Leaving Cambodia

I have made it to Ho Chi Minh City. And it is now hitting me, as I was gathering my luggage from the bus, that I am no longer in Cambodia…and that I should stop saying “Akun” to everyone.

This is my second-to-last move with this luggage (my life in bags). The next time will be to the airport in HCMC, destination: Dallas, TX.

I not in Phnom Penh. I am not driving my moto or speaking Khmer (the little I know). And I am not surrounded by the close group of friends I’ve been with for the past year.

Now, I am drinking my tea, soothing my exhausted body int eh silence of the hostel room. As everyone else’s night has begun mine is gloriously winding down. I have space to be still, think, inhale and exhale. I’m not in a moving bus or in traffic. I’m stationary for the moment and soaking in the stillness and quiet (with the exception of the occasional dogs barking, but it’s become like white noise to me now).

My time in Cambodia is hard to succinctly describe. It has been a remarkable experience living in Phnom Penh (outside of the US in general) and quite the journey. I miss my friends and the city that was my home. The culture, food and transportation, each taking time to adjust to. And once I gained more experience, more time living there, my understanding grew of the city which comprised the people, culture, food, language, and yes, traffic. I have deep affection for this place: Kampuchea.

I believe there are seasons in our lives of change, consistency, challenge, comfort. A past co-worker from IJM Cambodia shared a verse from Isaiah during my last day in the office and it has stayed with me:

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you”.

-Isaiah 41:13

To my dear friends in Cambodia and international family, may God be with you and may He bring us back together again.

Here are just a few of my favorites from this year…

Elephants in Mondulkiri
Fourth of July in Cambodia
Khmer class in the market
Kate’s farewell
Christmas in Cambodia
My farewell with Maggie driving behind my tuk tuk

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