Saturday, December 02, 2006

the three month mark

i cannot believe that it is already the 1st of December.
we arrived 3 months ago surreal is that. even more mind boggling is how much and yet how little has happened/changed over the past 12weeks. the horizon's changed, the housemates have changed, our relationships with ourselves have changed. and yet somethings have, or could, not.
gerbrand and oystein will not be returning to cambodia after christmas. they've both found it too emotionally draining living here, at this age, at this time, with these people. i wish them all the best and yet somehow, in some way, i can't help feel both frustration and regret. i think it is fair to say that neither let us help them, and that when it really comes to it, hardly helped themselves. i guess thats the magic of this place, those that complete their stay, who stay the full course, they manage to seek and create the help they need to see it through, while those who can't may not have been able to. i wrote about failure and the instinctive lessons that can so meaningfully educate ourselves about who we are and why we do what it is we do. and i still stick to it. but i'd like to reiterate if not add a thought or two. to fail is to learn, provided we give ourselves the time we need to participate in that lesson, no matter the discomfort. without that time, the lesson is as lost as a pop quiz on a friday afternoon 10 mins before the bell. we need to accept this lesson, accept our failure and accept ourselves before we can ever hope to properly move on. to run is to physically change our settings, the people and objects that surround us. yet we still remain and that is the one thing, the one person that you can never run from.
it will always always be that self, YOURself, that has the last laugh. no matter what corner you call home.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

[november 14th, 2006]

It is in the ability to fail oneself that a person can truly find strength. In that failure are pieces of ourselves, spices of our personality, our emotions, our energies, and our motives, and when it confronts us we can be overwhelmed. When faced with this turbulent kaleidoscope of ourselves, the ability to overcome the discomfort, the doubt, the defense we’ve spent years building to achieve a superficial infallibility, to allow ourselves to admit who we are and why we fail, can be the single greatest step in gaining strength. And this strength does not render us ‘untouchable’ or ‘unbreakable’, the reality is quite the opposite. To gain that strength of person is to leave one defenseless, open, even happy, adjectives society would associate with what is seen as the negative quality of vulnerability. Yet to fail is to learn and in learning we build strength. Like any lesson, it takes time and effort and the commitment to let this new knowledge in and become part of what shapes us. Without failure, we fail to learn about who we are, fail to recognize, address, and understand what it is that makes us ‘us’.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

' shoulda seen da otha cat...'

cus it was totally unharmed haha.
after a jam-packed weekend of cat and house sitting , the score was cat one, me zero

[unless you count a face full of cat-claw fury...oh ya, and black eye from where it BIT that case i KICKED this weekend lol]

I DID borrow/steal mikes camera to take some pics of the water festival so those WILL be posted. [this ev-en-ing]

in the meantime, feel free to chuckle over these lovely pics of my cat-tagged face! it was painfully hilarious, just fingers crossed humans cant pick up feline HIV [dont worry mom, i'm at least 80 % certain that we cant.....i think.....jk]

Thursday, November 02, 2006


the sky just turned purple all over.

6 minutes ago it was entirely pink. no clouds. just soft, dusty pink. i'm sure if i'd gone outside it would have reflected just as colourfully off the dust that has settled rather permanently onto every exposed surface of my body [...and other areas one could consider 'less' exposed....]

yesterday was our two month mark. i'm 1/4 of the way into this. made me realise how much more i could be doing. i've got TIME and i'm damn lucky to have it. i need to start using it more effectively.

come november 15th at least i'll be able to get my head firmly out of north america for a while. well, at least for 4 weeks, when the acceptance/rejection letter will grace my parents mailbox. me, i will be in lao, sleeping in treehouses connected by ziplines set in the canopy of a rainforest near the thai border. so fingers crossed that its one of those yes/no sort of letters lol. though i guess nothing is truly isolated anylonger, praise ye o internet land.

water festival is this weekend. jen and i are set with keys we've been armed with to house/cat sit for the next week. stories and past experiences keep getting increasingly ridiculous/alarming, all corroborating on the undeniable fact that phnom penh is total madness every year when the boat races come to tonle sap.

sorry for the lack of photos, my camera is out of commission. but i will get it fixed and there will be photos, absolutely.

much peace, much love,

Monday, October 30, 2006

:D !

[my lovely jen is back :) ]

Saturday, October 28, 2006



sitting on the roof, trying to ignore the drunk khmer guys in the half-built building across the street making stupid kiss-face noises at anything moving on two legs, attempting to write postcards and letters to people back home.

actually thats a lie. i havent even picked up a pen. because each time i do i decide i will start with the most meaningful letters first, the ones that wont end up on the fridge or under the front seat of the car. but its always those letters that i just cant write.

i said this to someone a few weeks ago but i think i'll say it to everyone. its not that i'm not writing you. its just that each time i do i come to conclusions i have to go back and make sense of.

so if you never receive a single letter from me, its not because i'm not writing.

i am writing you.
just not the sort of thing that should wear a stamp.

IF YA CANT TAKE DA HEAT............find friends with aircon...

according to the thermometer, it is currently 34 degrees outside.

that means its closer to 38 inside. oh, and did i mention the sun went down 2.5 hrs ago?

i actually dont feel that hot. i dont really even notice it much anymore actually. i think i can thank running mid-day in singapore for a year for that.

my skin on the other hand is protesting loudly. since this morning, it has decided to break itself into a heat rash that is currently covering my ENTIRE BODY. its incredibly attractive and comfortable.

maybe i should have gone to that halloween party tonight.

[so just in case you were worried things were getting too glamourous....haha]

other updates:
jen is in angkor wat with her parents this weekend [and, get this, NEARLY FORGOT HER CAMERA when she left this morning....gasp!shock!horror!]

tomorrow is a fundraiser, pumpkin-carving bash for a group of street kids our friends work with....50 kids with knives, should be interesting, haha....nah, its going to be a fun afternoon, its raising funds for a street dancing organization that just recently got up and running, providing street kids with a positive creative outlet....its been going awesomely, so i cant wait to see these kids do their thing,

tuesday is the 'adult' halloween fundraiser ball, that one raising funds for a couple of other projects [haha sry, i'm losing track].

the 31st is also King Sihanouk's Birthday so phnom penh is about to turn into one crazy town as it is also the start of the water festival. apparently what looks to be the entire country crowds into the streets of phnom penh to watch the dragon boat races and all traffic stops for the 4 days or so that is lasts. all i know is that all of our khmer friends are excited and all our barahng [foreign] friends are gettin the heck out of dawson....its going to be an interesting week haha.

funny though, I keep forgetting this is the 'KINGDOM' of cambodia....


miss you all muchly. other than this, we're all safe and sound....actually got passed by three different monks while riding a motodop today so if thats any indication of us taking care, i dont know what is.

would love to hear from you, feel free to leave messages/comments/curses/blessings.

love. el.