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Switch-A-Roo

A wee little change to my itinerary. Originally I was set to spend 5 weeks here in Phnom Penh working at the school and 2 weeks doing animal care in Siem Reap. I have advocated to stay put and continue at the school.


Being in the US and planning this trip, I had this unconscious expectation that working with animals would be this fuzzy, snuggly, deeply nourishing experience. The reality is that the cats and pups that live even within the sanctuary of the pagoda are still feral and are not looking for a snuggle. They ARE being fed and respected and tended to by the monks and others living at the pagoda, so that is beautiful. I have overwhelming peace about this decision.


(This middle guy is my dancing buddy! We are currently learning a sweet routine together. Watch out TikTok.)


At the school, Takmao Special Education High School (which is not accurate for Western thinkers...this is preschool/elementary) I have gotten into a bit of a yummy rhythm. My mornings comprise of being in the classroom, teaching, assisting and playing with the children. After lunch, I've started to gain a good amount of "clients" at the school. I am averaging around 2-3 hours of bodywork a day on both students and teachers.


Everyone rides a motobike here. For many, and I would dare say most families, it is their SOLE form of transportation. I had the unfortunate experience a few weeks back to come upon an accident that had just happened. This man was in the middle on an intersection, head first into the pavement (not wearing a helmet) with a pool of blood surrounding his head. In honesty, I thought he was dead with how lifeless his body looked. Clif note version: he was "okay," able to sit up, a concussion (no doubt) and was taken to the hospital by friends.


I have come to find out that MULTIPLE teachers at the school have been in similar accidents. These are a few of my clients. Working on scar tissue, mobility, range of motion and simply sending loving energy their way.


Many of these kids have muscles that are very weak and undeveloped. They lack motor skills to hold a pencil or feed themselves or walk confidently. Then there are many children that have involuntary muscle movements and are in a state of constant contraction. Most all these people, teachers included have not had the luxury of receiving bodywork, massage or any type of therapy. I am SO happy to be or service in this way.


This is Thera! I LOVE him. We've been doing 3 sessions a week together. He loves it and I think some of his classmates are a little jealous. :)


And art, this has been SO beautiful! What a communal language. I have taken it upon myself to bring in some art projects for the children and preparing crafts for classes. I found a art store, which is VERY hard come by here and I went for it! Brilliantly, they have a café connected to it, so between an Americano, Pinterest and my brilliant brain, I came up with a few simple and doable art projects for these kiddos!



Meet Sothea (sounds like So Tea-a). He's so determined in this photo! It was lovely to see him exercising his tiny little fingers and his focus.




This is Yeah Yeah. She gives a mean hug!



Sinyou (sounds like Seen you). She was SO proud of this. She also LOVES to play hide-and-seek at recess!

VIVAT. (Sounds like We Wat.) He's the sweetest and loves to snuggle! Nap time and Vivat is where it is at.



Jhanea. (Sounds like Jah Knee). She is sweet and spicy, my kinda girl! She was so ecstatic about painting!


My cup is getting SO filled being here. This wells up tears just writing it. I've been deeply happy these past few weeks being of service and loving on these beautiful beings. Grateful to be accepted into their culture and community. To say that I will miss these kids is a grave understatement.

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Suz! What a beautiful post hearing about how your life lead you to what these people need. I know what it is to be loved by you, these folks are experiencing being loved by you! I miss getting to text you when I need to connect in the way only you and I can. I'mso filled to read this!

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