Hello again everybody!
Thanks so much for wanting to read about my adventures out here. Apologies in advance for what will assuredly be haphazardly-timed updates. My schedule is still straightening itself out, but even when I do settle into a more regular pace, I know that my days will be rather busy. Write now i'm writing this in realtime, in the office, late morning (after class and before lunch), but i'm going to try really hard to write in the evenings and post sometime in the day. I presently spend my evenings (after class, which is from 5-740, and dinner, which I usually eat around 8) reading over and planning what i'm going to teach the next day, then I read and write until I fall asleep. This usually happens around midnight or one am.
During the day, I get up around seven, and I try to in some manner mentally prepare for my day. I eat breakfast around eight and chat up Phearun (who manages the guesthouse and eatery). If he has any questions about English (anytime we see each other, really) I help him out, and he's attempting like a soldier to teach me Khmer. I'm awful, but hopefully I'll be picking it up with more ease soon.
Now for the mega-fun part: I had the most amazing weekend, particularly on Sunday. My morning started at 430, when the other two volunteers (both of whom have since departed, sadly), some of the older boys, one of the staff members and I ran to the airport (about 5 km) to meet Mika, who ran a marathon around Phnom Penh to raise awareness for orphans. So we ran back with him. Hooray! Then i went with one of my colleagues, Chansy, into the city to see the Royal Palace and the National Museum ~ as I told Chansy, I've seen the sad parts already! (It was incredible to see the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng, and i'd never trade my experiences there, but it's something I will need to wait longer to be able to see again.) After the national Museum, I ate lunch with Chansy and her friend, a former student at this school and really lovely tourguide, and she was very concerned about my health as we dined on white rice, snails, salty fried fishes, and dishes i didn't understand (but enjoyed!). Then - now here's the best part! - Chansy took me to her hometown! It was amazing! We rode on her motorbike about an hour and a half away from Phnom Penh, toward Saigon. Ah it was so great! I don't know where to begin. I met her 4-year-old niece, who pulled me around by the hand, chattering away in Khmer and, I'm sure, thinking I don't know how to talk or something. Her dad and his friend attached a machete to a bamboo pole to harvest some coconuts for us, and her father's cousin complemented me on my nose, showed off her dogs and puppies, and sent us home with enormous, delicious grapefruits - they tasted like candy!
Oh wow, I'm late for lunch. I'll post photos soon, I'll try to write often, and whether there's any e-evidence of it or not, i'm continuing to send my love!