Chi Ly is awesome. She is originally from Hanoi but lived in Ho Chi Minh City for five years prior to her mission. She and Chi Huong were the first sister missionaries called from Vietnam. She is very investigator-focused and likes to work hard, so we get along really well. We have fun talking in the evenings while making dinner or doing the dishes. She has already said I need to come stay with her for a while in Vietnam after our missions.
Chi Ly has given me my full name. Her father is Chinese, so she gave me a Chinese middle name. My full name is now Ly Lien Hoa (sac on the y, hat on the e), and I love it! (L is one of my favorite letters; I also like y's and ie vowel combinations.) Yesterday while we were having lunch, she exclaimed, "You're so Asian!" She told me that I may have white skin and red hair, but I have Asian blood. She was using a spoon; I was using chopsticks. She eats rice three or four times a week; I will eat rice two or three times a day. I sit on the floor all the time, and I'll eat anything. Apparently eating anything qualifies someone as Asian...? She's so funny! I love having her as a companion. Sometimes we just have to stop and laugh at ourselves because we're having such a good time.
I do my best to heed Co Huong's advice and follow my trainer wherever she goes, even if the traffic looks lethal. The streets of Phnom Penh are like Kelly Square on a Friday or Saturday night except it's like that all the time everywhere, there are even fewer rules, and there are small children and dogs involved...and an occasional cow or something. Chi Ly has learned that I am pretty much game for anything. I don't mind getting dirty or wet. I have given lessons and spiritual thoughts in the presence of rats. It doesn't perturb me when we find small lizards in our dishes (in fact, my first night in Cambodia, when we were staying in the mission home, I showered with one of the little geckos running around). It doesn't bother me to sweep up the cockroaches in the morning (I do wonder how so many of them manage to get stuck on their backs though).
At the market last week, we bought a piece of a pig they were cutting up right in front of us. The most interesting thing I've eaten so far is frogs (they taste really good), but the pig fat and cilantro sandwich was notably odd. It's interesting seeing some of the things people can get away with here where they don't have OSHA. For example, I've seen creative uses of welding tools precariously perched on re-bar poles.
I have discovered that cleaning Asian bathrooms is so much easier than cleaning American ones because you jut grab the hose, squirt some cleaner, and spray everything down. Simple. Easy. Fast. I like it.
Kids are lots of fun here. When we ride past children, they see me, get really excited, and start yelling, "Hello!" so I say hello back. They don't know anything else to say, so they just say hello again, so I say hello back. It's like the welcome to Primary song meets the song that never ends. Sometimes it's kind of sad to see children though. The day before yesterday I saw a five or six-year-old running around on a club foot. He managed quite well, but it was still kind of sad. I also saw a girl at church who had an abscess on her arm. It ruptured while the kids were rough housing. There was about four feet of blood splatter on the floor, and no one was doing anything, so I cleaned her up, covered it with Neosporin, and bandaged it. I think it really needed to be drained the rest of the way (it was swollen, red, hard, and she couldn't straighten her arm), but all I had was Neosporin...kind of pathetic.
The branch is really funny. There's this old lady I absolutely love. Last week she was telling me about when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden and Adam ate the fruit and then remembered he wasn't supposed to, so it got stuck in his throat and that's why men have an Adam's apple. It's harder to understand the elderly, but I love listening to them. Perhaps the funniest thing has been seeing traces of Thay Kiet everywhere. He's all over the area book. Converts will show me pictures of their baptism and he'll be there. Last week someone asked me why Anh Kiet isn't married yet...like I would know. I didn't know what to say to that, so I just laughed.
It's time to go, so no pictures this week, but maybe next week.