Thursday January 22, 2015

There are many things exotic about Cambodia, and most of the time I appreciate all the differences that help to make this place what it is. Despite the myriad of differences, and strange things I encounter everyday, there is still a sense of normalcy that anyone obtains from living in a place for a while. To de-mystify anyone about what they think a day looks like here, or to inform people of what I do… I decided to take pictures through out a regular day here. I usually only write a post when something big happens, but figured it would be interesting to explore what a regular day might look like.

7:10 am: Wake up and hurriedly get ready to leave. Sometimes I get up early and go to the gym close to my apartment, but most days I sleep in.

7:30 am: Leave to work– either driving Pudge, my little moto, or riding passenger with my roomie.

8:00 am: Arrive at work covered in dust, just in time to see the cute kindergartners holding a rope together as they walk over to their classroom.

8:30 am: Get the news that we need to run some financial errands- so head out with the school finance officer in a took took to Phnom Penh.

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11 am: Head back to Svay Pak after completing tasks. Since it is around lunch time all the garment factories are taking their lunch, crowding the roads. There are a lot of garment factories that I pass on the way to and from work.

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The children who go to school in the first half of the day also get let out around this time. Pictured below is a ro-mok full of students…Cambodia’s version of a school bus/ all around transporter of people.

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11:30 am: Back in the Pak, I go catch up with some of our staff. I work with 41 Cambodian staff members, who are all adorable and hilarious in their own ways. I love spending time with them, and treasure the growing relationships I have with them! This friend and I decided to take a picture after she put her same shade of lip color on me… same same, but different.

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12:00 pm: It’s lunch time! I skip eating rice and soup with the staff today and eat my own pasta. I eat fast so I can head to the Svay Pak hair salon. For about a dollar I can get my hair washed, and my head massaged. I’ve decided I’ll treat myself to this every couple of weeks. I sit in this back room with a sketchy chair, and cobwebs all over the ceiling. It is charming in its own way.

1:00 pm: Lunch is over, and I get back to work. This time slot is used for managing our fix-it-boys, who help repair little mishaps all over our school.

2:00 pm- 4:00 pm: I continue working, doing different administrative tasks. Right now, the school is busy with hiring new staff, and acquiring a new van, among other things, so i’ve always got things to do.

4:00 pm: Head home– dodging things such as this (there is a wee moto under there somewhere), which are completely normal!

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5:30 pm: After resting for a little bit, I head out with some friends to the riverside to go to a new restaurant. The restaurant is on a boat, that took us up and down the river- we got to soak in all of Phnom Penh by night!

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Everyday looks different here, some more mundane, some more exciting. Last night I went with some friends to be in the audience of Cambodia’s Got Talent ( a hilarious story for another time), and tonight i’m taking it easy. What I enjoy through all of my days is that for the most part this exotic, foreign place feels like home to me. There are a lot of things that are normal and comforting to me. Sure, there is discomfort, but everyone faces that regardless of where they live- my discomfort may just look a little different than your discomfort at times. I hope wherever you are feels like home to you too though, took took’s or no took took’s.

Hugs,

CC

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