Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Life in Siem Reap

Mark and I have moved to Siem Reap! The tourist capital of Cambodia. 2 million visitors come here every year to see Angkor Wat.
The town is actually really small when you look at how many people live here: about 20,000. And the city is booming with great restaurants and hotels... but little else. It is still one of the poorest provinces in the country. The expat community here is very different than in Phnom Penh! Our school (for missionary kids) has 43 students, but the Phnom Penh school (for missionary kids as well) has over 300 students. There is one church: just ONE international church... so no denominations at all. There are rarely people around who live here, instead of tourist! It's a strange adjustment. We've been busy though! We moved up 6 weeks ago and already we're very involved in church. I've joined the worship band, and Mark joined the sound crew. We've both started up a youth group, of which we are the leaders. So far we have 10 teenagers meeting on Tuesday nights! Mark is working full time as principal and middle school teacher. I am working part time as middle school teacher. I teach our class (grades 5-7) 60% of their lessons, while Mark does his Principal work. Meanwhile I'm working on my Master's of Ed. and studying Khmer with a Cambodian teacher. Overall we are jammed packed with activities. Between the youth, school, and church we have too many responsibilities. But I still feel a whole.... I miss my friends in Phnom Penh. I wish I could run over to Rachel's house for tea. Or meet Danielle for coffee somewhere. Or dress up and go out with Alyson! I miss my friends. My new friends are great... it's just different.
Here's the link to our school: http://www.hopeschool-cambodia.org/siemreap/srcampusoverview.html

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Grapevine House: A Home for Many


Soon we'll have a website up for our house.
Our house is a charity venture trying to provide a Christian home to young Cambodians. So now we're starting the new Hair Salon in our living room! Soon we hope to have a Baby Daycare Center too. There are about 16 of us that live together. 3 of us are White, and the rest are young Cambodians that needed a place to live... One of the girls is a 16 year old single mom who recently left a 5 year long career as a prostitute.

The girls need stable income otherwise their subject to abusive working situations. The factories here are like things you read about. No clean air, 15min lunch breaks for $50 a month. We just want to make sure that local young woman have another option that factories and prostitution, which are the main to industries around here.

Yes, it's a crazy life. And it's insane to try this in our first year of marriage while we are both still teaching, but we felt God lead us to this house...

It would be so great to have some financial support. We can't do all of this without some help.

This is a picture of Baby John. His mom is 16, so we're helping to raise him.




For those of you that don’t know. We have joined another English lady in a venture to create a discipleship living environment for young Khmer adults. We have an adjoining apartment to Christine’s apartment that houses young Khmer people. One such person, is a 16 year old mother who recently got saved and left prostitution. Another is a young woman who finished cosmetology school and can’t find work. By providing these young people with housing, we are allowing them opportunities to live in Christian community and enabling them to move out of the shack in the slums. We take the household to church every week, and we disciple them, as most of them are very young Christians. It’s an opportunity to train them in life skills and provide safe housing for them.
In addition to running a household, we are both still teaching at Hope. Working with missionary kids has been extremely rewarding. The students are so sweet and the parents are appreciative to have a quality education for their kids while they work in the mission field.
Mark has been very busy these past few months. He’s been tutoring, running an half marathon, and acting in a pantomime. He’s really enjoying teaching the little kids though. His 6 year old students have loved having him as a teacher.
I took Mark’s old job as 6th grade teacher. It’s been very challenging for me because I was trained as an English teacher. The other subjects in 6th grade have been difficult for me. I find myself using Google in the classroom constantly. On top of teaching, I’ve been working on a Masters in School Counseling. I’d really like to be able to work with missionary kids on their culture separation issues and other counseling needs.
Pray for us. We’re obviously very busy. We both are still trying to balance all the new areas of our lives. It has been a slow learning process. Also, I’ve really struggled with my health in the last 6 months. I had to make an emergency trip to America in November to see doctors and get proper medications.
Financially please pray for our newest project. We are trying to start a hair solon in our downstairs living room. It would be a great opportunity for Vanda, our housemate. If we can get her furniture ready, then she can get a client-base and support herself.
Please keep us in your prayers! Things aren’t always easy here, but we know that we are following God’s will. And if any of you would like to visit, you’re more than welcome. We have a spare room for visitors.
God Bless,
Carrie and Mark Twine
P.S. the pictures are of our housemates

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Easy Ice Cream Recipe!


