Saturday, November 20, 2010
JET LAGGIN, puppy girls and stories from Cambodia
With weather like we've been having... and three best pals over to play... ontop of my three...it was Picnic Time for sure today. They all frolicked in the yard. And then Carlisle and I got sidetracked giggling and taking our self portrait...My best friend in the whole WORLD went to the exact other side of the WORLD.
He came home.
TO LIVE LIFE IN LOVE.
...What a special gift.
He texted the day he arrived. The text said: 'We're here. Just landed.'
After being gone for 2 weeks. I knew. He knew.. He never said and I never said. But we couldn't even bear to hear each others voice over the phone. There was no call. Just a quick text. Just let me see him. IN PERSON. We are literal moments away.
So I texted quickly: 'We just pulled into the parking lot.'
The three girls and I had just arrived at the airport in Charleston after zipping...aka going 75mph...ok 77mph from Florence. Of course once we arrived, there was a poopie diaper to change, a sleepy girl to awake. Then strapping the angel baby in the stroller and explaining to the girls that airport parking lots are big and people may be in a hurry. All the while trying to hurry myself.
I'm quickly pushing the small stroller...the girls are running along side. Evelyn literally saying, 'Wait up Mommy!' So I wait, then we run along again. We are crossing the parking lot, 'Girls, look both ways....anyone coming?' Then the occasional...'I don't want you to get squished like a frog.' Because we live near water, it's one of the only squished things they've seen. We look both ways then scramble across the road.
We are approaching the doors to the terminal when I hear, 'Hey Hey Hey!!' I don't even look. I just start running toward the voice and jump into his arms. He's smiling and laughing. I'm so happy, overwhelmed, thrilled.
He tells me later. The older two girls were just standing there, behind me, not sure WHAT to do. Because there was only one of him and so many of us and I was already hugging him. He said it was like they were pulsating... like little puppies wagging their tails with excitement, ready for their turn to be picked up and spun around.
Post Cambodia Brian:
He's jet lagged. His clock has been exactly reversed. 12 hours. 8am here is 8pm in Cambodia.
So, 2 nights ago, we put all the girls down for bed and kicked up our heels.
Typically, at around 8pm each night, we both turn into pumpkins.
But that night, it was 8pm and he was as alert as a typical 8am morning.
Brian is used to my shenanigans. It's a good thingggg.
Because, I recorded our entire conversation on my iphone. Sounds a little nutty. I can't remember things long enough to write it down and no matter how sweetly I ask, he won't write it down either. So I used the recorder on my phone. Think... Doctor standing there, dictating medical records. That was me. Minus the white coat. Oh, and minus the brain that functions properly.
So then I just typed it out...
He just dove into telling me all about it. This is that nights stream-of-consciousness.
'Each morning, we get in a van, and drive 2 1/2 hours outside of Siem Reap. Siem Reap is a city where they have shops, restaurants. Drive an hour or two, and there would not be one sign of any type of civilization. It's like we stepped back in time 2000 years. The only thing that would make you think that it wasn't 2000 years ago was that they had on clothing that was somewhat modern. A kid would run up and have on a Nike shirt . You know how it was in Haiti? A kid would have on a LeBron James shirt on. How does he know who LeBron James is? It was donations getting shipped in. If it weren't for that. You literally would feel like you were in a tribal jungle, could be 100AD or 2000AD. Nothing to tell you otherwise. So, when we got there and got to the city I was scratching my head a little bit. I was like, This is Cambodia? We go into the hotel and it was nice. Coffee in the morning.
How was the coffee?
It was wonderful.
And then you get in van and drive a few hours and it was like you got in a plane and flew 15 hours. We'd be on dirt roads. It took an hour to go 5 miles because the flood waters rise up and destroy anything in their way. It leaves huge holes in the dirt road. Even if it had been paved, it would have destroyed it. Once the rainy season is over, they try to fix the roads. Basically they smooth mud out and it dries and makes a road. So weird that in 2 hours you can have such a drastic change of lifestyle.
