Saturday, May 28, 2011


We own no furniture, white goods etc, but have about 14 bags

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Church weekend away

The water was so clear Soeun captured this fish (on camera).
Our church spent the weekend together by the water! We went for the Saturday. It was great to have time with people from church as we are excited about getting to know people and getting involved. It was also frustrating for me, as many things are these days. I feel like I've had an arm chopped off. I'm used to being able to do things like get to know people but these days I don't have that capacity (scroll down my other re entry blog posts if you want to know more).
The other simile that came to mind was that it was like being at an all-you-an-eat buffet but with a tummy bug, so not being able to enjoy the food. I've since found out that another church was at a nearby conference centre, and heaps of them are still recovering from the weekend as they have been vomiting!
We were hanging out on this jetty thing, and Soeun was changing his SIM from his local one to the one he uses to call overseas. He dropped the overseas one and it fell through the cracks and into the water. It had about 8$ on it so he went into the icy water after it. He rescued it and it still works!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A day off the treadmill and a helpful question

Excited to see this sign- in Cambodia usually you are not allowed on the grass.
These photos are from last Saturday. We went for a walk in the city/botanic gardens. I think it was our first nice day since we got here!!!     Thanks to everyone who has been praying for us. I feel like people keep suggesting we should have a holiday, but Soeun doesn't have time or energy for that this semester, but we did have this one day holiday. 
               "What do you most miss about Cambodia?" I was asked recently by a returned missionary. After thinking about this and talking to Soeun about it, I feel a lot less stressed, in some ways. I realised I've lost something I really really like, so of course I'm sad etc.

Walking on the grass!!

To answer the question: Rewind 4 years, back to when we first got married, a few months before I started this blog. We moved into a duplex house in Phnom Penh. I was SO SO happy to know I'd be living with the same person in the same house for four years, in the country that I plan to live.

The years between when I finished school/left my parents home and when I got married I lived in many different places in 3 different countries. I was always living some where for 6 months- 18 months, just to do something and be on my way to something else.  Felt really unsettled and homeless. And its very emotionally exhausting living with different people all the time.

But when we got married I felt like I could really settle down and invest emotionally. We plan to live in Cambodia long term, so as well as having a "permanent housemate" I had a country to live in and learn about, knowing that the hard work of learning now would be worth it in the long term. Before that I had always felt like I was waiting until I move to whatever country I would be living in, it was hard to feel at home anywhere.
So great having green space in middle of city!
So now that we have packed up our house, and left Cambodia for a few years, the happiness of feeling at home and settled is gone. Mostly Australia is a place we come to do some things, once we get our list ticked off we can go back and set up home again. At the moment I feel as if we are living out of a bag, rather than unpacked and living here. For example last week Soeun bought some preaching books. They were on special, and they will be a good resource for him in the future. But I felt anxious when I saw them. I don't want to start accumulating things here. We just got rid off all our stuff back in Cambodia, it was hard and it took ages to chuck stuff/sell stuff/give stuff away and try to find places to store his books etc. I know if a few years time we'll have to do that all again here. I'm so sick of having to move countries, the less stuff we have the better is my feeling at the moment. I think later on, the memory of getting rid of stuff will fade and I'll be more willing to get stuff.

So right now I'm really missing the feeling of being at home. As well as trying to adjust to this new environment: new space to live in, new people to relate to, and new ways of relating and a billion other different new things both visible and invisible.  Mean while Soeun is also trying to cope with being overseas and being sick, having some big responsibilities back home, new study, sickness. So both of us going through all these things together has been quite hard. Hopefully one day it won't be this hard.
And a lot of the time I feel like we shouldn't feel this stressed. I've been here for more than 3 months now, I should feel normal by now. So then I start feeling even more anxious because I'm worried about why I feel anxious.....Last week Soeun and I talked to a couple about all our stresses. It was great having some one to listen to us and pray for us. One helpful thing for me was being told we are going through a stressful period, so of course we feel stressed.

Often in casual conversation with the many people I see each week, I feel like people think we should be settled now (maybe that's my own expectation, not sure anyone has actually said/thought that). I guess it's hard/inappropriate to acknowledge/explain in small talk that we are going through something really big. If our house had burnt down, it would be as easier thing for people to understand. (I'm really glad our house hasn't burnt down- that would be horrible!)
Just to prove we're in Australia!

ps easter surprise

i forgot to write that another surprise at Easter was the car trip there. The guy who drove us had a little computer thing on his dash board that talk to him and had a map to show him where to go. We hadn't really seen these before, expect on an advert on TV where the computer is telling a guy to drive into the water. So we thought it was kind of funny and weird but judging by the way everyone else in the car responded to it, i guess its one of those things that has come in over the last 5 years that others a used to, but its new for us. Whenever we have those kind of moments, it makes me wonder what other things I missed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Surprises at Easter

I spent the Easter long weekend on a conference with students and my colleagues.
Cold misty Aussie jungle!
Last 5 years i have been missing hot cross buns so it was nice to eat some this easter!

I was surprised to find a chocolate egg on my bed on Easter sunday. I guess i had forgotten about the whole easter egg thing.

Another surprise was hearing the uni students talking about where they come from. So far this year I have been getting to know international students, so they all come from different countries. It seems like many of the uni students here grew up in Sydney, so when they talk about where they come from they name a suburb in Sydney. There was one particular discussion that was long and detailed about what different parts of Sydney are like.  I found I was really surprised, I guess cos I don't come from Sydney so I think of it as all one place- all one thing, different to other towns in Aust, and towns in other countries. 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

more settling in

Recently I've had the opportunity to do more settling in, including:
- join a library
-start putting things on bedroom/study wall
- visit parents and brother
- get some winter clothes
-bought beans for the bean bag someone gave us (have yet to put them in)
-have re entry debrief with returned missionary

I've been here for about 3 months, I feel kind of settled at work, I've been enjoying getting to know the students and other staff. College/home and church is taking a bit longer, and I thought I would feel more settled by now, but I don't.