My time in Cambodia is almost up! Tomorrow afternoon Myah and I start the long journey home.
It’s been a month. One whole amazing month to observe, learn and experience the way of life for the Khmer people.
I’ve been thinking of my highlights, what things have touched me the most, and what things were fun.
I’d like to share with you some of these amazing moments in my life.
The biggest one is that I actually managed to get me and my baby to Cambodia all by myself! That was a huge step to freedom to me, a huge step to independence, being a strong woman, a capable woman, a woman who follows her heart. It reminded me of my own potential and capabilities as a human being. I can step out of the box and allow myself to experience the bigger world that is out there.
Other amazing moments involve mostly just hanging out with the Khmer people. I learned so much from their behaviour, their way of life by being present with them. Myah and I would hang out with the kids next door, all the mummas gathered at the little stall, the teenage orphan who lived in the next room to me (who was apart of LifeOptions ‘Spread Your Wings And Fly Program’), and the midwives all working downstairs. We would chat, not speaking much of each others language, but we would laugh and sign and have fun. I’m sure Myah was speaking Khmer with them! She would say something, and they would all giggle and say ‘khmer, khmer!’
I got to be apart of our neighbours birth. It was beautiful and powerful. Women in Cambodia are strong. They have so much courage.
Sharing information and having education sessions with the midwives was pretty nice. We shared our customs and our ideas around birth. I talked to them about some practices in the West, such as lotus birth, water birth, doula support and physiological 3rd stage.
Being able to help set up a new Birth Centre was fun! Organising the antenatal room, the potnatal ward, the std clinic and the postpartum ward was just so exciting, I really love organising and setting up spaces, so having the oppurtunity to help set up a whole Birth Centre was a dream!
Being apart of the Blessing for the Birth Centre! The monks came and began and ended with chanting, and after each segment of chanting, the circle of people present would move forward an inch and the monks would continue to chant and bless the people and space with chant, water and flower petals. It was really special to be apart of and to be so welcomed into ancient ceremony. The ceremony finished and we drank iced tea and cold lychee drinks.
Meeting amazing people! I have never known resilience until I came to Cambodia. I have talked to some incredible human beings . The Traditional Birth Attendants are full of knowledge of a different kind, and I admire them greatly. I’ve met midwives who were trained in the Border Camps during Pol Pot times. They have incredible skill, more than any western midwife I have ever met. I have heard stories of resilience and the power of the human spirit. The beautiful midwife here at the Centre shared stories of when she was a little girl in Pol Pot times, who walked for a month with no food through the mountains. I’ve met several people, including one of the 7 only survivors of the prison camp of the Khmer Rouge. He is an old man, with sad eyes, who saw the most atrocious acts of human evil. I’ve met with poor families out in the remote villages, who don’t have names, orphanages that are about to run out of food, 100’s of women who come in to centre for std’s who choose us over the other centres because we are kind. I’ve met the kids at the school, their faces so happy with minds enthusiastic and eager to learn.
It’s been life changing being here. My eyes are open, my heart is full. It’s been such a privledge to be here. I’ll come vack one day, when my kids are older, and the time is right. But now it’s time for me to come home.