Monday, May 28, 2012

Our 4 year old friends

Photo thanks: jhdavis
 "Did Kimsoeun have a mud bath?"
 I was puzzled when our 4 year old friend asked me this recently, but her next question explained why she was asking. When I told her he didn't have a mud bath she said "Then why is his skin brown?"

It reminded me of our 4 year old friend in Cambodia who asked her mum "Why does Aunty Katherine have a pointy nose?" To satisfy her son's curiosity the mum said "Because she eats bread instead of rice."
Brown skinned Soeun and pointy nosed Katherine

Saturday, May 26, 2012


One day, a few years ago Soeun had a cold. The next day I asked him how he was and he said he was better. Later I realised he was still coughing and I felt confused, why did he tell me he was better when he still had a cold?

I asked him and he replied with the Khmer word for better, the one that means "more good/gooder" and then it made sense. I had thought he meant "chea howie" which means healed.

I've been thinking about that over the last week as Soeun has been feeling heaps better than he has been since late March. When he's sick it's almost as if the real him has disappeared, and when he's well it feels a bit like he has come back to life again, his personality is back. Makes a big difference to my day if I get to see my "real" husband.

So I've been enjoying his good health lately, it very exciting. But I can't get too excited and start planning all the things that are on hold because of his inner ear migraine..... his health is only gooder than before, he is not totally healed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

faster and slower at the same time

Home/family life has become much slower since we got to Australia over a year ago.

 The chronic illness has forced us both to slow down in day to day things, and slightly longer term things too.

 But at the same time, its feels like things are going faster. With stable electricity supply and all the machines everyone has here in Aust, things are expected to happen much faster.

Strange feeling! Only just realising that now, looking back on last year.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What do I do at work

FOCUS girls meal at Vietnamese restaurant 
 Recently about 10 FOCUS girls had a meal out together. It was fun to spend some time with them, and great for them to get to know each other a bit. Some of them met for the first time as some people only go to small groups, and others only to our big FOCUS meetings, others may only come a a holiday program or social event every so often.

That night we had some Aussies, a Bengali, some Indonesians, some Chinese.
Duck lunch after FOCUS girls graduation 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

update on live below the line

Well, Becky has finished the week of only eating what she could buy for 2$ per day (see post from last week). At first her goal was to raise 400$ for education in PNG, but she has now raised the goal to a LOT more than that as you can see here on her page.

Friday, May 11, 2012

almost that time of the year again

Its almost the time of year when we say lots of goodbyes. In Cambodia its the end of the academic year so lots of people are about to leave the communities we were part of . Even though we are in Australia now I work with international students. 
International student visited Uluru recently
At the end of semester 1 last year I discovered a that quite a lot of the people I had been sharing my life with from week to week were finishing up, and its the same this year.
Watermelon biscuit made by an almost departed international student

These photos are all from various students who I have been getting to know over the last 2 semesters. It will be sad to say goodbye to them! They only have a month left at uni here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

i really like having food (enough of it, choices etc)

It wasn't meant to be a series but I think its turning into one. " I really like..." so much to be thankful for!

Yesterday I had a flashback/reminder of something I find hard about living in Cambodia. I was reminded that I'm so rich compared to most people, and I feel uncomfortable about that. I don't feel uncomfortable about it normally, in my day to day Aussie life, but yesterday I was around someone who is "living below the line so others can rise above it".

Becky's week of food- less than $2 a day
One of my friends is doing "Live below the line" This week she is eating only what she can get for $2 a day, and asking us to give money for education in PNG. Heaps more on the website, if you want to donate to her click here.

And here is a link to her speaking this morning about how its going, you may need to be her friend on facebook to see this.

"We'll do it because while we struggle to Live Below the Line for one week, there are 1.4 billion people doing it every day. That's over 60 times the population of Australia - forced every day to live in the most desperate and degrading poverty."

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

i really like taps

So much to be thankful for! As well as washing machines i really like taps, as does Nicole the blogger

In my first year of marriage I had Khmer language lessons from some of the Bible school students who live on campus. When I tried to find out the word for "tap" they didn't seem to know it , which i thought was really weird.
later Soeun told me Khmer has a word for tap, but its a loan word from French. I guess if you don't grow up with taps, if they are not that common, you don't really need a word for them!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

i really like washing machines

"I really like washing machines" i wrote and a friend posted the clip below in response.

My mother in law brought up 4 kids with no washing machine. I was thinking about that today as I did a load of washing. I've got a cold, and when you're not feeling well doing small things take a lot of effort, so I'm especially grateful for access to a washing machine this week! But even when I'm well, I can't imagine hand washing all my clothes.

" target="_blank">