Yesterday as one of my friends was preparing to head back to her work in Kampong Speu which is about 1 1/2 hours a way from Phnom Penh, she was putting on her ''gear'' so I couldn't help but take a few photos. I admire her adventure and pioneering spirit as she is typical of many of the missionaries who work in this country. They make huge adjustments and sacrifices.
Anne is a nurse by training and was interning at Place of Rescue for over the past two years. She is now in the process of training a Khmer nurse to take over her role at Rescue as she moves on to a new posting at the Living Fountain orphanage that is funded by her church. I've known Anne for years as she is part of my ''Korean'' friends that I hang out with back in Toronto. It has been a privilege of seeing how God has worked in her heart for missions and for the opportunities over the years to share our journeys to this country that has captured our hearts.
So like many workers here who serve in the rural areas, Anne uses a motorcycle to travel around the city and to the province. So as she set out on her journey home, she had her long sleeve jacket on---and no its not because its cold here. In fact its over 90 degrees but to avoid being burnt, you see many motorcycle drivers wearing long sleeve jackets. She also had a bandana scarf around her neck to ensure that would not get burnt, a face mask to avoid inhaling the dust and pollution and of course gloves....yep, gloves to also avoid you hands from being burnt. Just looking at her all decked off in her 'gear' made me feel hot!
She had bought some groceries from Lucky Supermarket---there are about 3 supermarkets in Phnom Penh that foreigners typically shop at and so Anne had gone to get her food supplies. However, given she is transporting them in her duffle bag back to her home at the orphanage, you have to be careful how much to buy and you cannot buy any cold or perishable items. This is what I call creative shopping. I think the Lord knows why I live in the city. I'm not cut out for that kind of ''camping'' activity :-). Finally, she has a knapsack which was had her weekend clothing gear as she stayed over night at my place.
Many international workers who come with mission agencies ride motorcycles. One gal has already fallen off hers three times and injured herself. Anne has fallen off her bike once which apparently is normal at the beginning as you get used to driving here. To me, driving a motorcycle here is still far more dangerous than a car as with all the big SUVs and trucks on the road, the motorcyclists don't have much rights. Nonetheless, for my friend Anne, she has always wanted to ride a motorcycle and so in a strange way, the Lord has made her dream come through. Thankfully my dream was always to use a car here and am so glad that Ratanak has a company car that I can use for our meetings, for with the weather as hot as it is these days, driving around town in air condition is not as tiring as those who are sitting in tuk tuks or motorcycles.