I was given the easiest ice cream recipe! It's so great!

1 Liter of Milk
3 cups of coffee creamer (I used dry)
1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla


Beat it (I used the blender) for five minute. Freeze for five hours. Then mix and Blend it again (or beat) for Five minutes. and freeze it for five more hours.

So yummy! No machine required! But it does have to be done the day before. And it's soft serve style.

Thanks, Morag! It was great!

Made me think, that you could do it with soy milk and Splenda, and have HEALTHY ICE CREAM!!!! :D

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our first Home Together

Our first home is a little unusual. We're living with three Khmer girls. We wanted to have a house that was open to anyone who needed a refuge. So despite being unconventional, we're living with other people even though we're newly weds. Here's a video of our half of the house. I didn't include any of their space in my video.
video

We're Married







On June 11, 2011 Mark and I said "I do".

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update on Life in Cambodia



March 21, 2011.
Dear Friends and Family,
I’m so pleased to be updating you on my life in Cambodia. A new and rather exciting change has come into my life. I’m engaged! YAY! My fiancĂ© is Mark Twine, a teacher here in Cambodia with me. We are both very excited about the future God has planned for us here in Cambodia. We plan to live here together until God calls us elsewhere, which might be many years from now.
We are so busy right now though. We’re planning a wedding that has to include three countries. I am getting my Master’s of School Counseling. Mark is running a dormitory for young adults in need, and we are both working full time with middle school kids all day long. It is a very overwhelming time in our lives, but we’re very excited about getting married in July.
One rather odd arrangement is that after we’re married we won’t be living alone. Six months ago Mark opened his home to young people in need. We both feel like this is God’s calling on our lives. So together we have decided to keep the boarding home open, even though it will be our first year of marriage. Although we realize this won’t make our first year of marriage easy, we really feel it’s what God wants us to do. We will need a lot of prayer for patience and long-suffering. Most of his boarders are between the ages of 17-25. They live semi-independent lives, and we provide housing and food for them. Not only will it be a challenge to live in a full house immediately after we get married, but we also have to financially support the household which is a bit beyond our income. We are going to need as much prayer support as possible in the coming months!
The house started off as something Mark felt God speaking to him about. So he rented a 5 bedroom house for him and two young men that needed a home. The house is next door to another teacher who is doing the same thing. She is an older woman who has nine people living with her in a 5 bedroom house. He wanted to keep the house open only to boys, but the situation arose for a friend’s sister and friends to move in. So then it became a full dorm home, and they have connected the two houses to make it one giant family-style dorm.
Recently we have been able to rescue two girls in need. One girl was a former sex worker who became pregnant. Since then she’s become a Christian and has gotten a job. She is doing really well, and has been living in the house for 1 month. She’s only 17 though and really needs a family. The second girl is moving in this week. She was sold into sexual slavery as a 12 year old. At age 16 she was rescued from a Brothel. She now trying to rebuild her life. She moved into the house last week. And the day after she moved in, she accepted the Gospel of grace!
So even though it will be a hectic first year of marriage, we really believe that it will be worth the stress because the emotional reward of helping these girls is so great! I love seeing their faces when they realize they have some place to go and that they can have a home that is safe. It is a really exciting thing to be part of. Because we have some many contacts with people working to end human slavery, it’s possible that our dorm may morph in the future. That would be my goal. I would love to focus our ministry on girls in need.
In other news, we have a wedding to plan! We’ll be getting married in July in Australia on the smallest wedding budget in the world, or least to an American girl. Also it’s a huge challenge to get married in a city I’ve never seen, so there are lots of things to be done. We will be coming to America for a reception sometime the week after July 23rd. We hope all of you can celebrate with us.
Pray with us for the many new developments in our lives. Our coming wedding and marriage. My graduate studies. Mark’s dormitory and the girl’s who have severe emotional scaring. The financial struggles of housing and feeding nine people. Please pray that God will provide a sudden influx of financial support. There is one apartment next door to us, that we would love to annex if we had the money to pay for it. And of course pray for our work with the students. We still have to encourage and enlighten them everyday.

