09 January 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Family Visiting

My mom and brother are coming to visit! :-) Yeah!

This is exciting news! I have been based in Cambodia for three years and this is the first time anyone in my family is coming to visit. I thought perhaps one of my cousins would be the first – but it looks like my mom and brother will be the winners!

It is so strange to think that they don’t already know my life here. I feel like PEPY and our work here is such a big part of who I am and what I live and breath that the fact that they don’t know Cambodia, have never met Maryann our Managing Director or Meth our house mother, don’t yet know the bumpy road out to Chanleas Dai and how much better the road is now than it used to be, and perhaps do not fully understand what projects we do here at PEPY makes me confused on where to start next week. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that they are not involved. My mother lives PEPY every week, poor thing! She is our US accountant – the home address of PEPY’s US registration – sorting through our mail and donations (which have been steadily dwindling with the economy though our need for funds to finish the junior high school continues to grow!), and she makes weekly visits to the US banks where we keep our funds to deposit, transfer, etc. She puts an enormous amount of time into PEPY each week, but I think seeing Chanleas Dai and our programs will give her a whole new perspective on what we really “do” here and the potential impact, both good and bad, it can have.

My brother is the same age as most of the PEPY Tours participants and as many of our interns. I am looking forward to showing him where I have lived and worked for the past few years and to see what questions he has and what he thinks of our work.

I guess I am looking forward to their visit so they can “know me better”. So that when I talk about my life, they can picture it. So that when people ask what I do, they don’t have to say “she lives in Cambodia and does NGO work” and not really know what that means. So that I can see what their reaction is to what I do and where I live and maybe reflect on my own opinions of my life and choices. I have chosen to live in Asia for the last 6 years – far from my family and life-long friends. Will they better understand that choice once they have been here? Or be even more confused about their far-off daughter/sister?

I guess we’ll see next week! Either way, it will mean I get to know THEM better too by spending time with them both, more time all together than we have been able to spend in years, and I’m looking forward to that :-)