25 December 2009

bon noelle [belated cambodian christmas]

our second cambodian christmas carried on many of the happy traditions of our first & also included some new fun...

we attended a christmas eve carol service & then returned to our house with many friends for a feast of cookies & appetizers & a white elephant gift exchange. then we all dragged out of mattresses & pillows, strung mosquito nets & slept outside under the stars on our porch. 

all was calm & bright (except for the lovely smell of the sewage canal & the non-stop barking of the neighborhood dogs).

in the morning we celebrated christmas morning together with a delicious breakfast, coffee & bailey's. we rounded out the day with a traditional christmas dinner of indian food at a nearby restaurant. 

 as cambodians would say, happy merry christmas, indeed!

5 December 2009

Epic [Angkor Wat]

[ode to the kingdom of wonder]

its hard to believe, but we managed to live in cambodia for more than a year without visiting the famous Angkor Wat temples. since it is the biggest sight seeing destination in the kingdom, we decided we should wait for visitors. thankfully levi & ellie arrived so we are finally able to explore these mysterious temples!

angkor wat is a sprawling, complex network of hindu temples built in the 12th century. grandeur & splendor is the pride of cambodia. (one of the first things our language teacher taught us is how to ask "have you been to angkor wat yet?")


[this picture confused our camera, but i like it]

[traditional angkorian tourists]

[a giant buddha hiding inside the hindu temples]

[don't even think about sitting on the snake railing...er, i mean, balustrade]

[the entrance to bayon temple, known for its multitude of massive & serene faces]

[massive, serene face of levi]

[nose to nose]

[traditional angkorian tourists drinking traditional coca-cola beverages & feeding thirsty traditional apsara bas-reliefs]


[temple explorers]

[ancient ruins]

the temples in the process of being re-claimed by the jungle were so amazing, i think they deserve their own post!

4 December 2009

abundance [a tropical thanksgiving]

But the good news of God’s creation is that the fundamental reality, the deepest truth, is not scarcity, but abundance. There is enough, and overflowing – until we, in our scarcity-mindset, decide that there’s not enough, and start grasping. That grasping cuts us off and, as much as it’s up to us, breaks the flow of abundance. We find ourselves dried up, burned out, prunishly wondering why we feel so lousy and “don’t have anything to offer” (you should hear the words between the quotation marks as spoken awkwardly through an overly stuffed mouth)

-Aron Reppman, "An overflowing theme" in catapult magazine

This year we had the great fortune to celebrate Thanksgiving three times! We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October & last week we hosted a Thanksgiving feast for our MCC colleagues & also attending another feast mostly full of Australians celebrating their first Thanksgiving.

[tropical feast!]

[apple cider (thanks christina!) & peach crisp]

[eating on our porch]

& amidst the busyness of it all, when I really allow myself to contemplate the abundance that surrounds me, especially in this place where scarcity has been the norm, I am stunned.
& thankful.
very thankful.

3 December 2009

to weddings we go

last month sona, the director of women peacemakers (the local NGO amanda works with) got married, so we got the chance to attend another traditional cambodian wedding.

cambodians go all-out for weddings so we enjoyed all the extravagance (the bride & groom change outfits 7 times!), the food (daniel ate pig's ear!), & the interesting traditions (just before they cut the cake the wedding party spray the bride & groom with silly string while "happy birthday" music plays!)