I’m about one week into living at my permanent site. I have a wonderful, kind family that I am getting to know. At the moment I’m struggling with the fact that I have to build relationships again from scratch. The reality is that I got very close to my pre-service training family and after being uprooted and moved to a new site I long for those relationships that I left. I know that will happen with time in my new community, but it does give me a feeling of loneliness. I’m surround by compassionate and beautiful humans in this community but we are strangers at the moment. Eventually we won’t be.
Views from my house.
I entered permanent site at a peculiar time. Pchum Ben just ended which is a 15 day celebration of ancestors in the Buddhist religion. (If you would like to read more about it check out this article: http://m.phnompenhpost.com/post-weekend/remembering-spirits-who-return-material-world?utm_content=buffer15eb9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer) That meant a lot of chanting from the monks over loud speakers, constant music, lots of food, so much ansom (rice, beans and pork wrapped in rice and banana leaves then boiled or banana covered in rice and banana leaves and boiled) and a whole lot of offerings to the monks. This is a time when families get together and schedules are just different than normal. My family took a trip to a different district to visit my grandparents’ house and celebrate Pchum Ben day at their house. I think I ate about 30 bananas while I was there and sweated my body weight at the Wat.
My first week has been very silent in a sense. There is a lot of noise around me but a lot of aimless time. I’ve spent a lot of time studying, journaling, doing yoga, laying in a hammock next to my mom, and wandering. I’ve been looking at everything I can to see what’s around and what hidden gems this village has. I’m finding the gems but I’m not going to share them with you yet.
I look forward to the days that:
Grow me as a person
Only I appreciate
Venture into the unknown
Excite and impact me
I’m finding my groove here in Kampong Cham province and I’m glad you’re still along for this ride.
From the Eastern Hemisphere,