Love and Blessings,
Carrie Cordell
(The future Carrie Cordell Twine)

Another Blogger

I found this other blogger who said it well. She describes life in Cambodia very well. So if you were wondering: this is what my life looks like...
http://sinamonmeyer.theworldrace.org/?filename=0C6CF3C951BD4E0FB4375ECE892679

Happy Reading!

I'm ENGAGED!




Mark and I are getting married!!!!!!!!!!!!
How we got engaged

I had picked out the ring, so I knew it was coming sooner or later. Mark really wanted to surprise me though. So he decided to take me on an amazing date Saturday night, and then propose on Sunday: A sort of fake out.

So Saturday we went to an amazing restaurant. And then had dessert on a rooftop lounge overlooking the river. It was so perfect. And I was so disappointed when he dropped me off at home without a ring.

Then Sunday night he had my friend Becky take me out to dinner, so that I would be unsuspecting. And while I was gone he filled my apartment with rose petals and candles.

When I walked in my immediate reaction was "what are you doing?" Even though I had been expecting this for months. He said, "Can you come over here! I have a question." So I walked over and knelt down in front of him. He told me how much he loved me, and asked me to marry him. However, he was shaking so much that he could open the ring box; so I (probably inappropriately) joked, "you've got to show me the ring first!" Then he took it out and could figure out which finger to put it on. I helped him place it on, and said, "yes! of course."

Things Change.

I came to Cambodia expecting to be a teacher, but being inspire by the mission of those who work against human trafficking. I hope that in the future, I can work full time in that ministry. I love kids, but I really want help girls who have felt hopeless and used. I want to show them God's love and give them a fresh start.
We'll see. God is starting to open doors. I see a crack in the door that may be open in the future. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Kitten called Compassion



One day this week, I was walking to school when I noticed a kitten crying. I felt really sorry for it, because I had recently watched a kitten die (from a roof, where I couldn't help it). So when I stopped to watch it, I noticed a man was kicking it. I was of course, indignant at the injustice of it. I got to school and told the guard. He wasn't happy but he wasn't going to do anything about it. So I went back over to the man. I figured it would mean me taking the cat home. When I picked it up, the man motioned for me to take it away. He was obviously sick of its crying.
So I took it home and nursed it. The kids at school loved it! I only kept it for 3 days, but I grew really attached to it. I was feeding it from a bottle and it was so cute. Eventually it went to live with a family that had more time for it. But I'm just glad it lived, cause there were moments when it was touch-and-go. It was so cute. And now I miss it so much. Even if it peed on me twice.



Most of you read/heard about the tragedy in Cambodia's capital this week. 350 people were killed while over 300 are in the hospital. This may seem distant to you, but it's my home. I've been living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, for three years. And this disaster is too close. It happened on a bridge a frequent to people I pass everyday. Please pray for Cambodia, only 1% of the population know Jesus, and they really need hope right now. Only 30 years ago 2 million people were killed in a genocide. 30 years is too soon for another tragedy. Most people are hopeless and depressed. This country really needs to learn about God's hope.
Pray for us. It's a time of great sadness here. Also pray for the injured the hospitals here are disgusting and poorly run. They don't feed or bathe patients. I doubt many of the seriously injured will live.
Most of the locals are shocked and confused. They don't understand how something so bad could happen so suddenly. One minute they were celebrating a national holiday and then because of a little hysteria hundreds are dead.
The stampede that killed these people was caused by an irrational fear that the bridge was going to collapse. So thousands ran. The result was hundreds of peoples death.

Thanks for your prayers,
Carrie
P.S. Above are pictures I took of the festival 48 hours before the tragedy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

For my dad


Happy Birthday Dad!
For your birthday, I've written you two limericks.
Just shows you how much I care!

*
I have a dear Father who cries.
He cries til he dries out his eyes,
Cause he's getting old
With wisdom untold.
Or so he was told by someone who lies.

*
My father has turned fifty three.
And arthritis is starting up in one knee.
So close to the grave
Each day he must save.
Energy and youth are no longer free.


Wish I could be there!
Love you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

China, Malaysia, Cambodia... same same


In Cambodia we have a saying, "Same same but different." It's the Southeast Asian way of say "oh whatever, it's close enough." So a North Face jacket with Walmart tags, well - "same same"

But apparently it goes both ways. I found this teacher resource. It's supposed to be all the flags of Asia to TEACH children with. But all the flags are wrong the Cambodian flag is labeled as Malaysian. And the flag beside Cambodia is the Chinese flag... but hey! Same same.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rat Attack




Oh what an eventful (traumatizing weekend).

