Tuesday, August 30, 2011

learning the Christian culture here

Since I got back from Cambodia and re joined the particular type of Christian community here some things have stood out. One is that there are so many conferences and conferences type things, going away with other Christians to hear talks seems like its the norm.

The other is that there are certain names of famous Christian teachers who everyone seems to know and listen to/read/ quote etc. Some of them I had kind of heard of before but I didn't realise that people talked about them all the time.

Things have got a bit hysterical this week. At least one famous name is speaking at some conferences. There are about 3 big things in a row- one on the weekend, one early this week, and then a one night thing. Its such a big thing at least 2 Bible colleges have adjusted their classes to fit around them.

Christian teaching is great, but as a semi outsider it's slightly amusing and confusing getting back into the Sydney thing. I guess this is one of the reasons we came back to Aust, Sydney a place to "refill", so many good resources like this for us to take advantage of as we prep for Cambodia.

new friends and goodbyes (revised)

So I've been in Australia for about half a year now, at the start of the year we did big goodbyes to old friends and old places, then big hellos to new friends, places and activities. So by now I shouldn't have to say "Hi my name's Katherine" multiple times a day, right?


 My FOCUS small group is made up of mainland Chinese students who are new to FOCUS, many new to Australia this month. Also usually a meal time at home involves people asking me who I am.

So still getting to know new people, and I've just had another round of goodbyes too. About 7 of the people I saw throughout the week last semester have left (2 have left Sydney, the others gone back to Asia, most were students in my small groups and one colleague).

And soon one couple will move out of our house and a new couple will move in (they're Asian! our house will be half Asian)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

old friends

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend from 2005. It was nice to spend time with someone whose known me longer  than half a year! As we were talking I realised she knew lots of old friends of mine (some she had just heard about, but asked me questions about how they were and stuff). It reminded me of a whole other world!

on Wednesday at FOCUS...

Met people from the province I lived in in China! I've met stacks of Chinese people in Aust, but these are the first ones from that province.

Monday, August 22, 2011

more refreshment

On Saturday went to a supporters afternoon tea for a girl in my  Bible college year. As I said in an earlier post, quite a few of my year left for overseas just a few months before I got back to Aust. It was very kind of J to wait until I was back so I can be part of her sending off time! ;) It was great to have the time and energy to go, and an interesting experience to be sitting down listening to someone else talking about their OS plans.

"Don't panic, but.."
was something I heard someone say just before the afternoon began. I'm pretty sure that phrase will have the opposite effect on the hearer.

This weekend I also had the opportunity to do some recreational cooking at home. Usually the place I live is my favourite place to be to relax and recharge, but this year struggling with that. Making cinnamon twists and choc choc  chip biscuits helped.

And today I happily accidently bumped into a Cambodia girl I've recently been getting to know. She shared her Indian curry lunch with me- possibly my first time to eat indian food cooked by a Cambodian? I gave her a choc chip biscuit. Hopefully one day we can visit and cook together. In Cambodia I had an English class that morphed into a cooking group in the holidays, I tried to teach foreign food in Cambodian language. One of the fun things I realised I miss as we talked today.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Recently I've had the opportunity to do some things I thought I would have already done by now. It's great to finally be doing these refreshing things! This week I had dinner with a friend who also recently came back to Australia. We swapped re- entry stories and talked about all sorts of losses.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

questions international students ask me

Australia is known as a rich, stable government, why do they treat refugees and indigenous people so badly?
Why don't people in Australia have a sleep after lunch?

Friday, August 12, 2011


Today I ate lunch with the people I live with! It was nice to chat.

 Mostly we only talk when one of us is on our way in or out, so there's not time to stop for long.

The rest of our communication is when we are trying to use the kitchen at the same time (3 couples, one fridge), or when I'm asking them to turn the TV down (our bedroom is right next to it), or by way of white board notes.

Today was our 2nd time this year to eat together- although I missed most of the first time as I was at work.

It's been hard all year having limited freezer space (Soeun and I were allocated the freezer door). So we wanted to buy a small chest freezer, but we couldn't just go out and get one as the college has to give us permission, so we needed to wait for them to have a meeting.

We recently found out that they worked out the freezer capacity per person for those of us in this type of housing. It turns out we have much less freezer space per person, so much so that it sounds like the college will buy a freezer for the house.

This is what my freezer in Cambodia looked like.
I kept it full of bread, meat and meals that I'd cooked. I'm mostly preparing food for 1, maybe 2 so it works out really well....so this year I've found it hard. End up throwing out lots of left overs, so feel wasteful..so next time buy take away, but that feels wasteful too...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

natural light!

I recently stayed somewhere that has windows with trees and sky on the other side! I felt happy and relaxed to wake up and eat breakfast in natural light! It's so nice to see grass and sky! In Cambodia our house had windows with grass and sky outside, so it was a nice place to relax. Frosted windows and brick walls aren't quite as nice.

Monday, August 01, 2011

poo soup

I was recently informed by my beloved husband that I ate poo soup last March! I tagged along on a Bible school trip to visit the Pnong people in Mondulkiri province, you can see some photos etc here. (may need to scroll down)

One of the people we were staying with had gone out and came back with a deer to eat. The part I didn't know was that they cooked and served the intestines without cleaning them!


On Saturday we had lunch in the unexpected sunshine with some new students from a few different countries. It was great to get to know some people who just arrived here last week, and hear their impressions of Australia and see them learning how to do things in their new environment.

A Cambodian girl came, and it was so great to spend time with her! It was so fun to have a Cambodian at a FOCUS event. When she told me she was coming I was excited of course, but when we were actually spending time together it was even better than I had thought it would be, familiar. Someone asked me if it made me miss Cambodia  more, and it kind of did, but in a good way. Somehow being around her and the familarness of relating to a Cambodian reminded me that Cambodia is still there and I'll be going back one day.

I think maybe I have been missing Cambodia and feeling like it has all gone forever, cos at the moment I'm in a totally new environment. But spending time with her reminded me there's still 14 million people living in the Khmer Kingdom!