I know it has been years since I have blogged. I will go ahead and plead my case as a disclaimer. Get my excuses out of the way….
1. I don’t have internet 2. Number 1 is a slight lie… I have internet on Saturdays 3. By the time I get online on Saturday and check my Gmail, my endless Facebook notifications, millions of tweets, and hours of skyping family members that have been neglected all week, I am just so worn out that I forget to blog. So there you go. Mom, go ahead and rebuke me. Dad, I can hear you speaking your infamous “Excuses are like butt holes” quote after reading this disclaimer. Go ahead people, speak it out.
So, there we go. I am in Cambodia. What’s it like? There are so many emotions that are stirred up when I think about explaining what being in this nation is like. Honestly, sometimes it is too much to handle, so I just bust out in a song and dance from the Jungle Book. It’s the strangest thing knowing I am in the middle of the jungle a million miles from home. But, there is no amount of homesickness that a rendition of “Bear Necessities” can’t fix. I spent 6 hours skyping my family this Saturday. It was fun answering all of their questions about being here. I will give you a run down of my favorite answers to their questions:
1. Why yes, it is hard to not have hot showers. 2. Air conditioning? What is that? 3. No, the toilets DON’T look like the ones in America. 4. No, Dad. They don’t have any “cool old cars” and “no, I rarely see a 1963 Chevy”. 5. Washers and Dryers? OH, you mean buckets and a clothesline. I must have heard you wrong. 6. Yes, it is quite hot here. I sweat through about 2-3 shirts a day. Normal. 7. My favorite dish has definitely been the fried grasshoppers. Or even the chicken heart I found in my soup today. 8. If I could get a care package of ANYTHING, it would be about 100 more bottles of bug spray. Rainy Season in Cambodia=Kellye gets attacked by 1,000 mosquitoes a day.
My comforts have definitely been stripped. I don’t have the things of home that I usually cling to. The basics: My big comfy bed, my room full candles (that smell WAY better than my room of sweat I am living in now), my cell phone, instant access to the internet, a dishwasher, and maybe some homemade strawberry jello that my grandma makes me every week. Just some BASICS, people, THE BASICS. Other comforts: seeing my amazing family everyday, having my grandma fix me every meal, watching TV shows at night with my grandpa, going to my brother’s baseball games, spending the weekends with my dad at the lake, and going to the farm to visit my mom. I never even recognized these things as comforts. It has taken me being here to distinguish what I clung to when I was feeling sad, or needed comfort.
At first, the comforts of daily things being stripped created homesickness, which is funny because I never got homesick as a kid. It was actually the opposite. I would get restless in the summer if I wasn’t attending at LEAST 3 camps. I loved traveling and getting away, and looked forward to spending time away from home. But, being in Cambodia is definitely not like High School Camp in Florida. I don’t have a pretty beach to lie out on, I don’t have food that I recognize, I don’t have my mom there as the “camp photographer”. But know that I have been in a 3rd world country for the beginning of my summer; I can see how the mixture of culture shock, and no comforts can create homesickness.
Okay, hold the phone. Stop feeling sorry for me. What I am trying to get to is the moral of the story, but I see everyone rolling their eyes while I am trying to dramatize how “rough” it is here. So, I’ll move to the moral. Being here, stripped of comforts, not being able to lean on ANYTHING I am used to when I am feeling emotional has made me lean fully on Jesus. When I am feeling homesick, there is no comfort to fix it, just Jesus. When I am feeling hungry, and I don’t like the bowl of Ramen noodles I am giving for breakfast (it’s Asia people), there is no other comfort, just Jesus. When I am feeling sick because my digestive system has pretty much hated me for the past 4 weeks (I won’t give gruesome details) there is no comfort of a doctor, just Jesus. When I am feeling tired, and just want to go home and crawl into bed, there is not my normal comfort, just Jesus. When I just really want the normalcy of home, I literally CANNOT have it.
My relationship with the Lord changed drastically in Kona. But, I really think I will never be the same after leaving Cambodia. I have realized how blessed I am, how thankful I am for EVERYTHING I own, and how grateful I am for my relationship with the Lord. I have definitely learned a lot more than that just being here, and I will totally include those things in the next post… But I really feel like this is a season of realization for me.