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Christmas Supplies From The Isle of Wight

Well it certainly won’t be a white Christmas for us this year. It was hoped that we would return to England for Christmas, but it wasn’t to be…..Parts of Cambodia are experiencing their coldest snap for more than 30 years, but not quite cold enough for snow !

The other day we were surprised to receive a package that had been delivered to our good friends Dave and Ester. P1050928 It was a box of goodies from back home as a treat for us over Christmas. To many the goods would not seem very exciting- a local newspaper, some cycling magazines, a box of cereal, coffee, some (lots) of chocolate, a calender and a special gift from Ireland…plus other small gifts but it was a real surprise and the gifts are greatly appreciated. The calender is from the Isle of Wight and it is nice to see pictures of England’s green and pleasant land.P1050936P1050945

I still try and keep busy out here and played in The Phnom Penh Five-a-side football tournament the other week. I think we all surprised ourselves by coming 4th overall and just missing out on a medal.It was held over two days, very well organised and finished with a presentation dinner which was well attended. We got to keep the kit which we played in which was the Napoli kit ( light blue ). I felt quite pleased with this until my daughter told me I looked like a Smurf….maybe, but certainly not as fat !

So we have just six more months out here before returning home and the last 18 months have gone quickly since I left my “proper job”. Do I regret it ?….Absolutely not and I look forward to next year and continuing to help those I can at Daughters   http://daughtersofcambodia.org/

Independence Monument

Independence Monument

Christmas Activities

This is to show you a couple of views from our balcony-quite exotic eh?                                                                     

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This is another view from our balcony! so don’t look down. We recently moved house and everything went smoothly(there wasn’t a lot to move so that helped) and we now feel really at home and settled.We are in the same area which is good as we have made a lot of friends and it is quite close to the school for Edward and Lenna. Christmas here has been hot,as you would expect,but rather strange for an ex-pat as Cambodians do not celebrate Christmas and to them it is just another day and business as usual. A few shops have decorations up and you do see the occasional Christmas tree. On Christmas Day we went to church in the morning and to some friends afterwards for dinner with about ten others . It was a lovely time and we were able to enjoy turkey and get into the real Christmas spirit.

DSCN1688DSCN1690DSCN1668Just before the Christmas period we distributed 2000 shoe boxes filled with gifts to various churches and organisations. It was a privilege to see a lot of them being received by children who had nothing and I was surprised by how disciplined and grateful they all were. We could well have given out nearly another 1000 and our thanks go out to the church in Singapore who financed and packaged all the boxes.

At our headquarters we had a Christmas celebration and gave out over 200 boxes . As part of our celebration we did a short play and I was chosen to play King Herod. It was a non speaking part but I still managed to get all the children under the age of two in Bethlehem and its vicinity killed- I didn’t sleep easy that night.

DSCN1377While it is The Festive Season for some of us it is just another day for most here in CambodiaDSCN1378These kids would have been out collecting rubbish just like any other day. Their days work would have got them no more than $2 in total(@£1.20) but to them it is money for the next meal and money to help pay the rent.Although they have nothing it is a pleasure to be in their company and they are just the same as kids all over the world-just a little bit more streetwise maybe.

Finally, I have just been invited to a wedding tomorrow-my first in Cambodia. A couple  were having difficulties with each other and after having a period of counselling with our NGO,have decided to re-commit their marriage vows…I am looking forward to it.