Monday, December 16, 2013

Sister Lazy and Sister Crazy Go to the Market

I have decided it's time I send you the FOOD EMAIL. Hooray!!! I've gotten a lot of questions from multiple different people about what the food is like here, where I get the food, shops and stuff, etc. So I thought I'd spend some time on that. The other reason is that nothing super interesting happened this week that I can remember, so I don't have that many stories for you. Hehe. So I've got some pictures of the phsaa (market) where we buy basically everything and some of the food I eat. Here we go.....

A couple weeks ago Mommy emailed me and asked if I was able to find good, clean food. I showed that email to my companion and we had a good laugh about it for a while. Hahahahahahaha NO. Food here is not clean. Or "good" depending on what that means. There's a reason we go to the phsaa. Kampong Cham doesn't have grocery stores. they've got a few in Phnom Penh but outside of that, I'm sure the majority of the provinces here don't have real grocery stores. So we go to the phsaa and literally buy food off of the ground. No joke. it's a doozy. Remember my first email when i told you how bad it smelled to ride past the phsaa? that's because it's hundreds of people selling rotting produce and fish and meat every day and all the garbage piles up for weeks and sits out in Cambodian sun and humidity. So the whole "clean" food thing isn't really a thing at all. the first thing we do on pdays after buying our food is go scrub it and soak it in bleach. 

Okay so the things I eat are as follows: Chaa..........................thats it. Chaa is sort of like a cambodian stir fry but don't be fooled!!!! its SO MUCH BETTER than a stiry fry!!! I can't wait to make it for you guys when i come home. We have chaa for lunch AND dinner on some days. And you can make a chaa from literally anything, that's the best part. For Sister Homer and I, our favorites are tomato chaa, ginger chaa, pineapple chaa, and potato chaa. I also eat a lot of eggs (but don't worry mommy, i take out the yokes every once in a while, though you'd think that my cholesterol should be the last of my worries). I also eat a BUTTLOAD of fruit, at least compared to how much fruit i used to eat at home. my favorite fruit is dragonfruit. Let me tell you a little something about dragonfruit. It's God's gift to the Cambodians because they don't have much else to get excited about in life. At least that's my theory. I hope I can find dragonfruit in the states because I literally eat a dragonfruit every day. It's like a bigger better version of a kiwi to be honest. SO FLIPPIN GOOD. I also eat bananas a couple times a day because they actually cook bananas in different ways. They fry them and grill them and put them in some weird tapioca pudding. My favorite are the grilled bananas called "Ceek aang". they dry out the bananas a little in the sun, then dip them in salt water and then grill them. At first i HATED ceek aang, but now that ive had it a couple times its one of my favorite cambodian foods. which just shows me how much my tastebuds have changed since ive been here. OH ALSO I CANT FORGET.....Cambodian bananas are NOT the same as American bananas. Cambodians have a billion different kinds of bananas, and to make most of the stuff i listed, they use these short, fat bananas that are sweeter and a little juicier than american bananas. I've also tried bananas that are about the size of my pinky and those are delicious, though really hard to peel.  
On the topic of food, I have a freaking HILARIOUS quote from the young women's teacher here. And believe it or not, this comment was NOT directed towards me. We were going around talking about talents and skills that God has blessed us with, yadda yadda, and we get to this one girl and the teacher automatically goes: "you're fat - you must be good at eating!"

Gotta love that awesome Asian blunt-ness. I just about died when she said that. Sister homer and I were actually with an investigator a few days ago and Sister Homer asked her: "Moiseng, do you think we're fat?" and Moiseng responds with "Your bodies are a little fat but your faces are pretty." Sister Homer and I just started cracking up and this woman had no idea what was so funny to us. They are so strange here. 

