Okay, so are any of you on to me yet? Can you see through all my happy little Cambodia posts? Have you realized that I have a lot of serious things, HARD things to write, but that I just need to ease my way into them? Have you picked up on the fact that I’m stalling, wondering how on EARTH I’m going to put my deepest thoughts and feelings into words? Wondering how I’m going to take images that are seared into my mind (but not on my camera, since we weren’t allowed to take pictures in many of these hard places) and do them justice in some blog post.
So, for now, let’s talk about The Sanctuary (The Guest House we stayed at for 7 nights–the other 3 nights were spent in airports and on airplanes). We were spoiled stinkin’ rotten, that’s what.
Here’s the gate that leads to the courtyard that leads to The Sanctuary. This is me and Panha (Pawn-YAH, or however you feel like saying it), our 17-year-old translator and one of the finest (and funniest) young men I know.
Here’s a not-so-great view of the courtyard. This is me and Kimmy doing some sort of Bug Spray Dance. We all sprayed ourselves down every morning (and it may or may not have helped).
Here’s the team coming out the front door of the guesthouse, ready for another Big Day.
This is the entryway/dining room/meeting room. Notice the beautiful shade of blue. This is where we prepped for our day and debriefed before bed. You can see the bottom of the stairs on the right of the pic. Kim, Lindy and Erin shared a room on the 2nd floor. Doug and Jason shared one on the 3rd, as did Gabe-O and me.
This is where Gabe and I slept the sleep of angels, with freezing cold air conditioning blasting all our troubles away. It was every bit as comfortable as it looks. And yes, those are towels in the shape of elephants (LOVE). And yes, we really were in a third world country, not on a Caribbean cruise.
This is a big meeting room on the third floor where we unloaded and organized suitcases (we each brought a suitcase filled with supplies for schools and orphanages). This is the team assembling gift bags for the 130+ kiddos at the state-run orphanage.
This is me one morning at 6ish a.m. writing a blog post. We also Skyped with our girlies four or five times while we were there.
Breakfast! Every single morning, included with our lodging. I told you we were spoiled.
This is me tasting Dragonfruit. I’m not a big fruit fan, but this one was probably my favorite. Gabe liked mangosteen the best.
For those of you concerned with rats, spiders and king cobras, this is the scariest thing we saw (creature-wise) while we were there. These harmless little lizards (about 3 inches long) would run up and down the walls at night (mostly outside, but we had one in our room, and Erin has a great story about one that ran over her foot while she was on the toilet).
Here we are, making cards for the kiddos’ birthday party.
And last, but not least, meet Fanny. I know I have a better picture of her somewhere (like where you can actually see her face), but I can’t find it. Fanny is a sweet girl who runs The Sanctuary and has plans to attend university in Denver, Colorado this fall if everything works out with her visa. We would looooove to visit her while she’s there. Awesome young woman of God.
The Sanctuary is run by an awesome organization called Asian Hope (not to be confused with Asia’s Hope who runs our orphanage). Their mission is to raise up Cambodian leaders in the name of Christ who will bring hope and a future to their country. The Sanctuary is specifically for people on missions trips to Cambodia, and they do an absolutely amazing job. FIVE STARS. Gabe said he felt guilty staying there when we were supposed to be sacrificing, but hey, I’d stay again in a heartbeat. Because I love what they stand for and what they’re doing. (And their A/C works really, really, really well.)
Have an awesome weekend, friends! More Cambodia (among other things!) next week!