Home / Phteah

I leave Cambodia in just over a week.

I think the most profound revelations will require retrospection to be truly understood (more to come later).

Right now, I’m grappling with the overwhelming feelings that accompany this chapter of my life concluding- nostalgia, confusion, utter heartbreak, accomplishment, anxiety, excitement. Strangely, the blending of these conflicting spirits yields a sense of calm. A chance to reflect.

What made this experience unique was that I found “home” in Siem Reap and in TGC.  In the past few weeks reflecting, I have been trying to understand exactly when that transition occurred. When did a place so scary and foreign, and a group of people so strange and different, become integrated into my being? There was no ceremony, no initiation.

In brief, unsuspecting moments, this place became home…

Rides back into Siem Reap after time away. The familiar faces becoming more frequent as I got closer to the city center. As I rounded the corner onto my street, greetings from tuk tuk drivers, shop owners, and bike repairmen turned friends. The exuberance of Mei-Mei, my landlords granddaughter, and her dog April, when I pulled into the driveway. All reminding me that I belong.

A stormy afternoon spent barbecuing on the dock of Tonle Sap Lake. Sitting, content, comfortable, in intentional silence. Together.

But most of all, this place became home in the moments when I realized that I found more in common with people so inherently different from me, than I found differences…

  • We all want to love and to feel loved.
  • We all want to feel accomplished, and we all get a little blue when we fail.
  • We all yearn to belong. Loneliness spares no one.
  • No matter who you are, music makes you get up and move.
  • Great friends are special.
  • Social phenomenon affects us all: selfies are a religion.
  • Helping someone feels good.
  • Parents’ sacrifices know no ends.
  • Food = life.
  • Movies > Essays
  • Smiles are contagious.
  • It’s ALWAYS funny when someone falls running up the stairs.
  • Goodbyes hurt.

The rest is trivial…

From the very bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who has stuck by be for the past nine months. I hope that from these anecdotes, you gained a greater understanding of people.

I am forever thankful to have two home teams.


One thought on “Home / Phteah

  1. Such beautiful thoughts from an inspirational child turned adult. You have been missed here, and you will be missed there, which is another thing that your two homes share in common.


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