Thursday, January 09, 2014

New Normal.

I've lived here only two months, and I find myself starting to accept things as 'normal.' Things I couldn't have imagined, before.
It's normal to check your toothbrush for bugs before you brush your teeth. It's normal pray over my toilet before I flush it, that it will work. I actually pray over my toilet a lot. It's normal to choose between water pressure and heat, when having a shower.
It has become normal...that every evening...something that sounds like a dying duck/ dog has a fit under my window.
It has become normal for Cambodian people to call me 'big'and they don't mean tall. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have learned that word first. They don't mean it as an insult, just a fact.
It is normal for the sun to set by 6 pm....and that never changes. It has become my normal practice to scan a room or an area before I enter, to see if there are any geckos, bugs, frogs or birds that I need to be aware of. It has become normal for me to go to the market, and be a hard negotiator. I may be white, but I live here, and I want the Khmer I will walk away.
It is now normal for me to live in a home with a big wall around the house and an iron gate and barbed wire around the top.
These are all things that have become common place for me. To see shrines and idols everywhere. Begging children. 6 people and a bag of rice on a moto. Arm less, or legless people.
And yet, there are things that I struggle with.
Today, we took three girls to the doctor. They all have an adverse diagnosis, which in this country will eventually become their death sentence....sooner than the rest of the girls. These three walk a slippery slope, and one wrong move, can wreak havoc with their bodies, and they can quickly become terminal.
And....well...the health care system is not a great system here. The answer to any sickness in Cambodia intravenous with fluids...hey...let's keep them hydrated. Which is good, however, doesn't fix the problem.
So...we took these girls to a white doctor. An old white Dutch doctor...bless his heart. And...I do not know his reason for being in Cambodia...but he has been here for 25 years. And he loves these could tell, as he interacted with our girls...chatting them up in Khmer. Charging us one third of what he should have.
But I sat there, at his desk, and I prayed. "Lord, this one is getting old, we need a new one soon. "
Now I am a problem solver, and right away , I start thinking...who could we get....who would come....and then I realized....I guess this is God's department, more than mine. Which, in total honesty....made me uncomfortable...because sometimes I know that our timetables and solutions are not the same. I did however suggest, that if He was going to send a new white doctor, that maybe he should be single, Christian, 40 ish, and like blue eyed, freckled 42 year olds.
It's a challenge to be a problem solver in a place when my previous ways of solving do not work. For example. Our girls need medication, but who pays for it? I could. Or I could ask someone from Canada to pay for it, and I'm sure they would....I have a gift of begging for money.
And yet, if re-integration is our dream for these girls. Girls who can make a living, and support themselves and take care of themselves, then they need to understand the need for their meds and be able to budget for them. There is no great solution, except tough love. I don't like being the tough you didn't expect to hear me say that, hey? It's similar to a fun sucker. Something you don't want to be.
And to show love by being a tough lover, is hard for them to understand.
So....that's where I am this evening....trying to make tough loving.....normal.

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