Walking with a pumpkin down a national highway.

The title of this blog post may seem like a random assortment of words, but I assure you I did that very thing this weekend. As two of my lovely co workers got married, I carried a pumpkin on a platter down National Road 5 in Cambodia. I was paired up with another pumpkin holder, and was in a long procession of people who were holding various fruits and vegetables. And this was just a regular Saturday morning folks. All for the sake of love- and khmer culture.

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With the handsome groom!

This weekend made me fall in love with Cambodia all over again, and it was just what I needed as I inch towards my six month mark in Cambodia. SIX MONTHS?! When did that happen? I have too many thoughts concerning all of this, but would like to leave a few thoughts here about what six months is making me feel. So many feels guys and girls, so many feels.

First and foremost, I feel so blessed that I have been able to meet so many fabulous people that I never would have come across if I had not moved here. It is really like having a second family. This weekend I got to see a friend preach at a church in the province, and afterwards spent time in community with people from Brazil, England, America, and Cambodia. I have connected with so many beautiful souls here, and have enjoyed sharing our cultures, foods, and sayings with one another.

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Jool Kye Moy (‘cheers’ in Khmer)

Secondly, I am incredibly thankful for this new home, but it also confuses me. I now have two homes- when I am here I call America home, and I know when I visit America in a few weeks I will call Cambodia home. How awesome that I get two homes, but also strange- never completely having one foot in either place. I am still processing what it means to leave certain parts of life behind, to move on from some friendships and things that you have to let go to continue on.

Third, this is not the first post-bachelors full time job I ever imagined for myself. Or the way I envisioned discovering adulthood. In my younger years I probably thought my initial launch into adulthood would be more glamorous, possibly a bit less dusty. However, it has been a dirty, tumultuous, and memorable ride. I have understood more than ever the idea of going with the flow, not holding expectations, having grace for yourself and others, and finding patience and independence amongst it all. Could not do any of this without the constant strength and love of God, my source of everything. Also ridiculously thankful for my family and best friends who show me love from afar.

Fourth, learning a language is hard…especially when there are sounds incorporated that we do not use in the English language. It is also hard when words sound similar, for example- the word help is similar to a bad word. One day my moto couldn’t start and I asked for the guards across the street for help. I later learned I hadn’t said “help, please” but another word that I will not mention on this fine piece of internet. Live and learn people, you live and you learn.

And lastly, this six months has been lonely, fabulous, frightening, joy enducing, difficult, and above all AMAZING. Because even for all the hard things, and days where I miss family from my head to my toes, and am disgusted with Cambodia… I know I have much to be thankful for. I get to serve the Lord in a place that contains much beauty in its people and its surroundings. I get to work at a place that I love with people that I love. I get to experience new things, and new adventures everyday, and create brand spankin new relationships. I get to learn, grow, and find acceptance and love in all that I do.

Now I will bid you ado with a picture of me looking confused taken by a Khmer friend of mine. This was a day where I was sitting in the province staring at rice fields, after eating a yummy lunch of rice and meat (aka lunch everyday), and holding the cute baby of one of my staff members. A moment where I wondered how this became reality. Also, I enjoy snuggling things at all times- including this fabulous printed pillow.

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The confused Chyanne face.

So after (almost) six months I would like to thank Cambodia for the hard times that made me grow, and for the people who caused me to love, and for the good times that made me understand myself and life a little bit more. I get to be myself, in my new home, in a way I had never imagined… in a way I had always hoped for. This kind of reality has an unmentionable beauty to it.

From Cambo, With Love

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