On Sunday night I came home to find my roommate in tears. She was screaming and babbling about a rat. After she calmed down, she explained that a rat jumped on her when she opened our food pantry door. I jumped on her shirt and ran down her leg. Then it hid behind the fridge.
So she and I curled up into little balls, and locked ourselves in the living room away from the rat incident. We called Mark to come over and save the day.
When he got into the apartment he armed himself with a broom and a bowl (to trap it?) and went hunting. We made him move every piece of furniture in the whole house before we would stop crying.

The next day we bought sticky traps (so inhumane, but it's my sanity at stake!) and loaded them with chocolate and peanut butter. Monday morning I woke to find my roommate crying again! There was a live rat on the trap. He was still alive and struggling against the deadly goo. Again, we locked ourselves in the living room. We then called Mark, who was tired of saving the day. So we texted our Cambodian landlady and she came upstairs. She and her granny-friend ripped the rat off the trap and killed with their bare hands. It was so gruesome! UGh! I was sick to my stomach all morning after watching that! Why did I look!?! Dang, my curiosity. I've attached a picture so you can experience the horror too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

There's No Place Like Home



It's been 25 months since I moved to Cambodia. Wow. How time flies! How I've changed! How my heart has changed! When I first moved here, I hated it. I hated the smell and the filth. At that time, I could only see the reasons to leave Cambodia. I couldn't appreciate the reasons to love Cambodia. When I heard of people staying for a decade, I thought they were crazy! Now I feel that way! I'm completely in love with this place. It totally feels like home. At long last, I've found my place here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010



The new school year has started. And not to surprisingly, I'm stressed. I've got a 100 students to impart wisdom to, and I've started my Master's degree.
I wish I had better coping mechanism for handling my stress. Basically I avoid things I don't like to keep my stress levels down. This means homework doesn't get finished until the last minute. Grading papers is something that rarely happens. I'm too overwhelmed from the start. I need a holiday!
Mom and Dad went with Kay and Kevin to Alaska. Sounds heavenly right now. I wish I could be with them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Lovin'

This summer I had the most extraordinary chance to travel around Australia and New Zealand on my way home to America. It was amazing. I saw some amazing things!
I rode in a helicopter over the 12 Apostles in Australia, and I went bungy jumping in New Zealand! It was a fantastic holiday!

A video of the bungy jumping
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=719768775998

Pictures from New Zealand
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2305097&id=55708580&l=da121562d8

Pictures from Australia
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2303524&id=55708580&l=6ae2d6931a

Enjoy! I sure did!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Phnom Penh Love Story

I read this very funny story today. It's about a girl here in Cambodia, who gets all she can out of expats. She has three boyfriends who all give her loads of money, and none of them no about each other. I can't figure out if I feel sorry for the creepy old guys, or not.
Read this. Understand my world.
http://www.expat-advisory.com/forum/asia/cambodia/phnom-penh-pub-expats-expats-cambodia/bong-kol-and-three-barangs-phnom-penh-love

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

REAL COFFEE!


This month we got a Gloria Jeans! A REAL Gloria Jeans. This is the second international chain restaurant that has made it to Cambodia. The first being KFC.
Last year we got a "Starbucks" which turned out to be a fake. They had to change the name because Starbucks was trying to sue them. I was so sad when I realized it was a fake.
Gloria Jeans is heavenly though. It's a slice of home, right here in Phnom Penh.

Mammaw's Birthday


This week my Mammaw turned 80. She is the strongest woman I've ever known. I can't believe she's really 80! She is so young at heart.
I called her for her birthday. She was so surprised to here from me, since I'm in Cambodia. It was great. She cried when I told her I was staying in Cambodia another year. But she's proud of me.
I love my Mammaw.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Safari World Trip 2


I went to Bangkok this weekend to meet up with some friends from
Liberty. And we had a great time.
Remember the zoo I got the baby tiger pictures from? We went back. It was so fun!!! I got picked up by an elephant with his
trunk. And then there was a cage of white tigers, and when one
walked by, I stuck my hand in the cage and petted him! A big adult
tiger!!! All my friends were screaming. They were so scared! It
was so amazing! An adult WHITE tiger.
I also stuck my hand in the marmoset cage and pet him (a tiny monkey).
I love South East Asia. There are no rules here!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Temples Take Two






Visited the temples at Siem Reap for the 2nd time. They are always beautiful, but they were more interesting the first time around.
Megan and Mark went with me. Megan is an American Student teacher who is in Cambodia for a few months. Mark is an Australian teacher who has taken over our 4th grade.

