Babies Revisited

Back in August, I wrote about a newborn care lesson I went through with a friend and her neighbors. Today I took a trip back out to the area to meet all the new babies. I was pretty happy to see them fat and healthy.

I have to admit, I didn't ask if they used any of the lessons they learned during our time together. I didn't feel like I needed to - seeing the babies chubby with bright eyes and smiles, it was apparent their mothers were caring for them lovingly. I also learned about an interesting Cambodian old wives' tale. I narrowly missed being peed on by the little boy, who started a whizz about 10 seconds after I'd handed him back to his mother. My friend laughed, saying, "Oh, but Khmer people say, if a baby does pee on you, soon you will have a baby, too!" Not sure if she was just joking at my expense, but I have to say I'm glad I missed out on that one!

I love driving out to my friend's house. It's a relief to get out of the dust and exhaust fumes that make up the air of Poipet, drive into the country, and breathe clean, fresh air. The highway out there is actually pretty good - smooth, no potholes - to facilitate the tourist buses and semi-trucks that cross the border in and out of Thailand every day. Driving down the road, you see a weathered man with a floppy hat pedaling a bicycle loaded with plastic bags; a woman sitting tall, driving her three young children in school uniforms home on her motorcycle; the occasional moto-trailer with a massive hog in the back, on his way to his demise. People work in damp rice fields with broad-rimmed hats, and children play in front yards with no shoes or pants, excitedly chorusing, "Hello, barang!" when they see me drive past. 

This week, I've been working on writing some health education lessons for next month, after we return from our holiday trip to Japan. I won't lie - we are pumped to leave tomorrow and go to the land of snow, sushi, and snowboarding - that's what we'll be enjoying while we are there. 

I have to admit to being pretty apathetic towards Christmas this year. I think a combination of heat over 90 degrees every day, no Christmas traditional anything anywhere, and irregular church attendance due to traveling has made it difficult for me to turn my heart towards the upcoming holiday. It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me. (Of course, I've never been a big holiday buff.) I'm truly looking forward to two weeks of rest, reflection on the past year, and dreaming up new hopes for the future here.