Rain and Privilege

There are many things I love about Cambodia and I hope to devote blog posts to the fruit, the present-ness of people, the eagerness to celebrate and many more things.  But I have to start with the rain.  It’s rainy season here.  6 months of nearly daily rains that sweep across the tin roofs of…

A Conversation with Charlotte

It has been a hard week but this talk with Charlotte is why it’s good that the girls are here. Growing up in Brazil shaped me, growing up here is shaping them. Charlotte: The doctor said that my leg might get cut off if there’s an infection. Me: Yes, but that probably won’t happen to…

The week of broken things

The last 5 days have been full of brokenness.  It started last Friday.  In my eagerness to set up the partner meeting, I moved a portion of the glass table by myself.  My sweaty hands slipped and glass fell hard on my leg, cutting into my shin in two places, leaving spectacular bloody trails all…

Juniper Tree

Two weeks ago we stayed at Juniper Tree, a Christian retreat center in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Shockingly green with grass and trees and wood colors after the red-dusted grey of Phnom Penh, the center contains multiple tree-houses, a dining hall, library, prayer room, meeting room and pool.  It’s easy to guess which of these the…

Wounds take a long time to heal here

Wounds take a long time to heal here.  A scratch on the skin of my strong and healthy children used to heal within a day or two in the United States.  Here, it’s at least a week, sometimes more.  Perhaps it’s the air quality as thousands of cars, motos and tuk-tuks pump unregulated toxins into…

Arrival in Cambodia

We arrived Saturday morning to our new home in Phnom Penh Cambodia to a wonderfully warm reception.  After 32 hours of travel, house to house, we were so grateful to simply have arrived!  The Exchange Coordinators, Philip and Belen picked us up from the airport with their smiling 8 month old and transported us home…

Orientation Plus

We started our final week of orientation today, packed with sessions on international leadership for human resources, responding to trauma and finance. It’s been a great set of weeks with so many conversations about best practice. While I am new to the organization, learning from others about the many positive changes Mennonite Central Committee continues…

Program Skills Week

Orientation has been a whirlwind. While I think that the pacing would be absolutely perfect for someone who doesn’t have responsibilities outside of the session hours, we are finding ourselves with too many things to do. The girls are finally settling into the routine here after so many weeks of a different schedule each week….

Stages of Grief

Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. The 5 stages of grief have been outlined in a variety of books, articles and internet pages. I’ve heard about how these stages are not often linear but cyclical, intertwined, and complex. Grief has certainly never been linear in my experience. But this week I am fully practicing grief in…

Tuol Sleng

This afternoon I visited Tuol Sleng, the torture prison set up in a former high school during the Khmer Rouge. Through an audio tour I learned about the Khmer Rouge’s goals, methods, and finally their fall from power.  Similar to the concentration camps in Germany, the documentation of the people who were “processed” is abundant,…