Things are much better here. Sopheap is out of the hospital, and the team was able to use the experience to start a ministry there. We went one day and scrubbed the floors of the two female wards, and the bathroom. We also go to visit -- I armed with paper and coloring crayons (not crayola, unfortunately, the cheap crappy kind) and give the children something to do. Moses is there right now checking with the head doctor to make sure it is ok for us to go visiting every day.
Also everyday we're supposed to spend an hour preparing for the Discipleship training week we'll be giving our last week here. I think I'm doing the talk on "God's Story." So I'm working my way through the whole thing bit by bit in my quiet time and planning time. Flogamockers is really helping here -- having just finished the old testament once last year. In DTS I read the gospels, and here I read all the Epistles except Romans, and I've read Deuteronomy to 1 Samuel. So I'm trucking my way through and trying to prepare.
Yesterday we hiked three hours into the jungle with a lot of the youth from the orphanage. We visited with some people in groups -- I sat in a house with three other people from Mondulkiri and my team, and we just chatted with some guys while their wives prepared dinner. They lounged around and smoked and laughed with us. Then we walked to another side of the village and met an old guy (really - almost 100) that Ratanak spoke with. I saw a girl there with a baby on her hip. She looked like a child herself. As she chatted with a group of girls, the baby began to cry, so she pulled out one breast and nursed him. Her eyes were so whistful. I asked about her, and she's 18 years old. Her husband is maybe 21. They're so young!
I'm coloring with the kids at the orphanage some, and teaching English. Big mistake -- now 30 more people can yell "hello, what is your name" at us nonstop! But we'll progress to "What are you wearing" in the next lesson. These kids are so bright. One class and they've all got everything I taught them memorized. Several girls also watch me work on my little quilt, and want to learn -- no one really does crafts here, and if I draw with them, they all copy what I've done. I'd love to teach them to do a little sewing or something -- they have so little at their disposal to amuse themselves.
Garth is here this week, encouraging us and our leaders. He arrived yesterday before we returned from the village, and has already lifted our spirits.
Mondulkiri is so beautiful! Even though the walks are long, and hot, and even with SPF 50 I come home sunburned a little, I love putting on my music (to drown out the three people playing recorders) and enjoying the view. I have some great pictures, and can't wait to show them to you all!