Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cutest event in the universe reported yesterday at 1700 hours

So somebody's been spreading rumors among the children that I like to sing, and now everytime there's a lull in conversation (and there is the occasional lull), the kids ask me to sing. I was walking around with Sovann, Panha and David and they asked me to sing. I said I would sing for them if they sang for me. So, Sovann started and Panha and David joined in singing a Khmer song, and so did the kids who were setting the tables for dinner (the kids eat at 530, and we were sitting at the edge of the dining hall). Pretty cute already, right? Well brace yourself: when I came through with my end of the deal and sang a little song for them, each child immediately started playing the airguitar, airkeyboard and airdrums. It was the best band I've ever been in! Sugarbasket, you should get out here and, you know, jam!

(Edit: The cutest recorded event in the universe actually occurred last Sunday at approximately 1700 hours. I just didn’t have time to blag about it because I was spirited away to Siem Reap for a week.)

That’s right, faithful readers, I was in Siem Reap for a week! Several of the staff here at the orphanage were evidently concerned (with good reason) that I hadn’t gotten out of FLO much in the month I’ve been here so far. (A month already? How crazy.) This concern happily coincided with a handicraft fair in Siem Reap that a few staff members – including my pal Fancy Chansy – were going to be attending. Chansy, by the way, is totally the Addie of my FLO experience. For those of you to whom I've never gushed my adoration of Addie, that's the highest of compliments. (I'm in the regular habit of saying that if the only good thing to come from me living in Chicago were meeting Addie, it would be enough. Totally enough!) After processing quite a bit of welcome but required encouragement, I packed my bag and boarded a van full of silk products. The better portion of my week was spent helping out at the handicraft fair, but the real highlight, of course, was catching my first glimpse of Angkor Wat. It’s amazing! Just like everyone says. Who knows, maybe I’ll include a photo or two for your viewing pleasure (yes, your personal viewing pleasure). Maybe. Our first evening in Siem Reap, my Khmer travel companions sneaked me into the temple and Chansy took me on a frantic whirlwind tour. Later in the week, I treated myself to the pleasure of renting a bike and touring around a few of the temples – by my lonesome, but lovely nonetheless. I spent the most time back at Angkor Wat and at Bayon (the Bayon? I don’t know how to properly talk about these places), a ruined temple full of stone faces within the ancient fortified city of Angkor Thom. I met a few traveler friends, and also had a really great time being back on a bike. (I miss Bikey!) I made it out to the temples and back to the fair without so much as breaking ol’ wristy.

Since my little journey, I’ve resolved to make myself a little more regimented in my blagging. I’m going to try to post more regularly, maybe even a few times a week, even if I don’t have much to say, if I do have anything to say. Even when I feel like I’m falling into something of a routine, the crazy truth is that there are new things springing up around me (around all of us) all the time! And since even my pretty insignificant new things are springing up in ways with which I’ve been heretofore unaccustomed, I might as well set them down here for you all to see. My resolution is really in response to a couple wonderful ladies in particular (That’s you, Auntie and Fallon!) who have remarked on their habits of checking up on me, and I want to give them something fun to read. Incidentally, if anyone has any questions about what I’m doing or what things are like around here, please ask! It’s nice to see that people are interested, or at least that someone’s reading. Makes me feel less like I’m just releasing pieces of my mind into the ether. Not that releasing thoughts into the ether isn’t just a fine use of writing space and time.

Another resolution I made on this trip is, next time I travel by car, to spill more beverages on myself. I’m not sure it’s possible, but that’s not going to stop me from trying!

Oh, in other very exciting news, I’d like to welcome a very special new reader: Hi Grandma White Bear! Thank you so much for blog following me! I’ll try to clean up my language J

And while I’m shouting out to individuals, Happy Birthday Kevin!

As I’d begun to say (or at least begun to think) earlier, it’s interesting how easy it is to settle into a routine, how quickly strange and new things can come to seem normal. As Chansy and Tey and I talked about returning to FLO at the end of the Siem Reap trip, I even found myself saying, “Back to normal.”Just a month ago, everything I did every day was part of something I’d never done before, and within a matter of days those things have become habitual; I was even struggling to think of what to write in this contraption because even new things were starting to feel the same. The truth, however, is that new things are new! So I'll write about them.

And for now, off to class. Til next time ~ am

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