It’s been a week now since I left Beijing and arrived in Phnom Penh. All in all, it’s been a great first week – a great start to this “middle” time I find myself in. I am delighted to feel so at home, and look forward to engaging in life here while I can.
At this year’s EPIC conference I had a team of 7 very enthusiastic and skilled young men to lead worship with. I also led a small group; we had a great time, with interesting conversations and some laidback silliness I think all teens need in life.
I really do love visiting Cambodia. I don’t feel drawn to live there, but I very much enjoy having a safe and comfortable place to visit. I was inspired during my recent trip to Phnom Penh so here are some Cambodia stories for you.
I love the mix of foreign and familiar I get here in Phnom Penh. The familiar is part the similarities of expat life, and part the sheer number of times I’ve been here. In 2013 I spent 6 weeks in Cambodia, as opposed to 3 weeks in Australia.
August is rainy season in Cambodia. There was rain most days, some thunderstorms and flooding. I love it here. It is, the perfect blend of familiar and foreign. I speak survival Khmer – enough to get around, not enough to converse.
A fun thing about my trips to Cambodia is relationships with the TCKs there. A highlight of the trip was when two students made comments about “saying goodbye to Tanya is easy – I know she’ll be back”. In TCK world, that’s a big deal.
EPIC was a 2.5 day conference – that’s 50 hours to cram in 5 worship sessions, 3 talks and a LOT of activities. There were 100 participants. I led a worship band of boys – they live in four cities, and come from the US, UK, New Zealand, and Korea.
Siem Reap is 6 hours from Phnom Penh, on small two lane roads through rice paddies, wooden stilt houses, palm trees, haystacks, and skinny cows. We stopped to buy snacks – fried tarantulas, bugs, pineapple, green mango with chili salt.
It is definitely winter in Beijing now. As I walked home just now it was was -9 (16 F). The forecast MAXIMUM tomorrow is -2 (29 F). While I may call one of Australia’s coldest cities home, it is still Australia, and nothing like the cold of Beijing.
I’m in Bangkok airport with a long layover before continuing on to the cold of Beijing. I’m actually looking forward to the winter weather. A little miffed that it snowed in Beijng 36 hours before my return, though! This was my 5th trip to Cambodia, so I’ve written about it before. (Like here, here and…
Last week I, along with best friend and youth pastor Christina, ran the first annual EPIC conference for TCKs. There were 60 people plus a bunch of parent volunteers who helped out over the three days. It was a great time and a fantastic start to what we hope is the first of many EPIC…
After my unexpected extra day in Phnom Penh, I flew out on Tuesday afternoon. I knew my fight was really two flights with a short transit stop, but hadn’t clued in that the transit stop was in ANOTHER COUNTRY until I got my boarding pass – from Phnom Penh to Vientiane. We flew to Wattay…