Tuesday, May 11, 2010

News from Ashley...

May 11-
-6:45am leave Paradise Hotel for breakfast at the Kiwi Bakery via cycles (a fun vehicle contraption that's basically a wheelchair in the front connected to a bicycle in the back...I felt bad for the small petite Khmer man who cycled me across town...I'm not a small person...but I felt better after I noticed the man's huge calves...their as large as Aaron Crabtree's.
-most of us try an Asian breakfast of either pork and rice or chicken and rice, served with spicy veggies and cucumber slices. gotta love morning iced coffee with sweet milk to charge you for the day. 
-next we toured some sites of the capital from our bus with our faithful driver Mr. Vannak guiding us thru the busy streets of Phnom Penh.
-our visit to Tsoul Sleng Prison was sobering. thousands of innocent Khmer were tortured for their confession of their crimes against the state and executed for being against the Khmer Rouge communist govn't from 1975-1979. the four-building complex had once been a high school. The classrooms were left just as they had been used during that time to memorialize the tragedy that had occurred...rooms for torture, rooms for detention and confession...in years of killings, only 7 people are recorded as having survived.  
-after the prison we visited a Russian Market...I love the small walkways, the crowds, and booth after booth of goods from fake Nike shoes to dish ware and Cambodia's fine silk. 
-lunch was at a sweet restaurant Khmer Suran...more iced coffee, cashew chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and a beef dish with lots of white rice. I sat with Jessica Robertson (Jordan Gillette's older sister) and with Deb and Steve Wise. I love hearing their experiences and how God has brought them here and directed their next steps. I've gotten a chance to talk with Jen Hart as well...her senior year at Grace was my freshman year...so good to see how God has led her after college through some of the very same questions that I and other gracies face.
-I am writing this while I am in the van with the team on our way to Battambang. We've stopped twice so far...once when it was down pouring for a quick bathroom stop...and just 5 minutes ago we left from a pit stop to check the air in our tires. While we waited we bought some fresh fruit from some kids and awkwardly stood around not having the language for small talk. I watched as the kids laughed at us when we took pictures of their baby ducks and their momma. They laughed harder when Connor took a picture of the ladies taking a picture of the ducks. :) I pulled out my duck noise to see their reaction...I got only smiles...the ducks didn't like it...one look from momma and I stopped for the sake of my own safety.  ...back on the road...i'll a write more later.

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