I'll be honest, there are days I scratch my head, scrambling for at least one reason why I enjoy living here, but, then again we all have those days, no matter where we are living. It's good to remind myself of the many positive aspects of living in a developing country.
It will be things that come to mind, in no order of importance and by no means a comprehensive list.
The two things that come to mind from our recent trip to Kean Svei are neighbors and having my family experience the blessings of God in a simple life, first-hand.
Our dear neighbors nicely pop the isolationist bubbles that we, North Americans, seems to be very comfortable floating around in. I had never even met some of my neighbors when we lived in North America. That's unheard of here.
When I wake up in the morning it's not unusual for me to find people at my door, in the kitchen, dropping off banana-leaf treats or saying good-morning. Our washers are behind our kitchen and we are about ten feet apart. We say a cheery hello in our pajamas as we load up laundry and head back in to our homes to start the day. The kids chatter together and then scurry back to their respective kitchens for breakfast.
There are times I crave privacy and silence, but the advantages of living in a community far outweigh the cons in this setting. I have learned to live my life as an open book, out of necessity.
I am thankful for the friendships and closeness that have formed from our living situation, in this little village.
So when our neighbors asked us to go along for a little trip, we were happy to take them up on it. We went to a little Khmer farmer's market where there were heaping baskets of purple eggplant, bananas, mangoes, and spices. We hopped on a little boat and toured around looking at local farms.
We sat close together, hunched under the tin roof which gave us glorious shade.
Simple dwellings and abundant crops on the farms proclaiming God's provision. God is good, giving us what we need from the earth. We are reminded of the most basic blessings.
We witnessed the joys of everyday life. Families eating meals together on stilted huts, kids splashing and bathing in the river. Simple blessings.
Women selling baked fish and rice in their boats paddled around to the huts selling their meals.
We felt the breeze on our faces. Watched our sweet little Evie stick her head out of the boat, close her eyes, and suck in the wind with a big grin on her face. Delight.
It is good to be alive.