May this blog serve as an update to my readers but also a reminder to buy some ear plugs. We are living right around a bunch of karaoke bars leaving me sleep deprived and convinced that ALL Cambodians sing out of their noses. Aside from that surprise, we are having a blast assimilating as much as we can to the culture here. We bought cheap phones, cheap bikes and are still striving to master the “beday.” We eat rice or noodles for every meal and the mad intersections we bike through are seeming less and less like a banzai mission (although still very dangerous).
I am writing this on the end of our first work day with White Doves, exhausted and excited for a new day with new friends and opportunity. Here is a recap from day one:
-I am able to teach English and Math to men ages 21-30.
Their histories vary from growing up in poverty and not receiving any education to being rescued by World Vision from slave laborers
-The language is hard to hear and repeat but I’m working on it.
-I rode on the back of a little baby mo-ped for the first time with a 5’ 3’’ Cambodian man
-Devotions are with Christians both experienced and new, and those who are seeking- they all love to sing, especially 90’s worship music.
-In the afternoon, those who have not been set up with a vocational job yet focus on making coconut jewelry that is sold to fundraise for the organization. They take a ton of pride in their art and they taught me how to make some earrings for Allie
-We are looking forward to exploring areas in need of improvement in the organization to ensure the success and continued ministry in Siem Reap, and as they look to expand to a village in Northern Cambodia called Anlong Veng.
-Unlike Paul, I did not have a translator for today or for the whole week.
-The hair department is in dire need of new supplies and experienced teachers. Thanks to all of you who supported the Cosmetology department at White Doves through our Gofundme site.
-I got to talk a lot with the COO of the organization and he’s excited to vamp the salon and is looking to relocate to a more central area to increase learning opportunities. Paul and I may be heading that project up.
-Today was an observing day for me in the classroom with no translator but I had a great time jumping right into the role of teacher for the students in the salon and taught the girls a new hair cut!
-All the women at the Center are coming out of prostitution. I was impressed that White Doves has hired child care for the many women who have multiple children so they can learn English, Math and Khmer and their respected new vocational training.
-This is a lot different than YWAM (Youth With a Mission) but I think there is a lot of learning opportunity and am excited for the next 3 months.
Thanks for reading and keep us in your prayers!
Paul and Allie