A sacrificial pastor and wife:
One of my first questions to the missionary Bill. How is the follow up? How is the discipleship? Normally that would be a concern. So many converted their lives to the Lord. But with Pastor Haun, not a concern. Pastor Haun is a Radical Pastor.In the village where all the people were saved, Pastor Haun will be discipling them. He has a house. It's really just what we would call a barn. Wooden Frame. No AC. No walls. One big room. He has 20 people living in it. It's raised up off the ground for the flood waters. There are believers that are kids from other villages that he has shipped in to his village, just so they can go to school. They stay with him during the school year. Some of the villages are too far from a school. School is simply not an option. You want to go to school? No. You're gonna work. These are high school kids. One of them was telling me that he wants to be a doctor. In Cambodia when you become a believer, you are persecuted. You are in an extreme minority. If you were to ask people on the street in America, are you a Christian? 8 out of 10 would say yes. By default, you are a 'Christian'. Whether they are or aren't. In Cambodia, everyone is Buddhist. Every restaurant, every house we went into has a Buddha. One of the houses of a guy who got saved had a statue of a Buddha. In front of this idol of Buddha, was the spot where you sacrifice food. And there it was. A bowl of food with chicken on top. Even chopsticks.
Bald Headed Dudes:
Buddhist Monks wear big orange robes, constantly carry an umbrella... and they walk from house to house, business to business. They quietly stand until you bring an offering out to them. Money. The Cambodian people are so superstitious that they believe bad luck will come to them if they do not give the Monk an offering. The business owner, whether he is selling bananas or coffee, goes to the Monk and gives him money and the Monk goes on his way. They aren't demanding. Just bald headed little dudes in orange robes.
When you do medical clinics, you have to have a cut off time at the end of the day. And that is the worst part. You cut off....and there are people who have been waiting and you have to close the doors. Right infront of them. There are always always people waiting. And we cut it off right infront of them. Who knows how ill they are or what's wrong with the next person in line. Never a happy moment. In Haiti, when we closed down at the end of the day, they would scream at us and hold their babies up as we were closing the doors. Yelling. In Cambodia, the pastor walks up and says 'we aren't seeing anymore people until tomorrow' and the people just nod and walk off. No one says a word. No one raises their voice. No one makes a face. Thats just how they operate. Respect is so huge. Sooooo different. No one ever raised their voice. You know, come to think of it, in the two weeks I was there, I never heard anyone raise their voice.
Machetes for everyone:
Everybody has machetes. Even kids. They chop. Coconuts, wood, bananas. It's like we have a fork here. Daily instrument you use in life. For bamboo, chopping wood. I saw a little girl, not much older than Carlisle. With a huge machete. She would slide the bamboo. Wachoo. Slide bamboo. Wachoo. Not sure if she was doing it for fun or
if her parents told her to chop up this bamboo.
They are so hospitable. We did a clinic 30 min outside Phnom Penh. While we were there seeing people all day, there was a woman in the corner squatting down, cooking. In fact, when we got there at 8:45, she was already working chopping vegetables, cooking rice and preparing the meal. She worked at it for hours. Now I know what 'slaving over a pot' means. We couldn't say no. I was willing to get sick. She had worked so hard at it. After the meal, they whipped out a huge bowl of fruit. Mango, papaya, dragon fruit, and pineapple. It was phenomenal.
The hairless, toothless lady:
It makes Haiti look hopeless. completely dependent upon people helping. The government has sucked their country so dry. In Cambodia, the people aren't hungry. They whipped out out lunch for us. I said, 'I can't eat in front of these people waiting to be seen.' In Cambodia, it was no big deal. They are workers...hunters, fishermen, gatherers.They have jobs. So they have food. In Haiti I would have never, eaten infront of the people waiting at the clinic. Many didn't have food.
One day during a break for lunch, we got these rice dishes. As we were eating them, there were still people waiting around to be seen. There was this sweet old old lady right there. Not a tooth in her head. She was bald headed. And she was very funny. And she laughed a lot. I tried to give her my rice and she said...'no no no...' and then she'd talk and talk and talk. Rambling on in her language, Khmer. She thought I knew Khmer. So she kept talking. We took pictures of her and we'd show them to her and she'd just laugh and laugh. Her face was very caved in because she has no teeth. She didn't have a stick of hair, or a tooth. So when she would she the pictures of herself, she was imitating the way she looked and laughing.More to come...