Wednesday, April 4, 2018

New Years Resolution

This year I was inspired to try something new for a resolution. Instead of doing the classic pick one thing to add/take-away to my life I have chosen a On/Off challange. Here's what that is, I choose each month something different to add ON or take OFF my daily life, rotating between the two. You could pick ON drink 3 water bottles full a day for the month and then the next month would be to take OFF all sugar from my diet. It's been fun thus far with March being the hardest month to adapt to.

January: Off all disposable plastic (no take away cups or containers). It was GREAT! It was a struggle but I've managed to make it a habit and I cary reusable plastic containers with me now.


February: On flossing everyday. This one was easy and I saw a lovely improvement in my smile. I still floss everyday too!

March: Off all screens after 9 pm (except any form of texting because it is a good time to communicate with friends back in the states). Now this has been hard! I've fully caved in several times and just used my phone! Blech. I did notice a change in being in bed and asleep at a much more reasonable time. I plan on sticking with this plan and working harder to be off by 9pm. Tonights the last of this month but not the last of the changes!

April: ON. I've decided to be ON Snapchat. . . I know, I never wanted to even download the app but what fun is a New Years resolution if it doesn't challange us? So I'll be on Snapchat for the next month. I don't think I'll be using it after April but I know I'll use it everyday next month. . . here goes!

In case you want to connect on Snapchat, look for DreamsWithFaith.  See you there!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Kampot, Cambodia


I took my first long weekend adventure this last weekend. At RAW Impact the expat volunteers get a long weekend a month, to which I am very grateful! I was looking forward to this one for a long time! It was right before a very busy next three months.


  1. We left Friday afternoon to head for Kampot, Cambodia and arrived in good time (4ish hours) missing the evil traffic of Friday afternoon! Wahoo. 
  2. We stayed at a great family type hotel right on the river (Villa Vedici). We could sit by the pool, see the river and the mountains. It was INCREDIBLE.
  3. We adventured by the pool and river all Saturday. It was incredibly relaxing. 
    1. We also rented a two person kayak and went up river. It was beautiful, also very hard to kayak! It's not like canoeing, it's harder. (No pictures of this because I didn't want to loose my phone/camera)




  4. We rented a scooter on Sunday to explore Bokor Mountain National Park. Soooooo very worth it too! It was cooler air, green trees, big rocks...everything I love. We even found most of the ruins and explored them as well.





























Speedy Delivery!

Speedy delivery!

My post office box in Phnom Penh is up and running! Sandy Keele sent me my first letter and it arrived without problems. I thought I'd share that news and see if anyone wants to be my pen pal?

I'd LOVE to have a pen pal!

It can be you!

Will it be you?

Here's the address:

J/K I am not sure I should post it publicly so email me and I'll get it to you!

Also in case you were wondering things you can always send to me via a box here's a un-official list:


  • Fruit gummy snacks
  • Granola bars
  • Taco seasoning
  • Fruity Pebbles
  • Herbal teas
  • Taco Bell sauce
  • Fruit Trail mix
  • A can of Big Franks
  • Emergen-C (vitamin drink powder)

I did have chocolate listed on here but those would melt and make a big fat mess. . . boooooo. I guess you'll just have to bring those with you when you come visit! Yay!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hello and Goodbye

This week I was able to sit with Nic Roberts, Troy's wife and co-founder of RAW Impact. It was good to catch up with her and talk about how life is going. In all my other adventures abroad I was always there for just the school year. I always was the one to leave. Now that I've signed on a bit longer with RAW Impact I am the one to stay and say goodbye to people and IT'S HARD. Talking with Nic about it was nice, she understand the struggles of making friends and then having to say goodbye a few months later.

When living outside my birth culture life is like living an extreme sport and when you share that with someone you can become quick, fast, deeply connected friends. Nothing makes a better friend than a shared experience, a struggle to overcome and the magical-ness of existing in a place that doesn't speak your language. That's what happens at RAW, especially when we all live together as well.

I love Brené Brown and her words on vulnerability. But I am going to struggle being vulnerable if I keep saying goodbye, yet I don't want to! Investing and loving people is a gift we can give and receive. It is a gift that I cherish and protect. Ultimately I wont stop making new friends here but I hope I at least get better at saying hello and goodbye.



Also, as you can see, I straightened my hair for a few days. It was fun but not as much fun as curly Sonya. Another thing to note is this photo was taken inside a Starbucks! It is brand new and only two blocks from my apt. I hadn't been to a Starbucks in Cambodia and walking into it was surreal. It felt like America! The funny thing is even in America I don't go to Starbucks but the feeling of home was welcomed and I may just become a closet fan of Starbucks after all! This also means you can gift me Starbucks gift cards and I can use them here. *wink, wink*

Until next week,
Son.

(Son is the nickname I've been given by my Aussie coworkers. It's not 'son' as in opposite of daughter but 'Son' without the 'ya'.)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Debt

I only owe $2,222.58 on my student loans!!! 

On knowledge of this I am filled with many different feelings. Had I stayed a teacher/principal I would have paid this off almost a year ago. If I was still a teacher/principal I could pay this off today. However because of my current financial position this could take me 1 to 2 years and that feels heavy.

Do I regret leaving my old job to move to Cambodia? NO WAY JOSÉ. I love being here, I just wish I could have the pay of an American teacher (Lord, knows they don't make much either!).

