A Snapshot of My Cambodian Life

You may be wondering what we do every day (or perhaps not; if that is the case, you can skip this entry). 🙂 I would love to tell you what a typical day looks like! Our days start early, which is typical of many Cambodians. My alarm goes off at 5:15 and I take a quick lukewarm shower- perfect for waking up! A cup of coffee first thing is a necessity, and after some sweet time in God’s Word (also a necessity), Kristin and I eat breakfast together. We have been making our own granola and enjoying the variety of fruits they have here- mangoes, papaya, dragon fruit, rambutan, longans, and mangosteen- but mangoes are definitely our fav!
 We walk out of our apartment and enter into city life- traffic of all kinds up and down our street and everyone already hard at work. If he’s there at his usual hangout spot, we wave to our favorite tuk-tuk driver and to the auntie at the little stall on our corner as we walk the half a block to language school which starts at 7:00 a.m.
For the next two hours we attempt to converse with our tutor, taking turns repeating phrases and making up questions and sentences. I am grateful to be working just with Kristin and the tutor and not an entire classroom full of students.

 After our two hours of class, we come back to our apartment for a bit of a break and to review all we have learned. Depending on how the morning went, sometimes a second cup of coffee is in order! Then it is practice time! We go to the local market almost every day for fresh fruits and veggies and other things we need. This isn’t like going to the local Wal-mart: we squeeze through the narrow aisles of stalls selling anything you could imagine really! You just have to know what area to search for certain things, and often I am surprised when I am on the look out for something that seems random, I can normally find it. Our purchasing language is expanding and we are able to explain more of what we want/need and understand the price they give us much more quickly! The tuk-tuk and moto drivers are starting to recognize us and will call out their “Hellos” as we walk past. There are often cultural events in our neighborhood to check out as we walk the familiar route: weddings, funerals and other celebrations.

After we have done our shopping and talking, we work more on our own to study and prepare. We are finding creative ways to pull the language in- a clock with Khmer numbers, labels for items/places in our apartment and the days of the week, and yesterday we found several children’s books at the market that we can use to remember vocabulary and use to create stories to practice dialogue and narrative.

We also have made several friends that we can meet with to practice! Right now we run out of things to say pretty quickly, but it will be fun to soon be able to converse more with them! We also have been attending a Khmer church and have met some really sweet people there as well. We can pick out a few words from the sermon that we recognize and thankfully one of our friends lets us know what the Bible passage is so we have some idea of what the sermon topic is. We make most of our own meals and switch between Cambodian style and a few favorite American dishes. Kristin is normally our expert chef and I assist or just do the dishes after the meal. Bed time comes early, after more review and practice and maybe some reading just for fun.

We have settled into a routine, but God has new adventures for us every day!


  1. Jenn Huon says:

    Sarah, I love reading your blogs. With all of your hard work, you'll get the language and somehow… it will all make sense. This was a great post!


  2. gayle says:

    It is a great post….and I love hearing about your days as well. I miss being there with you guys and seeing and hearing all that is going on, so I love reading your blogs and seeing your photos! I'm pray for you both every day!


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