Highlight Reel from the ‘Bode

Jeff and I have been back in the country for about a week doing things like not eating rice and sleeping in our own dreamy bed.

Never have I loved home more than right now, and it turns out, when you travel exotic places for your job, staycations feel magical!  We are finding magic in morning coffee on our deck and Einstein’s Bagel runs and Old Navy if the mood strikes and sharing almost every single meal with a person we missed.  We’ve got about three weeks before we leave for Nepal, and we’re trying to streeeeeetch the time to fit in all the visiting and unpacking and packing and coffee-drinking and nothing-doing.

But, Cambodia!

July Ad

The July issue of World Next Door from Cambodia is out and ready to download! Click on the photo above for download instructions or past issues. As opposed to the Rwanda issue, where Jeff and I were embedded alone and responsible for all the content, this issue was written by our team of 7 people, and we love it!  Although iPad viewing is the BEST way to view the magazine- video, music, live language lessons, dancing j.pegs and interactive maps and photos- all the content is available online, too, for the grandparents. We love the grandparents.

*If you are not a grandparent, borrow yourself an iPad and get to downloading!


Here is a link to the online content:

Cambodia Overview July

And links to our specific articles this month:

  • Redefining Normal  More Than Good Enough: How a successful private chef ended up in small town Cambodia teaching at-risk girls how to cook. Click here
  • The Lottery  Princess puzzles, poverty and a globe-spanning sisterhood. *Guest starring my little noopy nieces in this one! Click here
  • History Lesson  A (Brief) History of Cambodia Click here


Our second Cambodia issue is scheduled to be out in the next couple of weeks, so while you wait, I’ll give you my top  Wait, What? moments in Cambodia:

  • Things Mamsung did today: took me off my bike, tucked my shirt into my shorts, went up through the leg opening to pull the shirt tight from underneath, pulled my unders down instead, laughed so hard, and went right back up there for the shirt. Why can there not be secret cameras on us at times like this?!


  • Four of us from Phnom Penh took the bumpiest 6hr bus ride to Battambang this morning to meet the rest of the team. It wasn’t bumpy from the road, but from the hydraulic shocks bouncing up and down like a roller coaster bus. Weird. Anyway, it aggravated that inner ear thing I developed in Rwanda, and I started to feel dizzy about an hour after we got off the bus. I went back to the guesthouse to lay down, and two seconds after my head hit the pillow, music started from downstairs through, like, a megaphone, and I can’t even tell you what the instrument was. It sounded like an organ mixed with xylophone mixed with hand bells. The lineup? Silent Night, followed by Joy to the World, and finally Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. This, while I’m lying in bed wrapped in yards of cheetah fabric, because Pisei got to sewing again and made me a giant tent-shaped cheetah shirt. Is this my life? Dizzy, covered in Cheetah fabric listening to Christmas Carols on the 4th of July in Cambodia?!


  • Church this morning: hour-long van ride to the bank of a river with wooden steps leading into the water, a boat appears and ferries us to an Island, we remove our shoes before entering the church, sing worship songs in Khmenglish, then vote on 2 of 4 singers who compete in a singing contest to be the new worship leader. Kids around us want #2 and #3 to win, so they take our #1 and #4 slips, but somehow #4 wins, who was definitely in last place. All this followed by a sermon and kool-aid communion, my legs lifted off the floor the entire time due to 3 big spiders roaming the tile, and with a couple of 4-year-olds sticking their little hands through my chair to tickle my armpits. Door to door? About 5 hours.


  • If the electricity goes out, don’t worry. The house down the street has a generator or something and is able resume the karaoke through the loud speaker to entertain the village in the dark


And if those didn’t tide you over, here are some friends who want to say hi:

BRK_4165 BRK_4526 BRK_5369 BRK_5405 BRK_5445

Link to additional pictures from Cambodia: here, here and here

Thanks for following along! Here is a compelling video about the org we’ll be embedded with next in Nepal:  https://lovefoundme.org/


Is this thing on?

I had this beautiful moment today driving across the industrial canal—the lake on my right, a giant cruise ship on the left, making my way from the upper 9th, where I successfully co-led my first grief and trauma group(!) through the city to the lower garden district, where I live. Twice, there was traffic and I ducked down and around and over and sideways and made it through the city quickly and efficiently, realizing: a) I know my city. At some point, my brain automatically began to calculate the shortcuts through an entire city separated by canals and interstates and really confusing u-turns. That moment felt like home. And b) I am exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do. How often does that happen?

I would also like to state for the record after careful consideration and eight articles that I have plenty of securely attached features, thankyouverymuch. I have also come up with my own theory. It’s called, we shouldn’t be forced to do 8-page reflections on a thousand articles covering the same basic theme, even if courier new does take it down to 5. It’s alarming what you find out. Did you guys know about this ‘reading’ business? Either way, bring on substance abuse. Now there’s a topic I can handle. With two hands.

Winn Dixie ran out of chickpeas. I think that’s so weird.