It's hard to believe our time in Cambodia is in it's last moments.
We are sitting at the airport waiting to board and have about an hour spare.
It was really hard saying goodbye. We've had such a wonderful time with The Gliddon family. Paul actually almost had Ebony talked into staying with them....we couldn't believe she would even consider it..... :)
The life the Gliddon's live is amazing, difficult, wonderful, difficult, blessed, difficult....the list goes on.
I'm amazed at how God has equipped them for the task. At their ability to accept what they simply can't change and to embrace the beautiful people that are the Khmer people.
On Saturday we went to the Toul Sleng (S-21). It's the school in Phnom Phen where so many people were murdered at the hands of one sick French teacher. If the walls could talk....they couldn't possibly describe the horror that happened there from 1975-1979. I was absolutely astounded when I found out that Phnom Phen was totally deserted during that period. I have seen the photo's to prove it. Buildings where the grass and even trees have started to grow through the brokenness of the rubble that was once beautiful buildings. The Khmer people are
truly amazing people to have survived (those that did) and to now be fighting their way back to some sort of normality. What horror they have experienced as a country. My heart really hurt for all they have suffered - yet my appreciation of their strength and tenacity in the face of adversity made me see them all somehow differently. What a people.
And now the Gliddon persue the goal of trying to reach these precious people.
Some of the day to day struggles this family faces includes.....
The traffic has to be seen to be believed (I'm sorry if I repeat myself!) - Paul takes his own life.... and that of his family ..... into his hands each time he gets in the car. In Australia we simply wouldn't put up with it...not for a moment! There would be screaming, horns tooting in anger and fists raised...not to mention road rage! They are amazing the way they duck in and out of traffic and rarely raise an eyebrow. I do have some footage that I hope to upload when I return home. But Paul has embraced driving so well and fits right in. Katrina simply won't even attempt it - so anything she needs to do - and that's a LOT - he needs to be available to take her or she needs to get a Tuk Tuk - which they avoid so as not to waste money.
Little things like going out to get bread...or the milk that is only available 2 days a week because it is imported from another country.....not to mention all that it takes in some 40 degree heat to get in the car - get out of the house and then fight the extremely bumpy laneway they live in before they face the traffic!
Headlice are rampant in the schools. The children live with them constantly. Not fun at all. Worms are also a big issue. Sure we live with all that at home...but not as part of every day life.
Their rental accommodation is lovely - and so it should be for all they are doing - but things like the mosquito's are shocking. Mind you - it doesn't seem to bother them at all! I, however, was bitten alive almost....as for poor Eb! I'm so glad we did do the Malaria treatment!
Because school starts at 8am, their morning starts early. The children are often overtired from the heat and they just struggle in the morning. The humidty at this time of the year is absolutely unbelievable. I have never spent so much time feeling wet...and I've stayed in Asian country's before. It's just that they can't have air-conditioners on all the time...as a matter of fact they never have them on during the day....so it gets steamier that you could ever imagine. That would take quite a bit for me to get used to! I coped better than I ever expected - but I don't think I'll ever forget just how steamy it was. The car - because it is airconditioned - is a haven at times! I'm sure you all know what it's like when you feel hot and irritable...well welcome to their life....only add buckets of humidity.
Please don't get me wrong. I can see beauty wherever I look for it - but it's not the beauty I see when I'm home. It's a different type of beauty - a beauty I can't quite put into words just yet. I'll try when I'm not struggling with connections .... and time :)
Time to put away the computer....hope to get back with more reflections from Kuala Lumpur tonight or Singapore in the next few days.!