Monday, December 15, 2014

Adventures in Trash Mountain: The Return of Sister VEEH

Yes, I did go back to trash mountain this past week on an exchange with Sister Young. Nope, I did not take any pictures. Sorry, we were actually kinda busy. It smelled just like I remembered. That smell will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. And the fact that I got my croc ( stuck in black-sludge-trash runoff and it was NASTY. Highlight of that day, you ask? Teaching one of Sister Young's investigators in her little hut built on a legitimate hill of trash and having a Buddhist monk (this guy was far less respectful than your average monk, and he was dressed different.....I think he was like a monk/gypsy hybrid) walk into her home, uninvited, grab my hand and place a buddhist charm in it and then hold out his little money jar for payment. And I was So I tried to tell him that I could not pay him and tried to hand it back and he just assumed I didnt know any khmer because im really pale and stuff and so I tried to explain and literally the second I opened my mouth he just goes
"No, no." *shakes his head, holds out the money jar*
Me: "khnom...."
Him:""No, no" *shakes his head, holds out the money jar*
Me: "Ot yook...."
Him: "No, no" *shakes his head, holds out the money jar*
(This went on for a while).

The man LITERALLY wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise and everytime I tried to give him the charm back he would push my hand away, say "No, no"  and hold out the money jar until I finally was like "I'm NOT giving you any money!!!!"  And then he looked really confused, and took all the jewels and bracelets he had handed to me, Sister Young and our investigator and walked out. 

**Here's how I know he wasn't a real monk. A real monk never would have touched me. Not kidding. I'm supposed to avoid touching monks or their clothing in any way at all costs, apparently.

So it was a good day. nothing else much happened except for my croc deabcle, and the fact that we ended up teaching someone who was neither a member NOR an investigator and we didnt even realize it because Sister Young didn't know what her investigator looked like and as a Sister Training Leader, I'm really on top of things. But that's a story for another time. 

ON that topic, heres a really funny quote from SIster Ray, who is Sister Young's companion, and who clearly still doesn't understand how harsh the phrase "shut up" is (don't worry, I explained it to her).
Sister Young: "Oh. It looks like it might rain."
Sister Ray: "Oh my goodness, Sister Young, will you please shut up."
I laughed so dang hard when I heard that one. 

Bong Sokha is still doing great, by the way. The second or third time we met with her, we followed up and asked if she had been reading and she was like "yeah, I read with my kids every night." (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and then we asked if she was praying and she goes "well........yeah. Because when I read I also pray to help me understand better." That's like, AMAZING. Thats something not even seasoned American Christians do! And its not even something we told her to do! She's incredible. Yesterday at church, Elder Kim was teaching about baptism and confirmation and all the other ordinances people receive in our church and out of nowhere bong Sokha just goes "I haven't done any of those. I wanna do them all! Super fast! really quick!"  She's just a whole bunch of miracles all wrapped up into one lady. We started officially teaching her sons this week too, but on Sunday they went off to dau leeng somewhere and by the time it was 2:15 (aka the time she leaves to WALK TO CHURCH....yep, I'm bringing it up again) he hadn't come home and she was like "I dont know where he is, so Im just taking my daughter today."  He was off galavanting somewhere random in the streets of Phnom Penh and she didnt know where she was, AND I wasnt even slightly alarmed because.....I get it.It's Cambodia. 
Speaking of that, Sister Harris and I have started this thing where every time we see something that impresses us about Cambodia (like paved roads, sanitizing handsoap, a real mattress or a display of genuine human courtesy) we say "Hey! Good Job Cambodia." So hopefully next week I'll have some more pictures of that. I've taken so far. Its hard to get my camera out of my backpack while im biking okay?!

SIDENOTE: remember how last week I was talking about how mullets are a thing on young children here?  Well.......two days after I sent that email, Sister Harris and I were contacting and I ran into a boy, maybe 12 years of age with THE LONGEST MULLET I HAVE SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. And probably ever will see. It was like probably half-way down his back and definitely long enough to be featured in a Pantene commercial. I was awe-struck. Truly. I could barely speak.

Sister Harris and I also came up with a new game (nope, not related to contacting sadly). We read the General Conference talks from the leaders of the church, and pick out the most crazy, eloquent phrases we can find, find them in Khmer, and then make it a contest to see who can use it in a lesson the most. So far, I'm winning. We went straight to Uchtdorf, for those crazy analogies and big-boy words and ended up using "healing the wounds of the heart" in our next lesson. That one doesn't sound too crazy, but you'd have to know a little bit about Khmer to understand how funny it was, and how hard Sister Harris was trying not to laugh when I said it. (I was too, but I failed and my voice cracked because of all the held-back laughter).

Also, yesterday Sister Harris and I came across the craziest thing. We were on a random sideroad, on our way to the church, and there was this HUGE crowd gathering outside of some random building. We had to stop our bikes because the crowd was literally so big that we couldn't even move through it. And then out of nowhere, the people in the crowd start shoving each other/trying to get out of the way of something/running away(at this point Im ready to just drop my bike and make a mad-dash away from what looked like the next human stampede) and before I know it, there is this skinny man with blood on his face running past Sister Harris and I on our bikes with his hands tied behind his back and a white banner for some sale flailing behind him.  A couple big men without shirts on (obviously....NOT good job, cambodia) were running after him, and two seconds later, the crowd cleared. I just gave Sister Harris the most confused look and it took us a couple minutes to put it all together but we finally got this much: some crazy guy (thief, bar-brawler, etc) did something really bad, and so these peoples' idea of taking care of it were to tie him to the fence by the string banner. As we were biking by, he broke free and started runnin' from the law. 
Then the next day, aka this morning, we were talking about it again and Sister Harris goes"WAIT! I had scissors in my backpack! I shouldve cut his hands free!"  And I was like should not have. And she goes "yeah nevermind. I bet he ate it on his face half a second later. Nobody can run with their hands tied behind their back!"  

So yep. That happened. Random stories from this week, because nothing super eventful really happened. You can tell how eventful our week is by the number of English class flyers we hang up throughout the city. Its an indirectly proportional relationship.(also the reason Sister Harris had tape and scissors in her bike basket...dont get too alarmed).

So, thats pretty much all I've got. We dont have a P-day next week because our leaders want us to be miserable. JUST KIDDING!!!!! Thats because I'll see you guys next week on Christmas! Get stoked. Anyway, dont expect an email next monday, but meet me in Cambodia over Skype, k? I miss you guys and love you all a lot. 

In the Spirit of Christmas, I'll end with this one: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Love, Sister Davis

 I know this one is blurry, but its just so important. The place of my shame: where I buy my papaya salad. I'm addicted. Its true. Sister Harris is on her game with candids.

 Me with some random street kids. There were like 3 photos taken and in every single one that kid has his eyes closed because he couldn't handle the flash.

Me and Sister Harris teaching English Class (mostly Sister Harris): okay really good stuff this past week. We played a game where Sister Harris would call out a word and the students would have to write the opposite on the board. Here's how it went down with this one old lookpuu.
Sister Harris: "GRANDMA."
Lookpuu: **writes: "Small port."


Then later, Sister Harris drawing a stick figure family, and pointing to a girl with a dress and long hair: "Who is this?"
Random student: "UNCLE!"

We're in the basic class, okay?

 A flooded area of SMC. Yep, those are roofs you are seeing. Interesting or no? 

Me with Mei and Sokha at choir practice. They are gearing up for a Christmas themed conference and it sounds.......not. horrific. 

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