I spent the first week home just getting re-acclimated to life in a developing country after all the comforts of the States. I was jet lagged for a few days and would almost immediately fall asleep by 6:00 pm. Thankfully that cleared up after a bit and I was back to my old self. My trusty bike had 2 flat tires after 6 weeks of no use, but I walked her out and had her patched up so we are back in business! We've been zipping around town getting things for the house, buying groceries, going to the gym, hitting the market for fruit...old friends finally reunited! :) During my first week, I was also able to meet up with my host mom, sister, and baby sister. We had a fun reunion and I had a great time sharing the gifts I'd brought back for them. My favorite purchase was Oshkosh B'Gosh overalls for the baby. She looked so cute and knew they were for her right away. She'd forgotten me while I"d been gone but after about 10 minutes, she remembered and we had a great cuddle session. My host mom was excited so see me and immediately tried giving me food...something about mothers, they always need to feed you.
The next week, I headed to down to Phnom Penh to attend the wedding of fellow Peace Corps volunteer John and his Cambodian fiance (now wife) Muoy. I met up with Peace Corps staff and volunteers in Phnom Penh and we rented a small bus to take us all out to the wedding. The wedding was in one of the most rural villages I've ever been to. We spent about 3 hours on small bumpy muddy roads and also crossed the giant Mekong river on a ferry in the middle of a storm. When we finally arrived, all the boys were kicked off the bus which was transformed into a changing room. All of the American women stepped off the bus transformed into Khmer women as we donned our traditional garb. We got lots of good-natured laughs from the locals who appreciated our effort. John and Muoy have been my partners in the navigation of cross-cultural relationships and all the good and stressful times involved. I'm excited for them as they move to Phnom Penh and start a new life together.
Yesterday my friend Sam and I went out the school where we will begin teaching in July - Jay Pritzker Academy. I picked up all my curriculum and met with my future students on more time. I'm excited about getting started with my work and being busy again. In all honesty, I'm also terrified of those 25 soon-to-be 3rd graders! I've never taught elementary school before so perusing my teaching books caused a minor panic attack. I know it's going to be a fun learning experience but a challenging one as well. The kids are adorable and so eager to learn...I hope I meet their expectations!
I still have about 3 1/2 weeks until I start working. I'm having to create new projects to keep me busy. Mainly my day revolves around a couple hours at the gym and pool, an iced tea and internet at my favorite cafe, and then home watching episodes of either Lost, Brothers & Sisters, or 30 Rock. Not much excitement in my days, but I'm storing up relaxation for when my life gets busy again. I'll updated again after school starts and hopefully post some pictures of my school...it's one of the prettiest places here.