So we’ve had friends and family asking us how is life in Battambang. We tell them it’s different, very different indeed – we get around on our motorbike and Deb on her bicycle, we have chickens running around in our compound and that Seth is really growing up fast and learning a few words of Khmer.
But in those general all encompassing answers, we find that people got a little bit more curious and kept asking more questions… they wanted to know what our daily schedule looks like. So here goes…
There is never a dull moment here in Battambang. Sure, there are challenging and trying moments, exciting and new moments – but in the past three months that we’ve been here, there’s never been a dull moment.
Our days and weeks are never the same – perhaps made even more different with the visiting groups of STORMers and volunteers. Every week or two that we’ve been here, we are either hosting a team or coordinating the schedules at school and at the rural villages, ferrying people to and from the school or running errands for the home.
When STORMers stay with us, our mornings start pretty early with morning classes and discussions. After morning classes, we send the STORMers off to go about their day whilst we juggle house chores, work, meetings and tending to Seth’s needs. Our little toddler is a ball of energy and he keeps us on our toes most of the day, except for this nap time.
Planning meetings and teacher training sessions are spread out in the week. Terence and I will take turns taking care of Seth depending on who needs to be in school. At times, Seth will come with us to school for a few hours and he usually hangs out at the library or in the office where the teachers and staff will tirelessly entertain him!
We plan our village visits over the weekend since that’s when most of the children are out of school and parents are not working, unless they are full time farmers. We visit communities in rural battambang, run children’s programs, teach English and simply spend time village folks. At 4pm on Saturdays we all head to school as there is a weekly “English for Fun” program where we help to coordinate and run.
A lot of what we do or hope to accomplish starts with building relationships. So we invest time and energy in making these moments happen. We host dinners and cooking classes at our house, hangout and play soccer at Battambang’s abandoned airport and plan day outs with the teachers.
Our days are full, sometimes very tiring, exciting and unpredictable. We work extra hard to make time for God, for each other and for our son because we understand that this stint here in Cambodia is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and we need to keep the pace in order to finish strong.
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