Family Day 2013

This week, the SP Poipet staff celebrated Family Day 2013 in Siem Reap. You might remember this crazy water park from last year's family day, complete with concrete animal statues and slimy water. This year, the staff decided to avoid the water park (maybe because of the high rates of diarrhea they encountered afterwards?) and stick with a trip to Siem Reap for lunch and games at Angkor Wat.

Clockwise from top: eating with staff; introducing Andrew's team and family; my friend with her (now walking!) daughter; the view of Angkor Wat

In Cambodian culture, family is the most important aspect of society, and family day allows everyone to meet each other's spouses, kids, parents and siblings. When the staff know each others' families, it builds a sense of community - besides, many of the families are friends already, so it's fun to reconnect with people.

The day started off early enough...the staff wanted us all on the bus and ready to leave at 6:30 a.m.  6:30. For a three-hour drive for lunch. Needless to say, we didn't leave on time - and not just because Andrew and I didn't get there til nearly 7 a.m. We were not the only ones who arrived late! Around 7:15 a.m., we finally rolled out of town, all the staff and families loaded up on two buses. We stopped several times to pick up staff who lived out of town and again about half-way for bathroom breaks. Almost immediately upon departure, the driver started up the karaoke videos at full volume and continued to play them the entire three hours. Luckily, I was prepared for this and brought ear plugs, which brought the volume down to a non-painful-level.

We arrived at the restaurant and ate lunch together in traditional wooden huts. The food was a mixture of sour soup with seafood, curried fish, barbecued chicken and stir-fried vegetables. After lunch and a short break, we loaded up in vans again to drive over to Angkor Wat to play games.

The games were fun, but one turned into a bit of a disaster. To be fair, the guys planning the games had thought of them on the way over to Siem Reap on the bus, and they are not parents. Which explains why they thought it would be hilarious to have a drinking game with the four-year-olds.

The kid's face is priceless..."Did I do that?"

All the three-to-five-year-old kids were given 16 oz. bottles of sweet tea and told to chug them as quickly as possible. Shockingly, most of the kids couldn't finish, and the ones who did promptly vomited it right back up - to the laughter of all the adults. Considering that half the kids were already car sick on the bus on the way to Siem Reap, I was pretty glad I wasn't riding back on the bus with everyone. Of course, the previous episodes could have been due to the fact that parents were feeding their kids chocolate biscuits at seven o'clock in the morning...

Despite the drinking game disaster, the other games between husbands and wives and the toddler race were really fun. And as the day ended, I felt thankful all over again that God has called us to work with the SP Poipet staff, to build relationships with them, and to be taught about what it means to live in community with believers.
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