Friday, February 04, 2005

Well, today was much better than yesterday. When I last blogged, it was Wednesday, and I planned to spend the entire day at the orphanage playing with the kids.

Unfortunately, I woke up at something like 4am with pain in my gut and spinning in my head, and I knew I wasn't going anywhere. By 8am, I was still feeling sick, and when John came to wake me up, I told him my complaints. "You're not going anywhere," he confirmed.

So, I spent all day yesterday and much of the day today in bed. Very depressing. A beautiful, vibrant world outside, and I'm stuck in a drab, white-tiled cell with an airconditioner that cycles from sweltering to frigid at least five times an hour.

I was going to write a lengthy sob story, but let's focus on the positive: I made it out of bed at about 3pm today and got over to the orphanage. I took it very easy today, though. I told the younger kids stories -- Jack and the Beanstalk and The Three Little Pigs -- and watched them perform traditional Khmer dances. Beautiful kids.

After a couple of hours, I was beat. But I knew I had to stay long enough to greet the older kids when they returned from school. I asked if I could lie down somewhere, and Pastor Buntheoun directed me to a large bed underneath a thatched roof shelter with open sides. There was no mattress, but I didn't care. In a few moments, one of the ladies scurried out with a rattan mat and pillow, and I got up just long enough to get them positioned beneath me, and I proceeded to drift off toward sleep.

In a few short moments, I heard whispering and small footsteps. I opened my eyes and found myself surrounded by kids. They motioned for me to go back to sleep and they began to rub my feet and hands. Their folk remedy worked wonders, and before long, I was fast asleep. I woke up again when the dinner bell was rung, and when I saw that the older kids had indeed come home, and had surrounded me. Some where looking at me, others were stroking my hair. I sat up and greeted as many by name as I could recall in my foggy state.

When I sat up, they greeted me one by one, "Chum reab soor, John!" and then they ran off to dinner. We said our goodbyes and promised to be back tomorrow.

Now that I've had some dinner, I realize that I'm feeling much, much better. I'm back to about 70 percent. Yesterday, I was at about 25.

I'm going to post some pictures, technology permitting.

Then, I'm going to sleep.

Good night. Sweet dreams.

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