Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Vinegar Festival

 In my first year in Cambodia, I don't think I noticed the seasons, it was just hot all the time. And I rarely saw a sunset or sunrise. Things are really different now.

In November the rainy season ends and boat races are usually held. For me it's often a time to clean up any mold that has grown in the house during rainy season. The last 3 November I was sick (2018-2020) but this November just gone I was NOT sick! In the lead-up to Water Festival, I sorted out things and gave away a lot of preschool materials that we had grown out of. 

Even though we have lived in this house for 4 years, we haven't got around to getting furniture and decorating the walls yet. But November 2021 I had some days to myself, with good health, and I got to clean out the playroom and buy a sofa and cupboard. So putting up the Christmas tree this year was really different to the last few years. We had a place to put it!

Water Festival worked out as the end of rainy season and the start of cool, dry season and Advent. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021


Yesterday I was in Hong Kong in 1995 by way of reading The Space Between Memories, by David Joannes, then hopped over  to America in the 1800s as I'm reading Benny and the Bank Robber books (Mary C. Findley) to our children. 

I'm also many hundreds of years back in time, but set right where we live as I'm reading Temple of a Thousand Faces, John Shors (also A Women of Angkor, John Burgess). 

I'm enjoying reading other people's descriptions of what I see each week as I ride my bike through the temple park. Some examples: 

"Monkeys leapt from branch to branch, chasing one another, causing leaves and twigs to tumble from great heights. Though sometimes a monkey would drop a few feet, strike a thin branch, and appear destined to fall to its death, no brown blurs plummeted from the canopy."

Shors, John. Temple of a Thousand Faces (p. 112). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

"The sun was hiding for a bit now. The sky had reached that pregnant stage of late day in the monsoon season, clouds gathering purposefully, about to bless the earth with another shower. I looked up. I remember thinking how lovely the first drops would feel on my skin."

Burgess, John (2013-03-27T22:58:59). A Woman of Angkor . River Books. Kindle Edition. 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Christmas days 2021

Soeun noticed it from Facebook. 

I noticed it from a ride in the temple park.

Cambodians celebrating Christmas.

Since before I arrived in Cambodia, Christmas has been a big deal for local believers. But this year it seems like the general population is taking their family to the park and posting Christmas greetings online.

We had our family Christmas on 24th this year instead of 25th, as Soeun and Kanya have been busy getting ready for Sunday 26th Christmas program.

I like it better when Dec 25th falls on a weekday, away from the busy time of church. But it actually worked out ok. It meant that December 25th felt like a bonus holiday. Like having a meeting cancelled in the middle of a hectic day.

We had already done presents and Christmas, so we didnt have any big things to do. But it wasn't a school day so it felt like an extra holiday with Christmas leftovers and no agenda.

Soeun and the others spent the day making decorations and killing ducks, but the kids and I just enjoyed Christmas day 2.

And today the prep for Christmas continues, as the program is the afternoon.