Well today we come home. It seems so very hard to believe our Cambodia adventure is over.
I will write more about what we did later. I hit a wall on Thursday as we were driving to the rural village, and have decided to wait until the plane ride home to try and process the last few days.
Over all the trip and the experience exceeded my expectations in every way. During our time here we have been working through a book of lessons I put together and I thought I was going to have to get the women to engage and see why we need to tell others and support those on the ground working to improve the livelihood of those caught in poverty. I thought I'd have to show them why you need to care about a prostituted woman and not treat her with disdain... But they have blown away every expectation I had - and more!
One day were talking about the cycle of poverty - and where NGOs came enter into it to alleviate the lack of access to food and clean water, or the lack of access to safe and effective medications and health care, or how to to increase livelihood opportunities... The conversation, instead of focusing on drilling wells, animal projects, building clinics and sanitation training, and microfinance - went to working with the nationals, and letting them tell you what they wanted/needed. Empowering those you are working with. We don't need saviors, we need humble listening and actions that build up the villagers - not us. It was a phenomenal discussion. I was so proud of them :-)
I could not have asked for a better group of women to make this journey with. I am excited to see my family and to have some good ol' American food (though I must admit the curry here was divine!) - but I will miss the people, I will miss the culture, the tuktuks, the colors and the tea. The Russian Market was overwhelming, but I want to go back.
I will post again when we get back to the states. I think the next few weeks will be pictures and stories. Please continue to pray for the people of Cambodia, for the people we met, for those on the ground, this country needs prayer (as we all do.).