We’re not in Kansas anymore

We’re not even in the Americas anymore.
The farthest East I have ever been was a trip to Italy and one day in Croatia. We went so far “East” that we had to fly West!
Landing in China on Wednesday 28 January for a small layover was my first experience in Asia. The 15 hour flight didn’t seem so bad once you’ve experienced 36 hours on a bus. I was excited to be in Asia, but was less than thrilled that a mix up cost me $7 for a very small cup of tea. And there was no wifi or way for us to contact home. My team passed the time with exploring the small international terminal of the airport and sharing stories about families, books, and exercising.
Once we got to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Theos from YWAM in the City picked us up and took us to a hotel for the evening to stay in. We later found out that K Squad (The World Race) was staying in the same hotel so we met some of them and got to visit with them. Wednesday night, we walked around a little to find dinner, and found a place where we all ate for $8 total. The team joked about how that compared to my tea in China. 
Breakfast was wandering around a market down the street, coconut waffles, bananas and watermelon. After a short orientation about the culture, we went to a nearby mall to buy SIM cards for our Leader phones and lunch. 
I’m not sure I can properly explain how hard, frustrating, and humbling of an experience it is trying to communicate here. I know a lot of people can relate to not being able to speak the language of where they travel, but that has not been the case for me. Other than Italy (where I honestly spoke Spanish and they understood for the most part), I have only traveled to places where I spoke the language. The norm for me is to travel and either speak my native tongue or my second. Khmer (pronounced kha-mai) is so different that the language alone is a culture shock for me.
Beside the language and the culture, the terrain where we are in Touch Village so much resembles Latin America. The palm trees. The banana trees. These beautiful flower bushes that are one of my favorite things.
We have been at the ministry now for just over a week but it honestly feels as if we’ve been here a month already. The staff at the Youth Development Center and the boys who live here immediately incorporated us into the family they’ve made together. A lot of the boys are in the English classes that we teach. And each night we either have worship, Bible study, movie night or SMOOTHIES with them.
We are so blessed to have this opportunity to be here with them. 
Originally posted on kaylaschmidt.theworldrace.org

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