BUT I'm not going to let that get me down! I get to adventure everyday with Cambodian teachers and schools, people from all around the world who come to Cambodia to serve and learn and my Australian family. Being here and working with RAW Impact is more than a dream, it's the best reality I could ask for.

In Ta Skor village, the RAW Impact Protect team  is working with the families to get them out of debt. It's our own version of Dave Ramsey in the village. If they can put away money every day, so can I. If I can do they can do it, if they can do I can do it!

Don't worry, I'll still eat enough (heck yeah I will. I love food) but I'm going to live cheaper for the next few months to pay this off!

If you need me at a meal time I'll be at home cooking, feel free to come on over.



Poisoned by food!

January gave Lou and I the chance to join a favorite team from Sydney, Northridge Church. We love them because they are a repeat team and we have struck friendships with them, they have great praise worship music every morning, they love people really well and it is a joy and privilege to work with them in Cambodia.




They smashed out a couple bamboo houses in Ta Skor and in Koki. Putting in more hours to finish everything than I thought they had in them! They blew me away with their dedication and energy (this isn't a group of high schoolers, it is mixed with all ages. From 19 to 82!)

While in Siem Reap Lou and I left the group with Jen, the other RAW leader, and we went out to check a few potential schools/teachers. It was INCREDIBLE and we hope and pray good things will come from it! Stay tuned!



In a weeks time Lou and I rode in a Cambodia van at least 15 hours. 10 of those hours were in a three day time frame!! A couple of those hours we didn't even travel far, it was just THAT bad of a road!!! We joined this team straight after our RAW vision week and have been going full throttle since arriving back in Cambo earlier in Jan. We both were looking forward to catching up on life back in Phnom Penh. With RAW when you work a weekend you get the same amount of days off when the team trip is over and we had lots of plans on how to fill those 4 days!



We glad to be back in our neighborhood and decided on dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant.  I had the veggie taco salad and she had the beef one.

That was our undoing.

Around 4 am we both started getting the messages from our bodies that they were under attack and were going to purge the system clean in whatever way necessary.

And thus began our time off.




My body hurt so bad! I couldn't even drink water or my stomach would cramp. Food, NO WAY! So Lou and I were miserable together. Fevered, cramping, achy, tired all of it. That night I slept 14 hours. 14 HOURS!

It took a full three days to get back to my old self. I knew I was okay on day 4 when I talked more in an hour than I had in the last three days combined!

I've put my favorite Mexican restaurant on the Do Not Eat list for the next 6 months. Time to explore more food places around PP!

Nothing like ill health to make us appreciate good health!!

Here is to eating well, staying strong and not vomiting!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Reality is in the Details



Obviously, when one wears make up, fake eyelashes and has access to 
Photoshop things don't always seem as they appear! 

Okay, so I showed you last time what the photoshopped pictures looked like. I am not going to lie, I stared at mine for quite a while. It is incredible to look at because I see me, but I don't see 'all of me'. I don't mind the changes because I think the results are lovely, not accurate of an everyday me but that's fine. I don't think I would want all my photos to be photoshopped either. It can be kind of tempting though.

I wore the eyelashes for as long as I could, they eventually started to fall off during my afternoon coffee. I enjoy the way they feel as well as the effect they have on making my eyes stand out. I enjoyed being 'fancy'. I think I posed more in those few hours (not including the actual photo shoot) than I have in a long time. But the external mask of beauty doesn't last forever, we sweat, we rub our eyes, we smudge our lipstick and soon the time of intensive make up is over.

Four days later we got the portraits back and wow were they way better than I imagined they would be. I took a long, long look at mine. I looked long and hard at my eyes, my skin and even my nose! They looked great. They looked polished and perfected and as I said before, I don't mind.

But today as I was looking in my mirror after spending the morning out in the village with the wind, dirt and sun, I realized that I like the way I look everyday. That Lou, Renee and I all look better in our everyday fancy and with our genuine smiles. There is a time and place for the fancy but I like us in the everyday better.

With this post I thought it might be interesting to show a side by side comparison of one of the photos. I think mine hs the most drastic differences being that my face is quite animated, you may say I have an overactive face. . . I have smile and laugh lines enough to share!

Alright, tell me what you think.

See if you can spot all the differences.



Monday, November 27, 2017

Some Blockbuster Hits!

Just in case you aren't up to date on all the latest movies, here are a few trailers!

Enjoy.

 


Khmer Portraits


This Monday is my friend's big 30th bday (sorry Lou, I hope that wasn't a secret!). Since we are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow we planned a little celebration last Sunday! It was a fun day as she knew nothing of the plans for the day!

We started off with some yummy brunch, then Khmer portraits followed by more coffee and then ending the day with dinner! 

The best surprise were the group portraits we did. It's more fun to have a crazy make-over with friends then by yourself. Lou, Renee and I entered into the adventure together! They gave us fake eyelashes, fake hair and fake jewels to wear! I loved it. As a person who doesn't wear much make up or have any real reasons to get fancy, it was a blast. I mean who really does wear a tiara? 

Four short days later we got our pictures back and BOY are they amazing! Photoshop does wonders for a person! 

Please enjoy these photos from the day!

And make sure to wish Lou a happy birthday when you see her! 

Lou, me and Renee