Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Khmer New Year

Last week was Khmer New Year.

I'm so lucky that there is a Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Maryland where I could go celebrate in what felt like I was back in Cambodia for a few moments, with people I love and served with in Cambodia.

We got to see the Wat (temple). We got to see more Cambodians than I ever knew lived in Maryland. We got to speak Khmer, and drink sugar cane juice, just like we did in Cambodia. And we got to dance. We got to Khmer dance. It felt like I was going to see my Cambodian family any moment. It was just hoping to experience. I've missed Cambodia so much and it was so wonderful to see Cambodian culture alive outside of Cambodia. I'm so glad that I was able to go and experience, if only for a moment that I was back in Cambodia.

The two videos at the bottom are one my friend took of us Khmer Dancing to a live band, and a video google automatically put together from pictures and videos I took that day. Don't mind the cat picture in the middle, it was just fun to see the compilation of pictures and videos together.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's Finally Happening

Today. Today is the day. Today I am going home to finally be reunited with Hal. FINALLY!

103 days after I left Utah.

92 actual days apart from each other.
92 mornings of waking up alone.

92 pictures with my cat.
Endless hours of skype and g chat calls.

Endless ridiculous snap chats to make each other laugh on those days where you're unbelievably lonely.
Lots of money spent on flights.

14 handwritten letters sent to Hal.
It was all worth it. Hal is graduating next week, I have a fabulous job that supports us both if it needs to; and we finally get to be back together.
And I don't even know how to express to all of you how excited I am.

No more days of waking up alone.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Single Digits People

Can you believe it?! We're down to less than 10 day until we're back together. I can't believe it. I can't stinking believe it. Guys, I get to actually live with my husband again.

I saw some Peace Corps friends this weekend and they asked me what I learned about myself during this whole process of living apart from my husband. I guess I hadn't really thought about it before, but it seemed like my answer was an important one.
I learned that I can take care of myself. 

I went from living with my parents straight to getting married and living with Hal. My entire life I have had someone around to help take care of me, or help me out when I needed it.

For the first time in my life I didn't really have anyone I could rely on that wasn't thousands of miles away. Of course I had people I could ask for help, and lots of fabulous people invited me to dinners, and to hang out, and pick me up and take me to the airport, but as I explained it to Hal, for the first time in my life, I didn't have someone who loved me unconditionally, that I could talk to about anything; that wasn't 2,000 miles away.
It wasn't easy by any means. There were times that I was desperately lonely. There were times that I felt I had no one to really talk to. There were days where the only living thing I talked to was my cat. There were days that I didn't leave the house because I was just plain sad.

It has been a hard 3 1/2 months. But I did it. I took care of myself, and I realized I can take care of myself. I can feed myself. That may seem trivial, but I've always struggled with hypoglycemia and keeping my blood sugar is a good place. So realizing I can completely take care of myself, and eat on a routine, and not go out to eat hardly at all was a really big thing to me.
I guess I've just always thought of myself as lazy and knew that people would help take care of me, but now I know I can not only take care of myself, I can also take are of a cat and two plants at the same time; and I can do it even during some of the saddest days I've ever had. I'm pretty sure that's like super human. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Harper's Ferry

When Hal was here we had a rare day of almost 70 degrees so we decided to take advantage of it and go hiking. My boss had suggested going to Harper's Ferry. It's only an hour drive from DC. It's right where Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet, and is where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet.

Overlooking the river is where Jefferson stood and said something like "this is a sight worth crossing the Atlantic to see" It probably looks a little more spectacular not at the end of winter.
The town is amazing. It's like literally stepping back in time to the Civil War which made the town famous of John Brown's raid on the armory.

It also happens to be almost the halfway point of the Appalachian Trail, and where two other national trails meet up. So there's a lot going on.We used the foot bridge to cross the water and we hiked for a few miles on the Appalachian trail. It was flat and easy, but cool to say that we walked along the Appalachian trail! There were tongs of people with children and dogs out around the town and all along the trails, so it's definitely a family friendly place.
We stopped at The Town's Inn for dinner. It also happens to be a B&B, and we were really tempted to stay with how cute it was and how fabulous the food was. All home cooked, made to order, and with perfect portions. And then we headed on down to Swiss Miss, where they sell ice cream from a local creamery that doesn't have food coloring in it!
Tip: don't go all the way out to the National Park. It's like 2 miles outside of the town. While parking can be difficult near town, it's not impossible. We parked a bit outside of the main part of town and walked less than 10 minutes into the city center. Also, on the road closest to the river, there is a parking lot for those who want to pay the $10 National park fee, and you get a map of the area. If you go to the national park, you pay $10, get a map, and have to take a shuttle into town, and the shuttles stop running at 5pm. The map is handy, but if you want to save $10, you can print it out online before you go. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

3 Long Long Long Months

Tomorrow marks 3 months that Hal and I have been apart. 3 months since I got on a plane and moved 2,000 miles away by myself.

It's funny the things that come up when you're away from your spouse for a long time. Both of you start to forget things that were like second nature when you were living together. Both of you start to have insecurities come up because some days it literally feels like we will never be back together; and you get into fights over those insecurities. Coming to the realization that you're really just fighting over fear and insecurity feels like a revelation; and you just have to have faith in each other and knowing those insecurities will fade as we are reunited.

We officially have less than 2 weeks until we're permanently back together. Well, not quite permanently as Hal will be spending his summer part time in DC and part time in New Jersey, but 4 hours away is a lot more bearable than 2,000 miles away.

I don't think tuk tuk can wait for these daily pictures that I send to Hal to end. I don't think I've ever seen a more disgruntled cat. She's been giving me the stink eye almost every single night. This first photo is my absolute favorite, she looks like two face kitty. Hopefully both of us can hold out for these next two weeks, because even though that doesn't seem very long, when you're waiting to be reunited with your love, it feels like forever.

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