It has been a week of business as usual and unusual as always here in Cambodia. Been up to some heavy sweating over at Trailblazers building and delivering water filters and otherwise planning our attack for the upcoming soccer season - which is near ready to kick off. Gabe traveled to the capital city of Phnom Penh for the weekend with his friend who is visiting who goes by the name of The Gluten-Free Nomad. More on that to come.
I spent the weekend taking pictures (to be posted this evening) and trying my hand at a few other new potential talents. Firstly, I learned about a free Khmer class at a Cafe just a few minutes from town. I went for my first lesson Saturday and learned two pages worth of vocabulary, phrases, numbers, and a joke or two. The teacher was very easy to understand and helpful in describing the way to sound out the words I learned - although I often had to create my own phonetics to best remember them. The classes meet on Saturdays and Sundays and I plan to continue going whenever possible. Choice phrases learned include "My name is Miles", "I am from America", "I am ILL", "Don't fart!!", and of course "Wassadeal?" - which translates to 'Soksobay' and is by far the most common greeting in Cambodia (soon to be second to wassadeal).
Next up was Kung Fu. While working at Trailblazers I have gotten to know a man named Boris who is visiting from Belgium - where he is an energy efficiency consultant and an assistant Kung Fu master. All last week we talked a little about energy efficiency and a lot about Kung Fu. Sunday we had our first lesson and I got my ass kicked - happily. We have continued each night this week and it has been an incredible experience for body and mind. Unfortunately Boris is leaving Saturday so after this week it will be up to me to continue my practice - but I very well may thanks to the help of Boris' instructional videos he's given me. Coming for you, RZA.
Also to note is that for the first time Gabe and I walked down the road from our house (rather than straight to town) for the first time. In seconds we found fields of harvesters and cows and in minutes we found a monastery. Immediately we were greeted by three or four monks and welcomed to take a seat at a large stone table with them. One in particular (with the best English) sat with us for nearly an hour talking about the monastery and their daily practices there. We then got a grand tour from classrooms to crematoriums of which are going to put together a video for them and for you.
Happy Holidays and much love to all from Cambodia.