Gearing up and saying Goodbye

     A good rising of the sun to all you fantastic people!

     My time here in Cambodia is coming to a close. All of my team’s projects are being wrapped up. The swing set that was 2 feet under in concrete is excavated and the space mural is a few hours away from completion. We’re planning a game day, scavenger hunt, and bonfire to finish out our week here mixed in with some last few English classes.
     This last week, however, we had some good fun as well. We took almost all the kids to a local stream for an outing, to get them out and about. There was a lot of exploring, splashing, and green squishy stuff between your toes.
     It was also Keri’s birthday this week so the whole team got to take half a day to go have American breakfast and get massages. My first ever massage was an experience, but enjoyable.
     Off day was also sobering and fun. We drove 3 hours to go see the killing fields where thousands were killed during the Khmer Rouge. It was hard to process because I literally had no idea anything like it had happened other than World War II. That place will stick in my memory as much as New Hope Orphanage will.
     The supermarket, where we went for the rest of off-day, felt like a God-send. They had cheese! Real cheese! Apples, milk, Oreos… I had to exercise a whole lot of self-control and not buy entire sections. Because everyone got a bag from the supermarket we had to jury-rig a clothesline type of situation to keep the ants from stealing our goodies.
     I got mixed feelings coming back from the mall. To see and experience such a modern setting after spending 3 weeks(ish) in a much different environment is conflicting. To live and work with kids who have next to nothing and chill, to a mall where things are rush rush rush and spendy. I would almost rather we didn’t go so I could be fully immersed in Cambodian culture. Now I’m wishing for things that I don’t have instead of being thankful for what I do have. I’m working on changing that mindset but it’s more subconscious than anything. I’m so used to having everything I “need” right at my fingertips. God also smacked me in the face about this with my bible study, “Discouragement focuses more on the broken glories of creation than on the restoring glories of God’s character, presence, and promises”. -Paul David Tripp. Well, ok God, you win.
     As I’m starting to think about goodbyes, I, again, have mixed feelings. I’m basically stir-fry at this point, a lot of random veggies and meat mixed together to make something, hopefully, tasty. I am a bit downcast at leaving the orphanage, all the kids have sneaked into my heart without me realizing it. It’s the whole there is always one more thing we could do. These kids just soak up all the love I give them. But I’m also excited to move on to the next adventure. Everything I have heard about our new host in Thailand is overwhelmingly positive. And, a lot of the team want to step up physically so I (should) be able to finally do my exercises so I don’t have lower back pain anymore.
     So the generalized plan is to spend a day in Siam Reap, meet up with team 2, take a bus to Bangkok, have debrief, then head to the little farm for the next leg of this journey.

Until Saturday,

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