Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Take a tour of the blog

A guided tour of the blog.
I write mostly about 3 things:

1. Cross cultural life 

As an Australian living overseas in a cross cultural marriage and bringing up cross cultural kids I'm reading and writing my way through this adventure - join me! 
Maybe you also live between worlds or maybe you are seeking to support and understand those who do? Most of these posts are my thoughts after experiencing and reading about issues such as Third Culture people and re-entry. 

Others can be found tagged as 

2. Chronic illness related issues 

The starter pistol story of my chronic illness interest can be found here: 

Some other chronic illness posts are: 
Better yet?

Soeun and Katherine, February 2010, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia.
One year before the Dizzy Monster joined us. 

3. Chronicling our life 

In "time capsule" posts I share our news and photos from the month
(mostly tagged as journal).

Other ways to explore my blog

I'm also writing about Books I'm reading these days and Homeschool

For fun I sometime do a Five Minute Friday free write tagged as fmf, and the monthly link up with A Chronic Voice

Popular posts in the sidebar are another way if you want to have a look around, or the tags/labels if you scroll right down (web version only).

Friday, April 12, 2019

What do poor people lack {fmf}

It has been a long hot humid day here in Cambodia. Feeling so tired and slow, but wanting to try the 5 min free write today anyway.... hope it makes sense. Linking up with FMF. This week the word is LACK.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" A common question children get asked in some places. But it makes no sense to others.

According to When Helping Hurts, rich people describe poverty as lack of food, money, water, medical, housing etc. A focus on the material. Where as poor people emphasize things like shame, inferiority, powerlessness, fear, voicelessness etc. More social and psychological than material.

I know the bad that can come from a medical misdiagnosis. You end up not getting better, sometimes getting worse. The authors say this is what happens in poverty alleviation. The rich people don't know what the actual problem is (but they think they do) so they might go about solving it the wrong way.

I skim read this article today, about how we equate having a life with having choice. It reminded me of a weekend away I went on in my first year of uni. At that stage of life it is all so exciting to be choosing a career and working towards it but stressing about it too. We were reminded for most people in the world that stress is actually not an issue as there is no choice, its about survival.

 Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Hot Season, Homeschool and Holidays {A Chronic Voice linkup}

The last few months I've been enjoying A Chronic Voice linkups. Chronic illness bloggers use Sheryl's 5 word prompts and write a post for the month. You can see the other April ones here.

Its Khmer New Year here in Cambodia! And hot season season- with humid weather and power cuts just to make sure we get the most out of the season.

Prompts this month: Tiring, Educating, Giving, Receiving, Quieting

A Khmer New Year powder fight a few years ago.

Tiring- hot season and health

Now is not the time of year to work out if the fatigue is a medical problem, everyone is so tired and hot and grumpy, I was definitely sick throughout cool season and I’m pretty sure there is still something different now, but I will wait until this hot humid weather is over to think about it.
Do less. Drink more water. My hot season motto.

Educating- Homeschooling our kids

I was surprised to learn that kindergarten kids only need to do a really short amount of school work each day/week.  A few years ago I met with an educator and mother to ask her about homeschooling and I think she said something like just maybe 20 min in the morning, and just maths and reading/writing were important at that age.

When I was 6 I was spending the whole day at school so I think I assumed that homeschooling would be school at home, and would take maybe 5 or 6 hours a day. And maybe it does when they are older, but for early primary school just a bit of the 3 Rs is most important. The rest of the time they play, we read to them, they make things, they help cook and clean, they watch things on YouTube- sometimes just for fun, sometimes to answer all their science questions.

Being a homeschool family is more of a lifestyle or mindset for us at this stage, there is some testing we can access but it doesn’t start until the child is 8 years old. It’s cheaper than school for us here in Cambodia which was the impetus. Happily it also gives us flexibility to spend more time together as a family, which counters the disruptive unpredictable flares of chronic illness.  

Giving and Receiving- Personal holidays

Soeun and I give each other days or time off from the kids. As much as we love them and like spending time together we need time to ourselves too.

Giving Soeun time off could look like keeping the kid occupied at the front of the house, while he is in his office at the back. Or it could mean taking them out to visit a friend or play at the mall.

Receiving time off sometimes means having rest or read in a room by myself.  Often it means riding my bike into town and reading/writing in a cafĂ© or even a guesthouse. The fun of living in a tourist town means even though we don’t really have parks or cool weather there are still places I can go to read.

Quieting- a foreign concept in April

Between tired grumpy kids and Khmer New Year celebrations its not within my control to quiet things down. This time of year Cambodia goes crazy. Everyone is travelling, drinking, throwing water and powder, dancing and turning up their music. Even during long hot power cuts the karaoke will not be quieted!

Friday, April 05, 2019

Offering Comfort {fmf}

The other day was a long hot day of being around my kindergarten aged children. I was exhausted and wishing I could take a break. But that night I was reading a bit about young children going to boarding school,and the pain this causes and felt glad, that despite the stress I could be around mine 24/7.
Having that perspective helped me, but I remembered a time when it was actually harmful.
Many well meaning people  said things which sounded comforting when my husband was sick, so I said “thank you”. I could see they thought they were giving me a soothing mug of chamomile tea, but if felt like they were stabbing me with a blunt knife.  

“At least things aren’t as bad as they could be.”

“But you have so much to be thankful for.”

And I also talked to myself in this way. From this distance of over 6 years later it feels like these conversations made things worse. Like I was ignoring the fact I was going through something like the trauma and grief of losing a spouse  (although he wasactually present despite it feeling like he was absent) and just focusing on thing like how nice it was to drink milk again after living in Cambodia for five years.  

Why did I say thanks when I was being stabbed? Was it because I thought those words should help, because in previous times of stress they had? Was it because I was confused about how I felt as I didn’t have my husband to talk to and work it out? Was it because I wanted to let people feel like they had helped me and end the conversation on a high note? Whatever the reason I’m glad to be reading Megan Devine these days.

 Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Linking up with Five minute Friday.  free write for five minutes flat on a one-word writing prompt. (OFFER)