March 2010 Update on Life in Cambodia



Dear Friends and Family,

It is hot in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I mean very hot. I would love to see the spring in America this year. Cool mornings that require a light sweater. Baseball teams are starting to practice. March in Cambodia is more like sweat pouring down everybody’s faces as they fan themselves and hide in the shade. As much as, I’m hating the weather, Cambodia is really growing on me. I’m really enjoying my time here, and I’ve started to feel a deep connection to this crazy country.

Recently I’ve really felt the burden for my students. The kids that I teach are TCKs. The term TCK refers to a child that is a “Third Culture Kid” anyone who has grown up outside of their own culture. These children neither fit into the culture of their home country or the country they reside in. It is a hard place to be: at home in a place that sees you as a foreigner.

My students endure things that most adults couldn’t handle. Being ripped away from grandparents and cousins or being sent to a boarding school for your education. These students have a really difficult life. Often their parents don’t stay in one country for more than five years. The friends they make at school move frequently. The teachers of their school come for a two-year contract and then leave. They say good-bye more often than they say I love you.

These students are very special people. They have seen things that most teenagers are never aware of. They have worked in the slums of the poorest countries. They have fed starving children. The have clothed people who have nothing. They have befriended people of a different race and language. They have eyes that are wide open to the need and hurt in the world. They have giving hearts that want to do good for the rest of mankind. These are not your average selfish kids.

Another reason my job is so important is the parents of my students. Before my school was founded eight years ago, missionaries were forced to home-school their children. Some missionaries would leave the country because they felt they had to take their kids home for high school. There were no affordable, reasonable schooling options. There was one international school in town. It was not Christian, and it cost over $12,000 per year. Missionary women had no choice but to stay home and teach their children. Some women felt completely incompetent to teach high school science and other subjects to their children. Because of HOPE, they now have an option that allows them to affordably educate their children in a Christian community. Most of these women have been able to work outside the home in amazing careers. One mom, that has been liberated from the chore of teaching her two kids, began Chab Dai Coalition, an amazing organization that is working to bring an end to human trafficking in Cambodia.

I am telling you what a wonderful job I have so that you understand the burden I have. I love Cambodia, but my heart does not burn with passion to work in the slums. I love the idea of bringing an end to human trafficking, but I am not called to work with prostitution or the after-care of girls retrieved from that lifestyle. I am a teacher. I am called to love and impact students for Christ. I believe that my students are of a special category. They are different than anyone else. I have a special calling that is specific to children in my classroom from Monday to Friday.

Another reason my job is so important is the parents of my students. Before my school was founded eight years ago, missionaries were forced to home-school their children. Some missionaries would leave the country because they felt they had to take their kids home for high school. There were no affordable, reasonable schooling options. There was one international school in town. It was not Christian, and it cost over $12,000 per year. Missionary women had no choice but to stay home and teach their children. Some women felt completely incompetent to teach high school science and other subjects to their children. Because of HOPE, they now have an option that allows them to affordably educate their children in a Christian community. Most of these women have been able to work outside the home in amazing careers. One mom, that has been liberated from the chore of teaching her two kids, began Chab Dai Coalition, an amazing organization that is working to bring an end to human trafficking in Cambodia.

I am telling you what a wonderful job I have so that you understand the burden I have. I love Cambodia, but my heart does not burn with passion to work in the slums. I love the idea of bringing an end to human trafficking, but I am not called to work with prostitution or the after-care of girls retrieved from that lifestyle. I am a teacher. I am called to love and impact students for Christ. I believe that my students are of a special category. They are different than anyone else. I have a special calling that is specific to children in my classroom from Monday to Friday.

I believe that God is renewing my passion for these students. He is burdening my heart with the desire to be a safe place for these special children. They need good role models. They need a “big sister” figures in their life because the normal role of aunt, grandmother, or “mom’s best friend” is very different than what most teenagers’ experience. These students need me. I have a unique opportunity here. I can be a huge influence in these teenagers’ lives because they are desperate for connection and affection.

