May we never lose our wonder

temple and buddha


: a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar.

There are not mountains that span my views or striking natural wonders like dramatic waterfalls that make me gasp in wonder.

But I am amazed in another way. By the people that fill the streets each morning on my commute to work, the greetings from my neighbors each time I open our gate, and the family selling Khmer dishes for lunch each day that keep expanding my taste palette.

I am amazed by Khmer, a language unique to Cambodia, that is complex, unusual to my ears at first but now is strikingly beautiful the more I understand. You can amaze yourself at the depths you can communicate without words; a bow to show respect and a smile that wishes someone well.

On the comical side of living in Phnom Penh, I have found a desire for a GoPro… to capture the amazing loads that are carried on 2-wheeled motos. The balance that I have witnessed is uncanny. Balancing car tires on the back seat of a moto as the driver takes off down the road… it’s impressive to say the least!


“Oh the places you’ll go, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!” — Dr. Seuss

Photos below are a mash-up from the past month. Consisting of a Cambodian wedding, visiting IJM staff from DC and India, my birthday and that palette of mine being expanded…

Top left: Socheata and her husband in the morning ceremonies
Top Right: Daden and I with my makeshift fan… it was hot and I was wearing a traditional Khmer skirt that did NOT ventilate.
Right Middle: Roomies | Neriah, me, Kate and Erlina at the evening ceremony
Right Bottom: Aftercare Department ladies at the evening ceremony, plus Chamroeun’s daughter, Theresa.
Bottom: Fruit Walk in the morning ceremony. Each wedding guest and wedding party carries is various fruit baskets to present to the brides family. This is a representation of paying the dowry for the bride.
Top Left: Showing Stephanie and Sneha (IJM staff from DC and India) Russian Market. These ladies are AWESOME and it was a fast bond to “best buddies” status.
Top Right: Yes, I ate a cricket. This photo must have been the “Before” because it was NOT a delight to my tastebuds
Bottom: Birthday trip to Phnom Chisor Temple!! The closest I have found to a ‘hike’ which consisted of a whole bunch of steps… an ancient stair-master.

Realities over the past month:

  • My tastebuds have been tested.
  • My pores are being cleaned out…Hello sweat, we haven’t been properly introduced until now.
  • My independence is being challenged…Learning a language and understanding cultural norms never comes all at once.
  • My worldview is being expanded…showing new parts of myself and the beautiful kind of growing pains that come along with it

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