Cambodia has dubbed itself the Kingdom of Wonder. I don’t think I would disagree with that. I’ve wondered many times since being here. There are parts of me that wonder… “What is that smell?” …”How does that man balance so many things/humans on one moto?”…”How did I end up here?”… and “Why is it culturally acceptable to continuously point out a person’s flaws?”. There are also parts of me that wonder…”How are the people here so precious and amazing?”… “How did God create such a beautiful country”…”Who knew rice, friends, and hanging out in a wooden stilt house was all I needed to be truly happy?”
I didn’t create this blog post to inform you on the many things I wonder about in the Kingdom of Wonder. Although i’m sure I could fill a book with the many thoughts I or my friends have had. Some good, some bad, some realistic, some overly exaggerated. In this place, this small country the size of Oklahoma, which contains around 14 million people, I am attempting to launch a bath and body line. The purpose of this line will ultimately be to provide employment for survivors of human trafficking and people who are at risk to the terror of trafficking. Its other purpose is to spread awareness about the issue of trafficking, and hopefully inform people who were previously unaware. It also serves to spread awareness about the importance of hygiene in-country.
I went around to various markets a few weeks ago in search of everything I needed. It required a lot of searching, fair amounts of frustration, and the ability to laugh. I spent hours in a Cambodian market, which smelled like a combination of hanging meat (because there was meat hanging from hooks) and sweat (definitely A LOT of that). At the market I used my limited Khmer to navigate and find different ingredients and tools…it helped that my Khmer teacher was there to provide some much needed translation. I ended up going to multiple markets on different days to search for other things. At one point I felt super Cambodian as I jimmy-rigged…see below… cardboard boxes filled with stainless steel pots on the back of my moto (with some string and the help of some Cambodians) and drove all over town. Ultimately I found everything I needed and started the process of whipping together different test soap bars. Through trial and error I was able to make three different test batch bars, and a few other test products. There are many more details I could go into, but the long and short of it is that it was an interesting, discouraging, encouraging, adventure filled time in the first part of my soap making endeavor. It helped that God provided me different resources for knowledge, and friends who provided encouragement.
I’m looking forward to wherever God takes this- and I love how something as simple as soap can make a difference! You really can use whatever talents, passions, and knowledge you have to change the world. So do not hesitate- use your special giftings to make this world a better place 🙂
Lookout for my next debrief on the soap making process where I will discuss how my bars turned out and what other products I am thinking of whipping up!
P.s. Check out 27bathandbody.com
With Love, CL