Friday, October 14, 2005


Okay. It’s started.

The rain, that is.

It’s supposed to be the rainy season in Cambodia, but until tonight, we’d seen only a sprinkle here and there. We were wondering when the legendary downpours would start.

They started tonight. Just after John Ward and I had dropped our truck off at the church for overnight safekeeping. Just as we were walking from the church to Monivong Boulevard, where we had intended to take motorcycle taxis back to our guest house. What started as a few spatters quickly turned into a downpour, which at some point decided to become a monsoon, or whatever comes after ‘downpour.’

Thankfully, we had time to duck into an open-sided streetside noodle shop for shelter. After about two minutes, it became clear that our continued presence would necessitate some sort of purchase on our behalf. Unfortunately, we were already full, having just finished dinner at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club with our good friend Seda, a young girl finishing her junior year of college. John and I sat down at one of the aluminum folding tables and ordered a couple of popular local beverages. After an hour of great conversation, we decided that the rain had subsided enough for us to brave the journey home.

If you haven’t ridden on the back of a motorcycle in the rain in Southeast Asia, you really haven’t lived, now, have you?

We arrived back at our guest house about a half hour ago. I spent the last few minutes packing. Tomorrow, we drive to Battambang, Cambodia’s second largest city, about five hours from Phnom Penh (more about the harrowing experience of driving in Cambodia later).

It’s now about 11pm, but it feels like 4pm. I’m exhausted. Hopefully, the children’s laughter from a wonderful day spent with our orphans will ring more loudly in my ears than the sonorous strains of my father’s snores, and I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep. We leave at 8am tomorrow. I’ll write more tomorrow night after I’ve checked into the Teo Hotel and spent the evening with my kids at the Battambang orphanage.

God bless.

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