See, ever since Stephen went to work, after being on military leave for MONTHS before we came here I’ve had to re-learn what its like to have my kids around me all day. ALL DAY LONG. It’s only been 3 days but it feels like much longer. And doing it in a new place that we don’t really know yet is even more difficult! So, we put our brave faces on and went out into the city, just the 3 of us, determined to meet some other kids, and by default, some moms, too.
We started close to home, at a restaurant here called Fresco. It’s a cute little European type of place with fancy sandwiches and salads and great coffee and smoothies. We’d heard it had a kids play area so I figured there would be, well, kids there! At 10am, not being able to contain the excitement any longer, we walked over. Great restaurant. Great coffee. Great play area. But nobody else was there. Oh, well, it’s only 10am, I decided. Of course people aren’t here for lunch at 10am! So we waited. I got the boys a smoothie and found myself quite thankful that at least they have each other.
Look at their precious faces…
And we waited some more. At 1130 we got lunch thinking my next BFF was going to walk in any moment. But to no avail. No other moms with kids came in and my kids were tired of the place by then, so we left. We headed back to the house for a nap and some cool air. That evening two ladies from Stephen’s office invited us to dinner and we had a really great time. I love hearing how God brings people to IJM. They all have stories similar to ours.
I went to bed happy, convinced that I’d try something new tomorrow and it would be much more successful. It couldn’t be worse, right?
It started off ok, fun actually. We walked to a park here that the international school uses. It’s not much to brag about but the kids had a great time. Again, we were hoping to meet some people and didn't, but the kids had fun.
Here are some photos:
And then we decided, since we were right next to a real live market, which I’ve been DYING to see, that we’d check it out. Oh, that was exciting for sure, but kind of scary, too. It’s like a maze in there and I thought I’d never find my way out. I wanted to take pictures so badly but I was afraid to let go of either kid’s hand! It was hot, smelly, and crowded. But it was really cool. There were a million fruits, vegetables, and kinds of rice. And there was meat just hanging which the kids thought was really cool. The clothing aisles displayed brand names from the US with slightly different lettering – it was clear they were errors from manufacturing here in Cambodia, but still kind of cool. I promise when we go to the gigantic market this weekend with my husband I’ll take pictures. It’s really cool.
Anyway, when we finally found our way out of the maze, a tuk tuk driver offered us a ride. It was only 0.75 miles back to the house but we’d been playing and walking for hours I took it. Well, that’s where the day took a turn for the worst.
See they have this cultural difference from us in that they can’t say NO. So, when you ask them to do something, even if they don’t understand you they will just say yes and then not do it! So, I told him where we were going and he nodded. It’s numbers, so you don’t have to know English to find it. Just to be safe though, I gestured (not pointed, because they are insulted by pointing here) the right direction. Well, he took off the other way. “That’s ok, I guess he’s going to turn at the next block” I thought to myself. Well, he didn’t. And I kept telling him to turn around but he just kept driving. He ignored me! I was just sure I was being kidnapped or something but finally he just stopped and let us off. He thought he was in the right place but it was WAY wrong. I got off, paid him, and waited for another driver, because now we were way far from the house. This time I was picky about my driver and made sure to wait for one who understood me or even spoke English. I mean, I knew where to go, I just wanted him to listen. It was the first time anything like that had happened – usually the drivers are really great. Like this one… he got us back and we came inside, me wondering if we’d ever go out again!
And I have to admit I posted a pretty desperate plea for friends on the online network I am a member of. I just asked if anyone knew of playgroups meeting this summer, or Bible studies, or anything. I’m finding most things are closed for the summer. I guess it was more desperate than it sounded, because I got several responses. I put the kids down for a nap, might have studied my eyelids a bit, too, and then got up to see quite a few responses already to my posting. I now have a date for Saturday with a mom and a couple playgroup options for next week!
So, I’m thankful for that.
And I better go because the monsoon outside is terrible today and I’m afraid I’ll lose everything I typed here if we lose power!
Prayer request – that we meet some wonderful friends soon!