This past week has been a blur.
We said good bye to our host families at Kandal Province on Tuesday.
We spent about 3 days at a hotel near Phnom Penh.
Sadly, the transition has been really hard. Yesterday morning, we woke up early to prepare for the Swear-In ceremony. The ceremony was a blur too because I was so nervous about the speech. Right after the speech, we have about 40 minutes to eat, change clothes, and say goodbye to our friends. Because I was 1 of the 2 speech makers, I was interviewed by the press. It was really overwhelming. When I was done, there was literally 5 minutes to take pictures with friends. Right after that, I had to go change and quickly come back down. I had maybe about 5-10 minutes with my friends to say goodbye to each other. It was teary, sad, and happy. I think my snot got into Cheyenne’s hair, and my mascara and eye shadow got onto Dallas’s shirt. Either way, we promised each other to meet up in 2 months when we are allowed to travel!
We then hopped onto our respective vans. I cried for about 1 hour and looked through the pictures we just took. I ate the prepackaged lunch for 15 minutes as I try to zone out my sorrows with some sad music. And then, I realized "Why am I so sad? It's not the end of the world. I always knew training was 2 months, we would part with our friends, and the host family from Kandal province was temporary. Everyone, stop moping! Let's take selfies!" A few minutes after that, we arrived to our new homes.
I met my new family members: one middle aged couple and one grandparents age couple. I haven't figured out which couple is my new host parents yet. Either way, everyone’s very welcoming and nice. My room is really big. I also have my own bathroom next to my room, with running water and a sitting toilet. The house is also huge, with an open rooftop at the top of the home. I live on the second floor. There are two extra rooms there, but no one lives there. The two couples lives in the rooms on the bottom floor. Naturally, the house is quiet since there are no kids around.
It was an uneventful day. Since I had nothing to do and they were ready to go lay down in their rooms, I just went to my room. I started to miss my friends and family from previous province again. I shed some tears again, as I tried to sleep and hoping for a happier tomorrow.
Today, I woke up feeling sad again, but I told myself “go shower, get dressed, and go downstairs with a smile”. I did! I met many people all morning. Midwife, nurse, some relatives, and neighbors. After lunch, the electricity went off, and everyone wanted to take a nap so I went on a bike ride, and somehow ended up at my friend Carley’s house in the next village over. I met her family, talked with her a little bit, and we came back on a bike ride to my home. We hung out at my home.
The police also came over and took a copy of my passport, my photo, and my number. I also got the police chief’s number. They said they will always be protecting us. It also turns out that our language coordinator (the boss of our language teachers and the person who helped me with my speech) during training lives 2 minutes away from me! Carley and I went over to her house. Some of our language teachers showed up at her house as a surprise too, and it ended up being a really nice reunion. Later, Carley and I rode our bikes to my health center, high school, and pagoda. It really was nice getting to see more of the community. I definitely feel more comfortable now.
I’m back home. I just had a nice dinner. It's so great that they love vegetables as much as I do! It's only the second day, and I'm already challenging my biking abilities too. I feel healthier already!
I’m also really excited to go to work Monday!
Here's to new beginnings!
And here are my memories from this past week: