Keeping the pace
When I arrive in Asia, I tend to hit the ground running. And I try to keep an aggressive pace for the first few days in an attempt to defeat jet lag by sheer force of will. It’s not until I look at the people around me that I realize not everyone’s clock runs like mine.
Last night, after spending about four hours playing with the kids at Prek Eng 2, 6 and 3 homes and another three or four hours hanging out with the students at our university center, Dylan said, “Hey, man. I don’t want to cramp your style, but maybe I can just take a taxi back to the hotel...” I then remembered that we were up and out the door at 545 am on a photo safari to a local market and we hadn’t really rested much since.
We wrapped stuff up and headed back to the hotel and I realized that we’d done some 18 hours in a row, and I was beat. Dylan, who’s far more athletic and active than I, he hit the hay pretty quickly.
It’s not just the long hours, the jet lag and the heat. A day in Cambodia — especially a day with the staff and kids of Asia’s Hope — can often feel like a flood of emotions, thoughts, sensations that takes it out of you, leaving you refreshed and depleted all at once.
We got a good night’s sleep, and got out of the hotel at a reasonable hour. We’re enjoying steaming bowls of pho — Dylan’s first in Asia — and drinking coffee. In a few minutes, we’ll drive out over the Mekong River on the Monivong Bridge and join our Prek Eng homes and neighbors from the surrounding villages for worship. I’m preaching. And who knows, I might be singing and playing piano too; I always have to be ready for whatever they throw at me.
After church, I have a couple of staff meetings, and in the evening, the university students from Prek Eng 1 are taking us out to dinner. With their own money! Wow. As I told them last night, they’re ready to lead. They’re no longer our children, nieces and nephews or wards, they’re our colleagues. And I am almost literally bursting with pride. In fact, I’m likely to lose as much in tears as in sweat on this trip.
With any luck (and a little self discipline) I’ll get a short nap this afternoon.
Thanks for your prayers and your support of the work we’re doing here, in Thailand and in India.
Phnom Penh early morning; Independence Monument in the background.
Breakfast porridge at Psar Thmey.
Unloading ice at the market.
Fresh Oolong at the QN China Brand Tea shop.
A perfectly made flat white at Feel Good Coffee.
I try teaching the kids at Prek Eng 3 how to shoot a basketball. And yes, I know that’s not a basketball, but it’s the closest thing they had.
Dylan using the tiles as a white board to write the names of all the Prek Eng 6 kids and staff.
The kids were delighted by Dylan Menges’ handiwork.
Snacks and games with the kids of Prek Eng 6.
Enjoying worship with the university students.
Our university students are some of the sweetest, strongest, smartest young leaders you could ever meet.
The students grilled a delicious feast for us.
I didn’t call to check the price, but I was tempted.
Blogging at breakfast.
I don’t really like iced coffee, but the way they do it here and in Vietnam — it’s spectacular. Lousy coffe brewed super strong, poured over ice and sweetened condensed milk...
This sweet little one really loves being at church.
Saving, Ravy, Dylan, Sopheng, Rassy and Samnang hanging out after church.