Please don't misunderstand--I'm quite excited to be here! I confirmed today that I will be doing video work for CHO while I am here, and might even get the opportunity to paint! We are slowly learning Khmer phrases to help us communicate and keep up with the respectful culture here, and still adjusting to the poverty surrounding us. "Air conditioning" here usually just means mounting an oscillating fan on the ceiling or wall, and even that is in the most established places. Many peoples' homes don't have a front wall, just sides or at least support columns and a roof. Even the poorest homes, however, are accompanied by an ornate Buddhist shrine out front, either painted shiny gold or the brightest colors. How interesting the priority their beliefs take amidst their desperation and poverty.
Tomorrow we begin work on our playground, where I have been informed that we will not be allowed, by the government, to take close-up photos or video of the children. It was bittersweet news that I would not be able to take home these pictures I was hoping for, but encouraging that the NGOs and government are cooperating to protect the dignity of Cambodian children.
Besides the playground, we talked tonight of the many other ministry opportunities we'll have while we are here--treasure hunting, feet washing at the garbage dump, women's ministry in Poipet's many "karaoke bars" and a park worship night in the brothel district.
Keep checking for posts, and feel free to comment with questions!