Friday, April 29, 2011

i miss our house

Bye bye washing machine! Soeun had to get rid of all the last bits and pieces.

Our kitchen in Australia is so different ! As I knew it would be but taking time to get used to it. Also we share it with some other Aussies, so have to be considerate of how they use, and learn about that. Sometimes it seems things obvious to Aussies not obvious to us.
Yesterday, I went to get the rest of Soeun's test results ( we now have a bout 20 pages ). The doc gave me a diagnosis and referrral letter. However, another doc has looked at all the results and has some other ideas, so we'll see how it goes.

Also yesterday I went to join the local library, I was so excited. When I went to check out my books I was telling the library lady that i was excited to be borrowing all these books, mags, dvds in English for free, as I'd been in Cambodia for the last 5 years so hadn't been able to. It turned out she is Cambodian! So it was even more exciting.

Soeun is doing an essay and getting ready for his next intensive. He just got his first essay back and was pleased with his mark, so yay! He is also spending his energy on his responsibilites back in Cambodia.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

more fighting

The ongoing border tensions between Thai/Khmer flared up again, over ten people dead due to the fighting  over the weekend near the Preah Vihear temple. Read more from ABC here, or on KI media here , or on the Phnom Penh Post here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I first arrived in Cambodia in cool season, but I found it so hot I had about 7 showers a day. Fast forward 5 years and I think I adapted to the climate, cos it's not even winter here in Aust but I'm cold!

Over the last month or so I've been feeling cold. It's kind of frustrating that I've been wearing more clothes than I'm used to wearing, but I'm still cold. I've even had to start wearing closed shoes!! For some reason this was making me feel a bit stressed, esp knowing that it will get colder. Maybe I've just had so many changes over the last few months, any small changes just feel like too much?

There is a window near our bed and we've been wanting to move our bed cos our heads are getting cold. And yes, we are wearing beanies. On the weekend we put a blanket up on the window, I think that's been helping.

Adjusting expectations

I was really looking forward to getting to know people at church again, and being part of it with Soeun. Going to the morning service and being part of a Bible study group; as I may have mentioned before so far we haven't really been part of a church together as its always a language experience for me and a really busy time for him.

Last July we visited some home groups to share our plans, I was looking forward to catching up with the same people again to share what has happened and how God has answered their prayers.

And it has been nice to see familiar faces on Sunday morning, and we put our names down for a Bible study group.

But much to our frustration, between the settling in/ overwhelmed with new thing, and sickness, we just haven't had physical energy or emotional energy to do that.

Hoepfully it won't be like this for too much longer?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

unexpected bumpings into

Today I was walking down from the office where I had been preparing a seminar. I was on my way to a FOCUS event at uni. I was in a hurry and feeling kind of flustered so of course my shoes chose that moment to give out. I've been meaning to get new shoes for awhile, but today had to be the day. I couldn't really walk properly, so I hobbled into k mart, planning to make a flying visit.

As I tried to run to the shoe section I saw a friend lining up at the cash registers. My friends these days fall into 2 groups- either I just met them 3 months ago- or they are ppl I used to know years ago but haven't seen for ages. This girl was in the second group. We had a bit of a chat, then she ended up running with me to the shoe section, helping me quickly work out which shoes to get, then she ended up paying for them too!

Later that day as I was walking from uni back up to the office, I ran into an international student I know from FOCUS. We have actually been trying to meet  the last few weeks but it hasn't worked out. She was asking people along the street where a certain location was, as she had an exam there. I ended up helping her find the right street and walked a bit of the way there with her. I don't have a very good sense of direction but I've lived in the suburb before.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I do recommend eating hot cross with international students to celebrate Easter. Growing up with hot cross buns I just assume everyone knows what they are and how to eat them. As my new friends from asia started eating these strange bread things- one guy who didn't know the English word for sultana asked

 "So are these mummified grapes? "

I don't recommend waking up at 4.30am and starting to think about stressful things!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


With all the newness we are trying to cope with these days, we don't really have spare energy.

Since I got back people have been inviting us to meals and to visit their home groups. Thanks for your invitations! We really appreciate it, please ask us again later.

I felt frustrated that I feel stressed whenever we are invited somewhere. People often say, come over when things settle down a bit. But when are things going to settle down? I think I thought by now things would have clicked into place and felt normal. (Maybe I feel stressed cos I'm worried that by the time things do settle down for us, ppl will have assumed we are not interested to take up their invitation. )

I have been really looking forward to being part of church and a Bible study group with Soeun. We went to church in Cambodia together but it wasn't a shared experience. Mostly a language lesson for me, and a really busy time for him. So far we have been to church twice together here, hopefully we'll have more energy in the future to get to know people better. Our week night Bible study group has met twice, but only I have been, and only once. I wish we could be settled into church and group straight away! But feels like it will be awhile. We don't have many friends who are "our" friends.

I'm really excited that soon Soeun will have an opportunity to get to know the people I work with. I've really enjoyed getting to know my team mates and the international students, I can't wait for Soeun to meet them too!

Settling in process continues

Over the last few months we've been finding it really hard at times settling in to Aust, learning and re learning things, getting to know new people while we're feeling like we're not really ourselves.

We are sharing a kitchen/ living space/front door with 2 other couples, so its been interesting to have to get to know them and remember all the things about how to use an Aussie kitchen. Huge oven, microwave, hot water tap, carpet, different cleaning methods/habits- so many 'new' things!

And we are both in new roles which continues to be a steep learning curve. Feeling like we need more rest, time at home, but home isn't really home yet.

Soeun's health hasn't been good the whole time he has been here, first a cold, then he was ok for about 1.5 weeks, then he was really dizzy and tired for another 1.5 weeks. He feel ok at the moment but has missed a few weeks of study time. Also he has been to the doctor a few times and still waiting for more test results.