Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

   I want to wish a Happy Holiday Season to all!

   It's Xmas eve morning and it could not feel any different than it does here in Cambodia.  It will be the 1st time in forever that I've worked and haven't been thinking about the 7 course, 10 hour seafood fest that I should prepare, (it's an Italian thing).  I'd be anxiously waiting for the arrival of friends and family.  In fact I'd be anxious for days, planning with family, especially Billy, what we should prepare.  Not to be this year as the weather is warm and there is lack of family and old friends. 

   I am always thinking of my family and good friends and especially today.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!   (please pass my holiday wishes on).   Love, Steve


Friday, December 10, 2010

A few more pics

Gifts and tennis

   This past week was exciting for at least 2 reasons.  We received a few boxes from home filled with needed and desirable items.  Some great books, blocks and other needed supplies for the kids in my class. They have already enjoyed them within a day of getting them.  And also 'tons' of chocolate which is expensive here.  And some household items etc...  THANKS to all the parties involved.  And I understand more kid stuff is coming probably by next week from FR folks.  I'm so excited!!  MUCHAS GRACIAS.

  And I think I played tennis 3 days last week.  And with 2 challenging players on a regulation very nice court.  And under the lights too.  I feel a bit decadent having a membership at this fancy expensive hotel.  But I got a good deal, much cheaper than what I would pay in the States, and I rationalize/justify the expense, "it's for my mental and physical health".  It also has a great pool, though I haven't even dipped a foot in yet, a workout room and I discovered steam and sauna rooms.  I am hoping Jess can cruise in with me sometime to swim.

  So here I am playing tennis as I did at home, for all you skeptics who doubted I'd find a court 'where there's a will there's a way'.  Always liked that saying.  Jaz thinks it's funny that we have fallen into familiar activities recreating what we did at home.  She walked into the kitchen as I was cooking and listening to NPR on the computer.  She commented it was just like at home in the USA.  And as I did at home I was sipping a little whiskey (sometimes I indulge in the hard stuff) given to me for my B'day by a new friend here who's from Hungary.  It's a Cambodian spirit and reminds me of Bourbon, which is what I'd be having at home.

   Jess and I both have commented more than once how we sometimes feel we've changed locations but not our familiar life so to speak.  That's somewhat true but also of course not entirely the truth.  Some things I am doing different follows.  I ride a bike every day.  Back home it seemed like every Summer and Fall we would say that we needed to get out on our bikes more.  We hardly ever if ever rode them.  I cook different kinds of food.  And I believe I eat fresher foods and more fruit.   Right now at least I only work half a day.  So I read more and cook more.  We're meeting folks from different parts of the world on a weekly basis.  And adjusting to the prevailing culture here.  I'm playing tennis outside in the Winter.  Let's face just living here is very different.  And perhaps I'm already getting so used to it I can't think of what else to mention.

  And I'm living outside most of my waking hours, we've stated before that we 'live on the balcony'.   Which of course is where I am now waiting for another exciting thing that has happened this week.  We met an American family that will be here for 5 months and they are coming over for a drink and then we'll go out for a bite with them.  They are from Portland, Oregon perhaps living blocks from Skyler, my son.  Jess and I have talked a bit about moving to Portland some day, a great city, who knows maybe.  In any case Dad is a Doc and will be working at Jess's former Clinic workplace, mom most likely will work in Outreach there as a health educator.  Their 13 yr. old daughter has already worked with me and the kids.  And their 18 yr. old son will be doing some environmental work I believe.  They seem like very down to Earth lovely folks.  Funny how we crave some American contacts.  Jaz is excited to meet the teen boy, a potential American friend!  So looking forward to getting to know them.

  Here's some pics of the kids exploring the new 'stuff'.   

pic from 3 bright kids in my class