Siem Reap was our destination from Sunday to Wednesday. We were there for debrief with our leaders’ leaders. As soon as day one was over, I wanted to be back home in Battambang.
Let me take you through our first day in Siem Reap.
As soon as we arrived at Siem Reap and got off the bus, we were attacked by tuk tuk drivers. Literally. I kid you not, they bombarded us, yelling “Hey lady! You want tuk tuk? What hotel you at? I take you!”. For several minutes we endured this mob scene until our leaders found us some tuk tuk drivers to take us to our hotel, without ripping us off.
Once we arrived at Phrom Roth Guesthouse, we were greeted by extremely friendly staff, which was a nice change from the violent tuk tuk drivers. Once we found our cozy rooms, we made our way to Pub Street for some supper, where we were once again bombarded by not only tuk tuk drivers, but from people selling things on the streets, from the shops, and the restaurants. It was madness. Every day we endured this. It became a common occurance to be stopped in your footsteps because you were swarmed on all sides. So needless to say, I was extremely glad to step off the bus into good old Battambang and see Mr. Seng (our tuk tuk driver) waiting for us at the bus station with a big smile on his face while waving at us like an eager parent picking up his fourteen children. And Manny too. And I just realized I haven’t talked about Mr. Seng or Manny yet. So here it is: Mr. Seng has been our tuk tuk driver since we arrived in Battambang. He has the biggest tuk tuk we’ve ever seen. The average tuk tuk seats four. But his hummer of a tuktuk comfortably fits about 10. But there are fourteen of us. So Manny, his 18 year old son, drives the smaller tuk tuk, which seats the rest of us. They have become like family to us. We love them.
But despite the ridiculousness that is Siem Reap, our debrief with Tamica and Hope (our leaders’ leaders and AIM staff) was great. I loved my one on one with Hope too. God’s doing crazy things in their lives. It was great to talk to a fresh set of ears. And seeing Angkor Wat was pretty cool too, despite getting up at 4:30am to see the sunrise at the temples and wanting to punch a tourist in the face for his ignorance (he didn’t realize he was in a third world country and said something extremely rude to a little girl trying to make money so she could eat). And God has revealed more of His plan to me for my future! I’m so stoked! I’m not sure if I should say anything about it yet, so I won’t. But know that He is blowing my brain cells with his abundant blessings.
So, we only have two more weeks left here in Battambang before we move on to Phnom Penh. I’ve had such a great time here, the time to move has snuck up on me. I kind of don’t want to go. Actually, I really don’t want to. I love Battambang. I know I only experienced a little bit of Phnom Penh, and that was when we first arrived in the country, but I love Battambang. It’s smaller, it’s quieter, and tuk tuk drivers here don’t yell at you. And we know our way around the neck of the city that we’re in. Most of all, I don’t want to be done ministry here. I don’t want to leave the three boys at the centre. I don’t want to leave the homeless families we’ve been spending time with. I don’t want to leave Mr. Seng and Manny. I don’t want to leave the children from the kids program on Sundays. But alas, the only way to grow is to accept change. Dang it. I guess I’ll have to learn to look forward to Phnom Penh, that crazy and loud city. Lord, help me to get excited for it okay? Thanks. You’re a champ.
These past couple of days we’ve been going to an old warehouse by some abandoned railroad tracks. Spending time with the 10+ families living there was so wonderful. I’m excited to go back next week. Please be praying for them.
That’s all, folks.
Until next week!