Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Another Chapter Complete

Sovannthyda made a Bible. 

One of the last days of schools I let the students create objects out of clay and then they wrote about the object they created.  

 KL made a pencil.

 Hyewon made a cup of coffee.

 David made a slice of pizza.

We celebrated the end of 2 wonderful years together by traveling to the airport to eat at Burger King.  They loved it!

 After Burger King we had to have dessert at Dairy Queen.

 We finished our list of 1,000 gifts!  This was such an accomplishment for my class.  I am so grateful for their thankful hearts.

Last Day of School

I have now been back in America for a week and have had time to rest, relax, and reflect.  I am definitely still processing everything and probably will be for a while.  My time in Cambodia left quite an impact on my life.  It was truly an incredible experience filled with unforgettable memories.  There were definitely moments of frustration, exhaustion, and homesickness along the way, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!  I watched my students grow, learn, discover, and mature.  Their desire to know more and motivation to work hard never ceased to amaze me.  At the end of 2 years with them I was still shocked when they would say "thank you" for their worksheets and tests!  My last few days with them were very bittersweet.  I was showered with sweet notes and heart felt gifts that would remind me of Cambodia.  I am really terrible at saying goodbye, but I tried to do my very best to wrap up the last day well.  We watched a slideshow of pictures that highlighted lots of memories we made together, shared yummy snacks, and played games.  After class awards had been given and gifts were passed out, I was so thankful I had one last time to pray with my class.  My 18 "kids" are in His hands and though thousands of miles now separate us, I know He is going to take care of each one of them.  Many of my students asked if I would come back and visit them.  I couldn't really say an official "goodbye" to Cambodia because deep down inside I do hope I have the opportunity to go back and see my "kids".  Until then...I am thankful for technology that helps us remain in contact with one another!        

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." ~Dr. Seuss

Before I made the decision to move to Cambodia about two and half years ago, I remember seeking advice from my oldest brother.  He told me..."You may love it or you may hate it.  Anyone can do something for two years, and if you really don't like it you can always come home.  However, if you stay here and don't go, your always going to wonder what you are missing out on there."  I am so happy I went!  I loved it, and would have missed out on a whole lot!  

So now that I am back I have been asked numerous times..."What are you going to do now?"  That question is a difficult one.  I know my chapter in Cambodia is complete, but it is very hard to just switch back into "America mode".  Life in a third world country (as you can imagine) is quite different.  I can't just hop on my bicycle and ride to school or the market to buy some mangoes or call a tuk tuk to take me somewhere that is too far for my bicycle.   (By the way...that is something I really grew to love and will really miss.)  And I don't quite know that I am ready to switch back into "America mode".  While I have missed many things here, I must somehow figure out a way to use what I learned during my past two years and apply it to the next chapter in this journey. So my response has find a teaching position in NC.  :)  Although the "wait" period can sometimes be a tough one, I know God will reveal His plans in His timing.      

In the meantime...

I think I will give these two suitcases a rest for a while. :)

I want to wrap up this post by saying a sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I have been so blessed by family and friends who have supported me along this journey.  

"Wherever you are - be all there." ~Jim Elliot


1 comment:

  1. Maria, re-entry to your home culture is so much harder than the culture shock you experience when moving to a culture that is not your own. I'm so glad that you went and so thankful for your heart for those kiddos. Can't wait to see what His plans are for you now!