Tuesday, August 23, 2016

barang health and safety

A workman was setting alight a pile of rubbish leftover from construction work. Some nylon bags, things leftover from painting and building. It smelt and looked toxic!

 I was glad the French lady who runs the daycare centre asked them to wait until after the kids went home, otherwise our toddler would have been breathing in that smoke while he ran around outside.

There are burning piles of rubbish everywhere, even it town where we have rubbish collection so we don't need to deal with all our rubbish ourselves. Mostly the piles near our house a leaves so it's not too bad.

The daycare centre attached to the French school is where our toddler has been going over the last 6 months or so. Starting  him there was the first time we had left him with people other than family.

As an Aussie living in Cambodia there are always so many things which seem risky and dangerous to me, and from my Aussie point of view a huge lack of safety regulations, or if there are written rules about it people don't really consider it important. It's natural that people do what they have always done and what others around them do I guess.

So I was happier to leave him with a French person in charge, I'm assuming she has a similar idea of health and safety issues to me. Even if a Cambodian had good intentions it's doesn't mean they would look after a child in a way that a Western would consider safe.

But of course living here means taking some risks (risks according to my Aussie pov). Somethings are necessary, but sometimes its hard to work out which things I should just go with so we can be part of life here or which things I should choose differently so we can be safer (even if it means we look weird).

Sunday, August 21, 2016

fascinations and frustrations of the last fortnight

We've all had colds/flu over the last 2 weeks. Not much sleep! All out of routine with cooking and shopping. Things already felt a bit hard just with the normal stuff (baby, toddler, Dizzy Monster) so this felt a bit too hard.

But also have found myself fascinated by the kids language development, and with a friend have been talking about bringing up bilingual kids. Today on our facebook group we just created people started sharing and recording tickle games in Khmer!

We're at a transition sort of period which is why things are hard as well. The baby has outgrown coming to Bible study with me, and the toddler is finishing up at his current daycare. We need to start some new things and plans are underway. Previously  I was feeling like it's going to be hard to adjust to the new stuff but after these last 2 weeks when it has felt like we are just getting through each day- I'm feeling ready! Even if the next few weeks are hard in terms of sleep etc, as least we're making a change and heading for some new hopefully good routines.

A baby's life of Es

She loves seeing Big Brother playing and dancing. She watches his every move and tries to copy him with a huge smile on her face.

As soon as the music begins she starts dancing and singing. Her whole body is moving.

When Daddy comes home she starts trying to jump up to meet him.

She loves finding things she can drop on the floor so she can say “Uh oh!”

The way she concentrates as she pulls herself up on to the bed. Or the way she tries to take the lid off something.

Being tickled makes her laugh so hard she falls over.

Crawling towards an open door before Mummy can catch her.

Although she can’t walk by herself yet she can push a plastic chair across the room. It’s a new way to see the world from this upright position, a new type of independence.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When the Dizzy Monster joined the family

Here is our story of what happened when we lived in Australia a few years ago. Soeun got sick, its published here on My Migraine Brain.
The events of those years I wrote about in the Timeline on Chronic Kronicle .

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

raising bilingual kids

"Ask Grandma if she wants to come in." I said to my toddler today as his Khmer Grandma stood outside the front door.

He turned to her and did just what I asked in Khmer! I was surprised and impressed.

He speaks to me in English so it's hard for me to know what his Khmer is like.

He often goes on church trips and outings where everyone else is Khmer, so that's when he gets to hear a lot of Khmer, when I'm not there.

Just in that moment today it was nice to see that he understood me in English, and he knew to speak Khmer to Grandma, and he knew how to say it in Khmer.

So far it feels like it's just kind of happened , our kids are being exposed to two languages. But recently I've been chatting to a friend in a similar family situation and feeling like we need to make an effort to make sure the kids have some Khmer language exposure at this point in their lives.

We're raising Khmer kids in Cambodia with the one Khmer parent, so it should be easy, right?

English is so important to Cambodians so many people know it, even some toddlers at church seem to know English and speak it with their parents.  Apart from the government schools it seems like most schools are in English. My friend has been searching high and low all over town to find a school with a Khmer program.

It seems like reading to and singing to our kids comes naturally to many parents from English speaking countries, but its not such a big thing for Cambodians.

There are less books and less literacy around to start with, unlike where I come from most people can read and write and it's really important to us. We've been reading books to our kids since they were babies, some other expats gave me their old board books they had for their kids. We have made an effort to seek out some Khmer kids books, and we read those too. But in volume its never going to compare to all the amazing kids books in English.

And singing- so many songs in English to sing with and for kids. Including the alphabet song- so long before you actually start reading you already know the alphabet. There is an alphabet sort-of song ish in Khmer, our toddler has been learning it too, but it doesn't seem to have the same place in the culture.

I've been asking around and searching for Khmer kids songs, I haven't really come up with that much. A friend has offered to teach us some she translated from English, so that will be fun! And another friend directed us to some songs made by a project to teach health, they are also fun and easy to listen to. But so far I haven't found anything like our nursery rhymes.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Better health these days

Thankful for good health over the last month. The months prior to that were full of fevers and tummy things, thankfully nothing long running or too dangerous. Although Soeun has been more sick than usual recently, but we are thankful it's not as constant and debilitating as when we are in Australia.

Also thankful for this website by a chronically ill Christian. She writes to help sick people as well as to be a bridge between chronically ill and the church. If have chronic illness in your life then you'll know why that's important, and if you don't you can read and find out! Fruitful Today