(which meant school vacation) exploring some neighboring countries (Cambodia
and Vietnam). Within a week we were in
three different countries with three different alphabets with three different
tone systems and three very different histories (I’m including China).
up that adventure of all adventures that are now woven snuggly into the
tapestry of our family. Every now and
again I looked around at my family, all of
them gathered around me and my heart almost burst with gratitude that we
got to do this together.
right in there amidst the wondrous ones.
Things like how one day we realized in horror that we left Elle back at
the hotel after an hour on bumpy dirt roads in pouring rain (we were separated
into two different vans and both thought Elle was in the other). And the sickening feeling that grips all of
our hearts when we realize just how much Lucy can’t see, sometimes even in
broad daylight as we helped her maneuver up and down countless over-worn,
ancient stairwells. There were the
little squabbles and the stinky clothing re-worn over and over in heavy, humid
thin muslin of distortion and they all wrap up, the yin and the yang, into a
beautiful package that we will always remember.
us would be able to forget even if we tried when we have three photographers
grappling with our cameras non-stop. Ha!)
still seem like a lot) because mostly I want to remember the “moments” from my
notes I scribbled down each day.
incense smoke at the entry of Angkor Wat and how one lady singing from her
whole soul at church where we didn’t understand one word, filled my heart to
calendars at our house and gave the kids some assignments:
One of my “moments” was watching them take those assignments
seriously…even coming up with power-points to help report what they learned to
Little nuggets of knowledge that they would build on during the week.
the voices of our neighbors from the desert in the hallway (we had flown in
late the night before). Joyous reunion
at the complimentary breakfast where the kids’ eyes sparkled with wonder as
they piled their plates high with chocolate-laden waffles and croissants.
noodles with chicken.
Even with vans loaded to the very hilt and then some with supplies of everything imaginable.
little tarantula hairs remaining in the mouth for a long while after that were
a little bit on the queasy side for us usual-non-bug-eaters.
Maybe next time…
Watching Grace make friends with these cute local girls, trying to communicate with little language understanding.
happy smiles of children waving at us from their homes that lined the
river. Women washing clothes, dogs
barking, children splashing.
The feeling of the air in Cambodia. I can almost smell it now as I write.
spirit…smiling, gracious members.
window, loving singing along in English as they sang out loud and clear in
him smile in unison when something funny was said. Pondering where he will be a couple years
from now, possibly doing the same thing for someone else.
Air got thicker.
leaving…he had lived through the Khmer Rouge all those years ago. Heartbreaking things. Broken but so whole after finding the gospel
and letting it change his life for the better.
city over even-more-bumpy-from-the-morning-downpour Cambodian dirt roads.