Monday, October 10, 2005

Live from Phnom Penh

I wrote this last night. This morning, after losing my father in Phnom Penh (more about that later), we found an internet cafe that would let me hook my computer up to the net.

October 10 -- 9pm, Phnom Penh

After 30 or so hours in transit, we reached Cambodia around noon today. Preiyo, who works at the New Life Church, and Thera, who works with our university student centers met us at the airport and brought us to our guest house. My dad and I unpacked, turned on the air conditioners and took a short walk around the neighborhood.

We bought some mangoes, some drangonfruit and a couple dozen of those tiny bananas that you can’t find easily in Columbus, Ohio. We walked through a small section of the Russian Market -- my dad wanted to check out the hardware aisles -- and stopped at the Yejj Cafe for ice cream. It wasn’t until we sat down at the cafe that we realized just how tired we were. By my second spoonful, I was ready to crash.

We quickly finished our treat and headed back to the guest house. After a shower and a good three hour nap, I made a pot of coffee and waited for Narin, Quenie and their son Daniel Donald to arrive. Srey Can, the housekeeper’s daughter, sliced up some dragonfruit and mango and served it when our guests arrived. The coffee was delicious -- I brought freshly roasted beans from Yeah Me Too -- and the dragonfruit was cool and refreshing. The mango wasn’t as ripe as I like, but it wasn’t too bad.

Narin drove us to a Khmer restaurant along the banks of the Mekong river, and we enjoyed a delicious meal and some great conversation. But by 8:30, we were all ready to head home. Daniel Donald, who is just entering the ‘terrible twos’ had certainly had enough of listening to adults talk, required full time parental attention, and both my dad and I were exhausted.

Now I’m lying in bed, and I could really fall asleep at any second. I wanted to go to the internet cafe, but I really didn’t have the energy. If I get the chance, I’ll find a place that will let me hook up my laptop to the net. If not, I’ll probably re-type this on one of the stickety, rickety plastic keyboards at Veasna Web, a shabby little joint owned by a guy named, well, Veasna.

It’s really good to be back, but it’s strange to arrive with just my dad. Usually Dave’s here, and we’ve got a whole group. John and Kate arrive tomorrow, so the place will fill up a little more. This trip is going to be very different; we’re going to have a lot less direction and supervision than some of our earlier trips.

Well, I have lots of interesting things to say, but theypll have to wait. I’m about to fall asleeee...


erica said...

I'm so jealous I could claw your face off.

Not really, but, that's some gooooood eatin', that dragon fruit is. I could eat me some of that.

Glad things are going so well.
Still praying,

John McCollum said...

Please don't claw my face off. But it is good.