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Turn Of A Page

Yesterday was my last day at the school. I'm a whole mixed bag of emotions. I am deeply going to miss those sweet little souls and the wonderful staff. I have been deeply touched by the energy and raw beauty of those kids. I hope my love and energy equally impacts and imprints on even a single child. The tears well up in my eyes as I type this.

This was the best "group" photo I could find. This is probably not even 1/10th of the school.

I will miss the squeals and giggles, the "Chom reaup souer, Nachhru," (Good morning, Teacher.) as we greet each other in the morning with hands in prayer position, the dancing to Baby Shark, the teaching kiddos how to count in Khmer (mouy, bee, bie, boun, bramm, bramm mouy...), the BIG and luscious smiles and the sincerity and authenticity of these kiddos.

Love is such a universal language and I am grateful that words aren't needed to relay this. I thought that I may be extremely touch deprived in traveling solo, but these children have showered me with hugs and kisses and a million high fives. There is such a leg up for these children being able to receive safe, nourishing, loving touch at a young age. There is a tenderness to the Cambodian people and I feel very strongly that this is in relation to them being so tenderly and openly affectionate at a young age and having this reciprocated by loving adults.

And the teachers (I know some of you are reading this!! HIIIII!!). They are beautiful and deeply caring individuals. Sok Chia, you have such an abundance of patience for the constantly challenging students you are with. Mia Mia, you have such a light and are full of effortless love for the students around you. Sok Nan, you have a smile that I will never forget and the kindness that you have shown me is just a fraction of what I know you pour on these children daily. I could go on. Orkun charan, ALL of you, for making my time at the Takmao Special Education High School such a meaningful experience. You have been my teacher as well as the students.

Sok Nan (above) and Thereak (below), think "Yum Bia!" from my past post. I spent the most time with their classroom. I'm so appreciative for all the opportunities to teach, the lessons in Khmer taught to me and the vast amount of dance parties! Orkun, Nachhru & Lachhru!

Mia Mia is all the way on the left, next to my beloved roomy, Margarita!

And, yes, Margarita's hair is a shade of Big Bird Yellow. She wins the award for Most Lost In Translation Hair Situation Gone Wrong. With many giggles and joy in recalling her coming home from the salon, I proudly pass the torch to Margarita, my dear Aussie friend! Loud and proud, you get it girlfriend!

My next chapter!!

I leave tomorrow morning, via bus and will spend a few nights at Eden Eco Lodge in Kampot. My treetop bungalow will be overlooking Preaek Tuek Chuu (a gorgeous river) and I'll have access to bikes and kayaks at my stay!!!

From there I will eventually make my way over to the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem Khnong to get some beach and snorkel time! This girl is ready to be in the water!!

20 days until I fly back. It's wild how acclimated I have become to the bustle and energy of the city here. I actually love it WAY more than I ever imagined! I am going to miss this place deeply and know, with certainty that I will be back.

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Thank you for sharing your teaching adventure and all of your travels. I always look forward to the next post. The world is such a wonderful place with beautiful people, I needed this little spark!

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