Friday, October 06, 2006

Cooking school and more

Okay. So this is getting a little crazy. Up at 5:30, to bed after midnight. Today I really need to take a nap. Don’t know if it will happen.

Sorry these posts have been so strictly informational. I’m accustomed to writing long, reflective and descriptive notes. Right now, I’m just too darn busy. Yesterday I took the team to a Cambodian cooking school. We met the class instructors and another student – a girl named Tessa from Australia – at a restaurant along Sisowth Quay, the main riverside drag in Phnom Penh.

The instructors took us on a walk to a large, open-air market on a sidestreet nearby. Unlike the Russian Market and Central Market, which sell a little bit of everything, this market was all about food. Every kind of vegetable, herb, meat, sauce, condiment one could grow, raise or make in Cambodia was available for purchase from one of the thousands of vendors. Piles of ducks in various stages of demise, huge slabs of freshly butchered meat, baskets upon baskets of chilis, eggplants, and lily flowers, from palm sugar to pineapples, this place had it all.

I was afraid that Julie, who had been a wee bit sick the first couple of nights would be nauseated by the smells and overwhelmed by the heat, but she absolutely loved it, and is hoping to return as soon as we have a morning free. After we made some purchases at the market, we drove across a bridge to a large house on the banks of the Mekong. For the next few hours we cooked, we ate, we drank, we laughed.

We even cried as our instructor told us of how more than 20 members of her family were killed by the Khmer Rouge, and how she narrowly escaped execution on a number of occasions. She told us about her five children, one of whom had a heart defect for which she could not find medical care. Eventually she took the boy to an orphanage, and he was adopted by a family in France.

After the class, we attended on event planned by Narin and his new church. Dave and I sang a few songs and we all ate even more food. I’m definitely not losing weight on this trip.

After the event, some of the team went to the internet café; I went to the student center with four people who are joining us for a few days from Taiwan. Today, it’s waterpark with all of the orphans and the kids from the student center. It’s going to be crazy, and I need to go right now if I’m going to get anything done. Much love…

1 comment:

erica said...

John, would you do us all a favor and get some rest? If you get sick on this trip, it's going to bring me down too. Make Julie and Pete do the cooking. I've eaten their food, they can handle it. I haven't eaten Becky or Myndi's food much, but they have always struck me as intelligent, creative people. Just for cryin' out loud protect your immune system and get some sleep.


Erica, Queen of Ms. Foster Land, High Ruler of All She Surveys, Benevolent Distributor of Sharpened Pencils, and who wishes heartily that she were the boss of you for at least 8 hours of sleep