Let's see...where to start off....
Okay, well at this moment in time I'm sitting on the tan leather couch in my temporary home- an apartment in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I've lived here since March 26 with 4 other girls, and will be here until May 21. We're part of an experimental study abroad program that brought us to Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, for the first 3 months of this semester, courtesy of the Education Abroad Network.
It's so weird to think that I just spent so long on the opposite side of the world (I'm originally from little ol' Rhode Island, in the USA) and now it just seems like a memory. I blinked and it was gone. But this semester has been one of the best times in my life, if not the best. It sounds so cheesy, but I do feel like I've grown as a person. It was very gradual in Thailand, but it's faster now. Have you ever had an experience where you can literally feel yourself metamorphosing? It feels great. When I started off in Southeast Asia, I'll admit that I was a bit frazzled and lost, to say the least. The normal anxiety that everyone feels had gotten the best of me and I was simply overwhelmed with life. My goal for coming to Asia was to have a sort of "therapy", so to speak- I needed to stop smoking weed, for one thing, which had gotten completely out of hand, for various reasons. My mind, body, and spirit needed to breathe, and, though I love them dearly, I needed a break from my family, too. The past year had brought stresses and tests to us all, which I became overly sensitive to. My dad, but especially my brothers, would give me advice on things I should do, yet I would take offense to it, rather than think they were trying to help. I'm going to have to figure out some way to put my tail between my legs and tell them they were right hahaha.
It seems as if my writing has used a lot of "I"'s and "me"'s, which I hate doing. Sorry if it sounds very self-absorbed. My thoughts are just being gathered and thrown on this webpage randomly. Blah.
I'm not really sure what the point of this blog is going to be, except for the above-mentioned: gathering my thoughts. In high school I used to manage them by writing in a journal. For some reason the movement of my hand writing the script with a nice black pen was very zen for me. But now I can't bring myself to do that. I have absolutely no clue why. Have you noticed that while growing up and out of high school, you're interests change? It might not be everyone, but I have met a few other people who have felt that way. I used to be a bit of a homebody and loooooved to read books. I would spend all day reading a book, losing sleep even if I had to wake up early for school in the morning. Thinking back on it, it's crazy that I did that so often, yet I was so passionate about it. Books are what made me want to be a film maker. Now, however, I haven't read a book thoroughly since...well, I don't even remember the last time. Sad, huh? I have this theory that it's only because I haven't found what I'm interested in reading nowadays. I used to love fiction stories, ones that I could relate to in high school, especially those written by Sarah Dessen. Being in Cambodia has helped me rediscover what I like though, and that involves cultures (anthropology), people (sociology), languages (Khmer, Thai- we had to take lessons in both in their relative countries), and history, which I never in a million years thought I would be into. Maybe it's just because the history they teach you in high school is just so....boring. The history of culture that I've been taught here is fascinating! I think it's always how it's taught- we've been brought on these hardcore treks to various ancient cities around Cambodia that are so interesting. There's one place that our professor, Dr. Kyle Latinis, brought us to which is an archaeological site that he discovered. When he took us there we were able to dig up a few bones and pottery sherds dating back as far as 500-1000 BC. Sick, huh?
Today we are going on a 9 day field trip around various parts of Cambodia. The first stop is a village homestay in the province of, I think, Kratie (?). Afterward we'll head to Siem Reap to see the infamous Angkor Wat, then Battambang, and I'm not really sure where else. The thing about Southeast Asia is that there's never a set schedule for anything. It's refreshing in a way, because it leaves room for alterations, yet it can get annoying because you can never get a straight answer when trying to plan things out. It's a bit comical, actually. I think it's all due to the Buddhism influence, and the idea of impermanence. Asians are very attune that nothing is absolute in life except for the fact that it changes at a very rapid pace and doesn't wait for anyone. It's a good wake up call.
Anywho, after all my ramblings, I must depart. It's 9:19 AM and we're leaving at 10:30 and I'm still sitting around in my pajamas. I haven't even finished my cup of mediocre coffee (Cambodia is not famous for their coffee, let me just say).
Choom reap leeah! (See you later)