if she could wait until we are all moved out. Then she wont have to keep cleaning our muddy foot prints. So now we really need to get our stuff out asap.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

half moved

Over the last week we have been back and forth between the house we have started renting and the one we are subletting.

Getting lots of work done on our new house before cleaning, and then will unpack. Got some power points and lights, bought a stove and washing machine (fridge was already there) . Got the screen door fixed today, getting a covering made for the front door. Trying to get rid of house dust. Hoping to get something on the bathroom door so we can close it from the outside.

We can hear the people upstairs walking around, and I think the toddler understands what it is, he says "walk" and "jump" when he hears it.

Mostly been eating lunch outside, and other meals at our old placeor out. First time today to eat a meal inside, now that we can see the table.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Well, we have a place to live! Its the downstairs brick part of a khmer wooden house. Another family live upstairs in the wooden part. Really looking fwd to moving in, we've been living out of a bag for about a month. Mostly feeling sick-ish and stressed- ish. But have started getting to know people here which has been great.