Sorry for the lack of updates, but there is not much to report. Since my last post, I have been staying busy teaching, organizing my health workshop and preparing for my parents’ trip to
and . I spent last week in Kampong Cham helping
with practicum for the new group of volunteers.
It was very interesting to see just how far we have come in one
year. It was a nice checkpoint for all
of us that went to help with training. I
have also heard a lot about the Kampong Cham province- it is the richest and
“most beautiful” province in Cambodia . While I believe that it is extremely beautiful,
Battambang is still my favorite. Cambodia
Chun Liap and Chun Lai. Too cute to not post this...
On Saturday at noon, I will be taking the bus from Battambang to the border town, Poipet, then to
I will have some time to kill since my parents don’t arrive until 1am,
but I think that I will be able to manage.
I can hardly contain my excitement.
I haven’t seen any member of my family in over a year. Moreover, being away from home really puts
into perspective just how important family is.
I have always appreciated and loved my family, but my appreciation has
gone through the roof because of all the support that I have received from so
far away. I just can’t wait to see them
(and hopefully Pat and Maura for Christmas, fingers crossed!!) Bangkok
Phnom Penh during the rainy season.
Since there is not much else to report, I wanted to let you in on something that I have been thinking about for a while….
About 10 years ago (wow, I’m getting old if I can say that), I went with my friend Ann and my little sister Maura to see a movie with Jim Carey called “The Truman Show”. Jim Carey plays a man called Truman who unknowingly the star of a reality TV show about his life. There is constant video taping of his entire life and the show is really popular in
, but he
has no idea what is happening, so he acts normal. Everything is staged his
entire life from his family to vacations to his job and even his marriage. The
show is made possible by hidden cameras all over- in mirrors, windows and all
the nooks and crannies of his entire life.
Maura and I loved the movie but, of course, took it too far (typical)
and looked in every mirror and window with suspicion and carried on
conversations whenever we had a theory (The fight I got in with Sara felt
staged or do you really think that trip to North Dakota was real?) We incessantly asked each other for a few months
if there was such a thing as “The Kealan Show” or “The Maura Show” and even
questioned if the whole world was in on it and there was a show involving both
of us called “The Kealan and Maura Show”.
One time when I asked Maura for the umpteenth time if there was a
“Kealan Show”, she cleverly replied “no”, then looked in the nearest mirror and
mouthed “Cut this! She knows!” while motioning the “cut” sign with her
hand. After it became clear that there
was no such show (we were too boring), we let it go, but laughed about it
whenever we remembered. I have been
thinking how funny it would be if there was actually a “Kealan Show” right now
or rather, just a highlight reel of my life. This idea comes from the few times
a day that I am doing something and I say to myself, “Man, I wish my family
could see this now…” “Or what would
(insert friend or family members name) say about this if he/she were here!” The show would just be a hidden camera show
capturing all the weird, funny, embarrassing events throughout the day and
shown like the “Web gems” on Baseball Tonight. Because most of it would be
really boring (me reading, washing clothes, sleeping, drinking water), the show
would just skip over that unentertaining stuff and get to the good stuff. Maybe
an hour-long show once a week? Some
parts that would make the cut are as follows: when I am riding my bike slow
motion against the wind and cursing the bus to Phnom Penh that just cut me off
and moto drivers are yelling hello to me and I contemplate throwing a tantrum
like my 4 year old host nephew Chun Lai then deciding against it and riding on,
slower still. Or when someone is trying
to tell me something in Khmer and I just don’t get it, no matter how many times
the person repeats or rephrases what they are saying and eventually I just
accept defeat and agree, which one time led to me almost losing my entire
eyebrow. Or when I fell face first over
my handle bars over my bike after skidding on the national highway. Or
when I am sitting awkwardly at a wedding sweating more than the entire bridal
party while trying to eat rice with chopsticks. Or when my host family tells me
in English that we were eating monkey my first night in training (we found out
it was chicken, not monkey, through hand motions after I refused to eat
it). It wouldn’t all be embarrassing or
funny things though. There would be
heart warming things, essentially the parts of the experience that last a life
time and keep me coming back for more.
Like when a student tells me that if she had enough money, she would
open an organization that worked with the old, poor and sick to give them the
attention and care that they need. This
would be supplemented with a video clip of me talking about winning the lottery
with my friends from home and would entail me saying something along the lines
of “I would buy an island, fly my family and friends there and throw a month
long party.” Or when a tuk tuk driver or
coffee vendor refuses to accept money because I am a volunteer helping his or
her country. Or when one of my students
who has struggled with critical thinking expresses himself or herself for the
first time. Or when my host nephew or
niece cries when I leave the house or runs out to the patio when I return home,
laughing and smiling and wanting to play.
Or when I go to pagoda with my host family and the monks and other
members of the congregation ask about me and my host mom puts her hand on my
leg in a show of affection and pride to show that I am her “adopted daughter”
as she calls me. See, these blog entries
are a great way to express how I feel about what I experience, but it’s totally
from my perspective, no matter how hard I try to be objective. Being an observer would offer such a better
idea of what it’s like here, but for now, I hope that this blog will suffice. I just can’t wait for my parents to make it
over and see “The Kealan Show” live, not just the highlight reel. America