Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Chinese Characters

(sorry this took so long. I could not find the post button in the Chinese Characters on the page...so here it is, long overdue) Hello everyone. I'm writing this blog on a page that is in Chinese, so it may all be gibberish by the time you see it. I also have written this post once before, but could not figure out which was the publish button, so deleted it.

Life here is good. Our Cambodian contingent arrived Sunday evening. Now Khmai is spoken and sung most of the time -- good for us trying to learn the language. We have lots of exposure and lots of people willing to teach. Difficult to carry on conversations because both their English and our Khmai is somewhat limited, so we end up shrugging and laughing a lot.

The food situation has been mostly good. This weekend, however, the wind changed and the food is closer to Vietnamese food than Thai. I'm loving the Thai. The vietnamese food meant that yesterday we had a delicacy for breakfast of rice noodles and ground fish power, lunch of whole fried fish and mystery meat soup (oily, not brothy like Thai soups), and something for dinner that I picked around, but could not eat. Today was fish again for lunch - and they don't debone, so the fish is intact and staring. By lunch I'd learned from the day before, so I brought a knife to the table, but once the fish was opened it resembled too closely a formaldehyde soaked dissection, and I gave up the effort, covering the whole mess with a napkin (the Cambodian guy across the table asked if I was saving it. Nope. Burying it is closer to the mark). In the spirit of my theme of "commit yourself wholly to everything so that all may see your progress" I am trying to limit my extra foods to bread and fruit. (Both a supplementary food, and in emergencies like this weekend). On Saturday the cook has her day off, so I get to go to the american caffe and get a caffe latte and bagel, for lunch a burger, for dinner, I have not dicovered where to eat yet. The rest of the time I'm trying to at least try the food. Most of it is excellent. And the parts I don't like, I remind myself that we'll likely have less variety on outreach.

Today we've spent hours and hours going over the handbook. All that is finally over, though, and tonight Darlene Cunningham gives the first of four talks. We are told this is a great privilege. She rarely has time to go out to bases and speak, and not for a whole week at that. She and her husband founded Youth With A Mission in the 1960's