Sunday, January 3, 2010

“My heart feels tender, and at this moment I am contemplating my whole life as if I were living it all anew . . .”

Su s’dai, loved ones!

For those of you who were curious, concerned, or are for any other reason reading along, I’ve arrived safely and as far as I can tell at this point successfully back in Cambodia and am right now (right now!) living my first whole day ~ complete with responsibilities and all ~ at school. It’s great! Though my anticipation and dedication never ebbed for a moment, I was feeling a little apprehensive . . . I guess really just nervous, about coming here and starting out. But here I am, feeling very welcomed and much more secure and quite at home already. In fact, I was unable to walk for more than a minute or so without being stopped by a thronging horde of children! I was very happy and (and my heart comforted) to chat with a few of the kids.

Regarding this little blog qua 'a blog', I don’t really have any idea what shape it’s going to take. I never really considered myself blogger material, and this e-manifestation of my time abroad is really just the result of many people requesting regular updates on what I’m going to be up to whilst I stay in SE Asia. Truth be told, I’m even a little apprehensive (this has evidently been my overwhelming emotion recently . . .) about how much to say, due to the sensitive nature of working with children and all of that. So, many of you all probably were alerted to my newfound bloggy persona thanks to our mutual pal facebook, and most of you who will read regularly probably already know the basic details (yup) of my situation out here. I’m also beyond happy to (do my very best! to) keep up with individual correspondence, but I know that that will be challenging. So, curious people, write me, please, if you want to! In all likelihood I miss you a lot. Less curious people, suffice it to say I’ll be spending the next few months working at a school outside Phnom Penh, teaching English and doing whatever other helpful things I can. I’d love to be writing something more creative and interesting than just the thoughts I’ll have while I’m doing it, but at the moment, creativity (and interest?) elude me.

Or do they? I’m pretty happy to let you be the judges.

Do I have any other thoughts so far? Hmm . . . honestly, my recent reading has been taking up a lot of my brain space. I’m currently rereading my very favorite book, The Brothers Karamazov ~ in fact, the heading of this blog entry is a quotation from said book, not just me feeling sappy. Or maybe I am feeling sappy! Who can say? Man you guys get to make so many judgments! Neat. Anyhow my most pure and original intent regarding this rereading was to ease my mind into a comfortable place for what I predict will be a bit of a crazy time that I’ll spend here in Cambodia. This book never fails to bring layers and layers of contemplation rippling to the surface of my soul, and this rereading is no exception. And it does bring me comfort, this solid and trusty artistry, intellect and examination; I don’t know if I’ve read anything else that makes my mind feel like a working part of myself like this book does. It’s possible I’m lending it too much credit out of sentimentality or something similar in its undependability, but at least even in brutal honesty I know it makes me happy. Additionally, my two favorite Kyles are reading it at present as well! Or they were last time I checked. And I mean it’s a long book. In addition to that, my best, most beautiful and truest Homie supplied me with an absolutely gorgeous translation that I am all but devouring. Lots of good things happening surrounding tBK. As though that’s surprising. Additionally (!) reading something so great makes me desire, in a more concrete way than I’m used to, to write myself. Lucky for you?

So! I'm about to go do actual work. Today and this week, I think, I'm going to help some other volunteers who are staying til Friday. I'm assisted a visiting children's therapist who is giving a class on hygiene, feminine hygiene particularly, and I'll also be helping two people who will be presenting on environmental care. I believe I'll get my own English classes beginning next week, but the plans are still developing, according to my understanding. The point is, I'm beyond thrilled.

I will do my best to write regularly ~ but for now i have to go! I'm sending all my love, all over the place.



  1. Please make sure Panya and Dily brush all their (respective) teeth and that Sopou brushes his two teeth! And at least this kY is still reading about the orange garbed, shaved headed Alyosha...

  2. Yay! So glad to be able to follow you, hon! Good luck in your first few weeks and all the fun adjustments!!

  3. Looking forward to learning more about your work and experiences! Fun to read your comments. Love you!!

  4. What's going on? Waiting for a new post!!!

  5. Yay! Just read through this blag of yours. Love it. Will stay tuned. Miss you!!