Oh Kampuchea!!

It was one of those afternoons when you want to scream but then you decide laughing is a better idea.

It started out great. I had a good day at Sparrow’s Nest. I had a great Khmer lesson. On the way home I stopped and talked to some of our parents. Then I took one of our kids to the park for ice cream. (Photo of today’s park time.)

I came home and got ready for a meeting. Now this meeting was supposed to happen yesterday but I went to the wrong Brown. There are four Browns in Phnom Penh. It’s the Cambodian version of Starbucks. There is one on street 51 and one on street 57, literally two blocks away from each other. (Kinda like Starbucks huh?) Now I didn’t know the one on street 57 existed. In the email we planned to meet at Brown close to street 57. Well, I didn’t know there was one on 57 AND one two blocks away on 51. So where do I go? The one on 51. I waited about thirty minutes before I slowly turned over the menu to realize that there is a Brown actually on street 57. I was so frustrated with myself. I grabbed my helmet, ran out of the coffee shop, jumped on a motodope (a taxi but on a moto), drove two blocks down, and arrived at the correct coffee shop. Just as I sat down, thinking the lady I was meeting was just running late, I get an email. The lady waited than after twenty minutes left. I was so mad at myself. I hate being late, I hate missing appointments, and I hate standing people up.

The lady was willing to give me a second chance. So today we were supposed to meet but this time I would go to the correct Brown. After Jesse rearranged his Khmer lesson we showed up to a crowded, standing room only cafe. The only seats available were outside. The only problem was it was raining so hard we would have been drenched within seconds. I called the lady and asked if we should meet somewhere else, but come to find out she wrote a different date in her calendar as she did in the email. Oh my goodness!! This time I just laughed. I didn’t feel bad for disappointing anyone and I had coffee with my husband.

Jesse and I got up to leave, after the down poor ended, and went to our moto. After putting on a drenched helmet Jesse began to start the moto. Well guess what? The spark plug was wet and it wouldn’t even turn over. I was now laughing, Jesse not so much. Within minutes we were surrounded by Khmer men all trying to fix our moto. One man, without asking, walked over to Jesse and took the sandal off Jesse’s foot. While Jesse stood on one foot, they began grabbing sticks off of trees to use as tools and by some miracle started our moto. (Photo of the men helping Jesse.)

The moto was just the icing on the cake! One of those afternoons. I am grateful for days like today no matter how chaotic they may seem. I know there will come a day when I am sitting in America wishing for something crazy to happen to me. I will cherish moments like these and hope for more, maybe spread over time, to make me laugh and  say, “Oh Cambodia!!”.

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