On that note, I have some classic Sister Homer quotes that I thought you might enjoy, because I know i did: 
"You can spot a nerd in any culture. It's a universal thing."
"Don't hit the monks - that would be rude."
"Getting a papercut on my eyeball is like my biggest fear." 
I could say a million times how much I love this girl and it still wouldn't be enough. I'd be dying without her as my trainer.
So anyway, on a note that's a little more relevant to actual missionary work (like anyone wants to hear that stuff), Sister Homer and I have been discussing how difficult the mission is here. Obviously, everybody has a hard mission. Every single person in the world sits down at the end of the day and thinks to themselves, "I have the hardest mission in the world."

No mission is easy, I know that. But you might be surprised to hear that Sis homer and I don't even have as big a problem with the climate or the culture or the third-world-ness here. The problem is the actual missionary work, which is not what I expected. I knew that people in Cambodia are so willing to listen to the missionaries and learn about our church, which is NOT the case in places like Europe and America, so I figured the missionary work would be a piece of cake. BUT IT'S NOT AT ALL. There are tons of people willing to learn and almost no people who are capable of understanding the concepts or actually staying faithful members of the church. I don't know if it's the lack of education here or the culture or what, but they literally don't understand anything you say, and its not because of the language barrier. It is one of the hardest things to teach 10 lessons in a day and know in your heart that maybe ONE of the people actually understood and could apply the things you were talking about. It's incredibly disheartening because you want them to understand so badly, but you can't force them to understand. 97% of the people I teach will not remember Jesus Christ's name by the second lesson, let alone how to pray. Did you know that Cambodia has approximately 10,000 members, but less than 3,000 are active???? THAT'S INSANE. It drives me crazy. I'm determined to fix that. The Church is still so new here so I know I should be patient with the way it's progressing but let's get real, when have i ever been a patient person?? Exactly. Why start now, amiright?

Anyway, I could go on for AGES about this issue, but i would never be able to explain fully what it's like to be a missionary here. Sister homer and I were talking about how nobody will ever understand what it's like to be a missionary in Cambodia. It's just the weirdest place to be. And yet you love it anyway!! At least I do. Hard, crazy, smelly, call it what you want, but Cambodia has to be one of the best missions out there. It's no contest. 
I'm super excited to talk to you guys on Christmas! I'll probably be in a coma of homesickness for the week afterwards, but I know Sister Homer will be too so it's okay. I love you guys and miss you so much!
Love, Sister Davis
PS some scriptures for you guys because I know I havent done that in a while: Jeremiah 29:13, Joshua 1:9, Joshua 24:15 (this is one of my all-time favorites) and in honor of the wonderful christmas season: Luke 2:14. 

PPS sorry for a boring email. Cambodia isn't what you would call "boring" but I think I'm getting used to it so im running out of ideas. dont worry, ill start keeping a list of interesting things that happen to me.

                                                                Welcome to the Phsaa!!!!!

                                                               This is our banana lady.
                                                                     And our egg lady.

And say hello to our meat lady. Do you see the pig head? Good. And also take note of the chicken in front there. the reason we dont eat chicken is because you can only buy it like that. theres no such thing as chicken breasts here. and its not meaty like our chicken. its all bones and flesh. never eat the chicken. stick with the pig head.

 Navigatin your way through the phsaa is a work of sheer genius, especially because people are riding there motos in between everything the whole time. its a total mess.

                                                      MORE DRAGONFRUIT!!!

And here's a real picture. I sent you a picture of Linaa last week. She just got baptized yesterday! And on the left are Srei Maah and Srei Chanaat. They're all from Vial Ksaac and so stinking cute.

The following pictures are all from Wat Han Chey that we went to last week. So cool!

                                              Han Chey is famous for it's gigantic fruit sculptures

                                             And they had dragonfruit!!!!!!! DRAGONFRUIT!!!!

                                    AND CEEK AANG!!!!!!! (though the hand is a little creepy.)

1 comment:

  1. Hahhaah! You are a gifted and HILARIOUS writer! Keep em coming!