|Some of our Ratanak staff and their families!|
In Canada normally everyone brings a dish but in Cambodia, entertaining and hospitality is a bit different. We were invited to come at around 10am for lunch and I was trying to figure out why we needed to go so early. As is typical of my ''western mindset'' ---- I was wondering what we would do for 2 hours---I'm so task oriented its sad! :-) Anyway, thankfully we have great staff who are teaching me much about Cambodian culture so I don't hopefully make any major faux paxs! Nary our Operations Manager explained to me that the reason we go early is to help prepare the food. In Cambodian culture, it is customary to go and help the hostess prepare the food, one does not just show up and eat! Drats :-).
|Sophea and Sina our home advisors frying spring rolls and sampling them as well!|
|Soklin our counselor with her son|
|Sereyrom our Social Worker and Nary our Operations manager hanging out on the swing set|
|Sreyhem and Malak our Psychosocial Coordinator are actually cousins|
We are so thankful to Sreyhem who generously provided a place of refuge for all of us. She is married to a Canadian Mike who has lived in Cambodia for over 20 years. Being at their home which is outside the city is located in a place that is so quiet and peaceful that one can feel the serenity as soon as you step onto the property.
|Sreyhem, her son Aaron and her husband Mike|
|Sreyhem's helper making the Ban Xiao outside over a clay pot|
|Lunch is ready!|
Of course one has to have a bit of grease and so Sreyhem also had her helpers prepare fried spring rolls---I inhaled several of those as they taste so good. But such a meal would not be completed if we didn't have a bit of ''boratay (white) food'' on this Canada day so I ordered a cake from our friends at Bloom Cafe and brought some ice cream to celebrate Canada's birthday!
|Happy Birthday Canada!|
|Sereyrom our social worker and her daughter|
All in all it was a fun filled day to eat and be merry. In the months to come as we open our RAP community home, our staff will be busy on a variety of levels. So we are grateful for today's activities which allow us to rest and relax. It is part of cultivating a sabbath heart --- something that is so often difficult to do in Cambodia because there is always work to do, yet, the importance of taking time to rest, to have a time out enables us to pace ourselves so that we do not burnout. Psalm 147:13-14 says: He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you.He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. Thank you Lord for this time of rest in which You strengthen the bars of our gates and grant us peace and rest to recalibrate our souls for the journey you have set before us!