When I came to Cambodia, I signed up for a two year term. I believed fully that after two years I would return home to my normal life. I would go back to my family, my retirement savings, my car, and my comfy American life. Now God is clearly calling me to renew for another year. If he wants me here longer than that, I don’t know it yet. It may be that I’m unwilling to hear that call. I am not eager to stay in Cambodia. I love my students, but it is a hard life here. It’s not a comfortable place to live. I truly miss America and the ease of living there. Unfortunately for my materialistic and selfish side, God is asking me to remain in Cambodia another year. I’m not sure why, but I know that this is His will and not my own.

One of the most difficult tasks of deciding to stay in Cambodia is that I need to raise more support. Asking people for money is not fun. It’s highly uncomfortable. To put your financial security in the hands of others is humbling and nerve-wracking. I would prefer to make excess money and be able to help others. However because my role in Cambodia is a ministry, I need my friends and family to help me financially. Talking about money makes people uncomfortable, and I am no exception. I naturally shy away from asking for monetary help. Except in this situation I have no choice. Maybe God is trying to humble me. Maybe He’s yelling down at me, “Carrie, just trust in me.” And maybe I’m just too weak of a person to easily give control of my finance over to God. No matter why it makes me uncomfortable to ask my friend and family for money, I must do it. I must trust that God knows why this difficult task is necessary for me.

Pray for me. Deciding to stay here is not an easy choice for me. I would like to go home. I would like to be near my family. But God is calling me to stay another year. Since making the decision to stay, God has given me an unexpected peace and a pleasant joy about spending another year here. Please pray that the finance will come easily, and I will not worry about it. Please pray for my family as I am far away from them for another year. Please pray for me as I need to find a new roommate in Cambodia. Pray for my students; they are so incredible.

Thanks for all your support. Your prayers are so important to me. Your emails are always a treat for me. I look forward to hearing from you all.

God bless you,
Carrie Cordell

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On Being a Missionary


I expected to change. I thought that moving to a third-world country to work in mission’s school would instantly change me into a compassionate, adventurous person. You believe that when you make these life changing moves your life will change. Sure several things change. You address changes. Your speech changes to adapt to those around you. Your daily rituals change. Sometimes the looks of a “toilet” changes. But me. I don’t change. Myself has followed me to the other side of the globe.
Who I am. The deep essence of me has not changed. I still have the same personality I did when I lived in America. I still make similar life choices now as I did three years ago. I still enjoy ice cream and hate tomatoes. My hair has changed minutely. It’s longer now than it was three years ago.
One thing I really expected to change was my spiritual life. I really expect a bolt of lightning from God. I thought that becoming a missionary meant that God would talk audibly to me every morning and evening. I thought once I moved to a dirty third world- country I would instant be the perfect Christian. Who would have thought that moving to the other side of the world doesn’t instantly make you closer to God. My relationship with God is not magically stronger because I made a huge sacrifice for him. Nope. I still have to pray to see God’s will. Missionaries have no easy button for God.
I also assumed I’d be a more compassionate person because I was living in the second poorest in Asia. Ha. No. I may have become more selfish by moving here. I feel that I have to look out for myself since my life is much harder now. I need to have more “me” time so that I can make sure I’m comfortable in my uncomfortable new home.
Strange. I didn’t instantly change into a wonderful person by moving.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010






The Last weekend of January we took the high school youth group to the beach for a "camp". It was great fun. We hung out on the beach, had worship around a camp fire, and ate smores (some for the first time). The kids were awesome. It's always good to relax with them outside of the classroom. We had an superb time.

Eating Tarantulas





The Cambodians eat spiders as a tasting snack. A few of my Cambodian friends have told me that when they were kids they'd go out into the rice fields and find tarantula holes. They'd pour water down the holes until the spider was forced out for air. Then they'd catch it and eat it. Sometimes they'd fry it over the fire. Sometimes they'd eat it uncooked.
So one of my goals before I leave Cambodia was to eat a spider. Last night we went out to a restaurant that serves Tarantulas (to tourist). They were well cooked in yummy sauce. It tasted a lot like pork rinds. It wasn't bad. I can totally understand why they would eat them. I wouldn't shutter to do it again.