We have now been in Cambodia for 2 weeks! This is my second failed attempt to get pictures on a computer at the internet cafe by our apartment. Next time is sure to work.
Carson did wonderfully on the 25-hour journey to get here. A couple of normal crying episodes, but nothing lasting more than a couple of minutes. He is a good baby to put up with all of this! We are taking lots of precautions like using Deet mosquito spray when he goes out (which has to be washed off as soon as we come in), him sleeping under mosquito netting, lots of hand washing, and he and I staying cooped up most of the time! On a side note, despite my best efforts to prevent it, Carson has become a tummy sleeper by choice. I guess there's nothing you can do when he can roll! He also frequently scoots around in a circle during the night. I lay him down with his head facing one way, and the next morning it's facing the opposite direction. We also finally sleep-trained him here. (After several failed attempts and way too much spoiling by me earlier.) We don't call it "cry it out;" I prefer "work it out." We did it pretty gradually, never letting him cry more than a half hour or so, and comforting him pretty often. Last night he slept from 7:30 p.m. til 5:00 a.m., when he woke up smiling and desperately hungry! Good boy!
I am getting used to Cambodia with time. A week ago my top descriptions of Phnom Penh would have included smelly, dirty, dangerous, and nasty, among other things. Ok, so those words still apply. But I am coming to appreciate other aspects of the country and culture. While here, I read a book called Survival in the Killing Fields, by Ngor Heing and Roger Warner, which is by far the book that has had the greatest emotional impact on me that I have ever read. It's not the first account I've read from a survivor of the Khmer Rouge, but definitely the most tragic. As I interact with Cambodians here, I am struck with the realization that everyone has been affected by the Khmer Rouge takover only 33 years ago. Anyone here over the age of 40 survived and remembers the horrors and has lost most, if not all of their close family members to torture and death. I have a great respect for them even though they are the ones slaving away to sell me my lunch for only one dollar or driving me around the city for a meager salary. This country is still recovering from its literal destruction, and it is interesting to observe the recovery first-hand.
In other news, Rick received an acceptance to Wake Forest's medical school, and we are deliberating renouncing our choice to go to Georgetown in favor of the more affordable and nicer living circumstances that Winston-Salem, North Carolina has to offer. Such a tough decision!!!
So, we are surviving here in Cambodia! More to come soon!