Monday, January 15, 2007

Cambodian Christmas

My goodness, it seems like ages since this was updated. Let me first start by saying I was in Motherhood heaven having my two oldest babies with me for two weeks. I missed them from the depths of my soul. However, they are on the right track in their lives pursuing their educations and I know they are in the right place! It has been a beautiful thing watching my children fly into adulthood. They have had the opportunity to face decisions and trials without Mom and Dad right next to them. It has been wonderful to see them grow.
We know we are living a surreal sort of existence for a time. It has its ups and downs, but, for the most part we are truly grateful for being here in this mysterious part of the world. Wow.. Cambodia! Who would have ever thought we Gaddis' from good ole' Provo would have ever set foot in this land? It is a beautiful place too. It is heartbreakingly poor. But the people of Cambodia are fiercely proud of their county. When ever I visit a new place I try to do my geography and history homework so I can better appreciate my stay. Cambodia has overcome huge obstacles and they still do as there are more that 3 million live landmines still in this country! As you can tell from some of these photos they have a very rich history as well. Many of these ruins were built in the 10th century. Many archaeologists are agog at the magnitude of such an undertaking. These ruins are the largest religious ruins in the world! They span miles and miles of countryside. Some of the stones quarried from these ruins are from quarries many km. away. How did they accomplish such a thing?
These photos are from Kampung Ppluck. A village built on 15 foot high stilts way out on the verge of the largest lake in Southeast Asia. Why the stilts? Well to accomodate the rise and fall of the lake! It looked like scene from a movie set. This was the highlight of my Cambodia trip. We were the only tourists here. It took 2 hours by boat to reach this village. I am throwing the pants away! I can't believe the girls let me leave the hotel looking like I did.
My kids have former schoolmates from all over the world now. One cute story they tell is of a friend and her sister from Phenom Penn, Cambodia. These sisters are children of Christian missionaries and have lived in Cambodia all their lives. One summer when they were home (they are boarding at Dalat Intl. School where the girls went)and they were driving and saw Angelina Jolie in the car next to them! The one sister started shouting... "Angelina, Angelina!!" Angelina rolled down her window and beckoned for them to come closer to talk to her. The girls were so startled that they sped off giggling on their motorcycle, leaving Angelina in the dust.

You can see the ruins that were made famous from the Tomb Raider movie here with us in front of them. We feel really fortunate to have visited Cambodia. It was very inspiring.

We did come home extremely sick with Traveler's tribulation. I was so sick I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I spent a good 5 days recuperating and 2 more weeks getting over the main troubling symptom that makes a person need her bathroom!

We ran into a set of Senior Missionaries at AngkorWat! Small world:)

1 comment:

~cari~ said...

If anyone deserves to see these exotic places it's you! It's so fun to see where you've been and it's so great that you appreciate the places you've been. I know what you mean about having your girls home. I almost didn't let Elisabeth go back! I keep telling her to transfer to UVSC and share an apartment with Malaina but she won't listen! I think secretly she's loving the independence of not being close to mom and dad! I guess it is good for them to experience that. I really enjoyed your Christmas letter and the picture of the monkey on Malaina's head--priceless! I'm so stinkin lazy that I posted our family newsletter on my blog. Good to have you back!