Today I have officially been in Cambodia for 3 months. Weirdly it feels like a long time but also not very long at all. I am feeling especially happy today because my work has suddenly started to progress and I will visit my first schools on Monday. I haven't really wanted to write too much about work until now because I've been trying to be positive and optomistc and I didn't want to write anything that sounded negative about my job. And there have been a few days where I have literally had nothing to do. You think you are prepared for things to move slowly but really, in the back of your mind, you're thinking 'I'm sure things will be different for me!'
Today I also had a meeting with VSO and my office and it seems there were a few misunderstandings as my placement is new so I think things will start to move forward a lot quicker now. I feel very inspired again and this morning, while running along side the Mekong River as the sun rose, I remembered how lucky I am to be here.
I want to end this blog with a few of my favourite Kmai words (and their literal meanings) and a list of some things I've learnt about Cambodia while sitting at my desk twiddling my thumbs or attending the very frequent workshops that have been arranged for November (when I have my translator.)
1. Most Cambodian 9 years olds ride their motos better and faster than me, often with multiple passengers. (There is a school opposite my office. I haven't been inside but I do look at it wistfully alot.)
2. It is completely normal and very acceptable to answer your phone during a workshop, even if you are the one delivering it!
3. People spend a lot of time in meetings and workshops talking about things not relevant to the meeting but that make everyone laugh a lot.
4. Cambodians love snacks!
My favourite Kmai words:
- pee bak (sad/depressed/stressed: literally - difficult emotions)
- da laying (wander/stroll: literally - play walk)
- Som, knyom mok yute (Sorry, I'm late: literally: Sorry I came slowly) Strangely enough I actually haven't had to use this yet but that may be due to the Cambodian time keeping which happens to be worse than mine!
- kone sao (key: literally - baby of the lock)
- chlong tonlay (give birth: literally - to cross the river)
- k'chill (lazy, as in I'm k'chilling right now)