Holidays, Trainings and… Cheese!

23 05 2012

Woah, May is coming to a close. How do these things happen without me realizing? This month, like the last, has flown by! As I mentioned before, the first half of May was filled with holidays: Labor Day, Visaka Bochea, Royal Plowing Day and, of course, three full days for the King’s birthday.

I took advantage of this time off to travel to Siem Reap. I spent two long weekends there doing intensive language training with a bright, sweet young woman who tripled my health-related vocabulary in Khmer and helped me to understand the much-loved comedy of Prom Manh, a famous Khmer entertainer, among other things. While there, I attended a few NGO events and met up with some expat friends. Plus, best of all, I bought a couch! We had been completely furniture-less for several months so I finally gave in and purchased a comfortable, wicker couch with a deep purple cushion. Having a comfortable place to sit, instead of on a rice mat on the floor, has made all the difference in our daily relaxation levels. Money well spent.

At the Banteay Srey Butterfly Center

During my second trip to Siem Reap, we got to spend some quality time with Tim’s former co-worker Adam and his wife Jenna, who were visiting Southeast Asia on their honeymoon. We went out for countless meals, visited the Ceramics Center, wandered through the butterfly reserve, and even gave in to the people in the streets shouting “Fish massage! Fish massage! No piranhas!” (For those of you who haven’t yet heard of Siem Reap’s famous fish massage, you stick your feet in a tank and little feeder fish eat the dry skin off of your feet. It tickles like nothing I have ever felt but was sort of relaxing after a while.) All in all, whether in spite of the fish massage or because of it, we had a lovely time and a very unique opportunity to get to know some fellow ‘Burghers.

Then last week, we headed to training in Phnom Penh. It was a busy few days but, fortunately, it culminated in a wonderful group-wide boat ride on the Mekong. Not a bad way to wrap up several jam-packed days. We got back to site on Sunday and, for me, it’s been nonstop ever since. Between teaching health, Spanish and several English classes, I haven’t had much time to breathe, let alone work on some of my longer-term projects. Tim’s week started off a little slower, with a sick co-teacher and monthly exams, meaning he hasn’t done much teaching since we got back. Tonight, however, he taught a few of our friends an invaluable lesson: how to make and eat pizza. These simple cultural exchanges are always a highlight for me. But man oh man, how I feel for those poor souls who tonight, at the age of 27 or 28, tried cheese for the first time!

Look at how eager they all look…

Katie

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2 responses

7 06 2012
Susannah

I’ve always wanted to try a “fish massage”! Were your feet lovely after?

7 07 2012
swarnarao

very nice

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