So the requests I had on Facebook to blog about included food, the smell of Cambodia, my daily life, the people, more food, the Sparrow's Nest office, ministry, the apartment, scenery, animals, and more food. I will try to hit on all a bit.
The food here is amazing. I was surprised how accurate some asian food restraints are in the states. The pad thai is very similar…but better here. They eat pho for breakfast, they only use chopsticks with noodle dishes and forks for everything else, the beef here is not good, but the pork and chicken is great. We can't eat street food for six months cause we will probably get sick. They have a great pizza place, and an amazing burger place THAT HAS RANCH (close to impossible here). The place is called Mike's Burgers. Mike is an ex-pat who survived the Khmer Rough and moved to California, then decided to come back like a lot of Cambodians and open a business. He orders his stuff from Costco and is about as American as you are going to get. I know you don't want to hear about the American food though. The Dobson's have a helper that cooks amazing Khmer food. The curry here doesn't taste like Indian curry but it is so good. Rice of course comes with just about everything and the eldest woman at the table serves it first to everyone. Yes they eat snake and tarantula. I have heard the tarantula's legs are not that bag, but the body is gross and hairy. They eat stray dogs. They are nasty black things that run around the street and try to chase me and Zuko, so I am kinda happy the people eat them. They also eat cats. One day I asked why I hadn't seem many stray cats and they said because they catch them so fast and eat them resulting the limited amount on the streets. I don't think they will eat Zuko, not enough meet. Ok, not a funny joke. Lets just say we keep him close on is leash. At nice restaurant here the average price for food is about five dollars, a nice place maybe eight. Most places we go to about four. Eating out is great because it is so cheap and the food is great. I am sure I am forgetting something. Ask me and I will write about it later.
Brent, Cambodia does have a smell. When it is garbage day it reeks. It is so bad!! I was running on garbage day and I almost threw up in my mouth a little when I ran by. It is nasty. People pee on the streets and stuff so there are streets that smell worse than others.
So far my daily life has been different. We arrived then went to Siem Reap, then were moving, but I have spent most days from eight till about three or four at the Sparrow's Nest offices painting. When we open the day shelter we will be there from 7:30-5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, Saturday night street ministry, Sunday church, and then squeeze in language somewhere. Once we open it will be crazy, but for now we are there getting everything ready for the kids.
The Sparrow's Nest offices are amazing. I believe it is a five story building with a bunch of rooms that we are using for different things. Infant room, kids church room, counseling center, teaching room, kitchen, and some more that I can't think of at the moment. I will do a video tour as soon as we are done with the building. It is over a hundred years old and you can tell. The ceiling was falling apart yesterday and some areas are in poor condition. They have done so much work and it is looking better and better every day.
Cambodians are some of the friendliest people. They will look at you and then you put a smile on your face, they give you the warmest smile back. They are more than happy to help, and they always want to visit.
Sparrow's Nest, for those who don't know, is going to be a day shelter to keep kids off the streets. We are working on the prevention side of human trafficking. The Dobson's asked what the biggest need was in the sex salve industry and everywhere they went people said prevention. If we can occupy the time of the kids on the streets they are less likely to become victims of human trafficking. We open mid October and I am so excited. We will be teaching English, Khmer, and doing things like art class, dance, and a bunch of other activities with the kids. The ministry on Saturday nights happens right in front of our new house. We do a program for the street kids. Our Khmer pastor Vune leads it and we rotate helping.
The apartment is good. It came fully furnished so I kinda feels like I am living in a hotel. It is weird sleeping in someone else's bed and living in someone else's decor style. I am warming up to it but it is very different. I am going to do a video of the place and post it so everyone can see where we live and will talk more about the place then.
The scenery is gorgeous. Cambodia is beautiful. The river that we live near is brown but is still water! Reminds me of home, I love seeing the water even if it is brown. We have a couple parks by our house and monuments and Watts (temples) are all around us. Still not used to seeing four monks crammed on the back of a motto!
The animals…well if you know me you know I don't like animals very much. I like my dog, but everything else I can do without. The wild dogs and cats are everywhere and make it hard to take Zuko out without getting attacked. The misquotes carry many diseases so we have to put repellent on everyday, but that still doesn't keep us from getting bit. Ants get in your food if it is not sealed, and well I could keep going but I think you can tell that I don't like animals. I know you were probably asking about natural beautiful animals that live here, but I avoid them at all coast. I did ride an elephant. They have elephants around different areas of town.
I think I hit everything. This country is amazing and I love it!! God is doing great things and I can't wait for more! Every single day is an adventure here! The markets are so much fun, the grocery store was an eye opening experience, and tuktuks are the way to go. If you want to know more please ask.