The Holidays…

This holiday season has been a lot of fun. A lot of the reason for that was who we spent it with. Lori got here from Canada two days before Christmas. Then the next day Steven Kings (Kayla’s sister and her family) came from Thialand, to spend 4 days with us.

Christmas Day we didn’t do much that was extra special. Just had a good meal, played games, and enjoyed some family  time. I guess that’s how the next couple of days went.

The one day we took Stevens out to Bakong, and showed them a lot of what we do here. It was fun watching their boy Isaiah run around with Forrest. Their family lived in a city for three years and barely got out so anything nature related was really cool.IMG_9106.jpg

On Thursday Charity got here from Alaska. We four oldest children would have gotten to know her fairly well at Beaver Lake Camp this summer, and she and Lori made plans then to come over together…A couple hours after Charity got here Stevens left.

On New Years Eve, we stayed up late and did our family tradition of putting together a jigsaw puzzle until midnight. A couple minutes before 12 we went up to our rooftop patio, and watched the 2018 come in with a bang…Literally actually…From our rooftop we could see fireworks that people put off all over the city. We weren’t quite surrounded by fireworks but it was getting close…

On Monday Frank’s Family invited us and Sen’s to go with them out onto the lake for the day. We rented a big boat and went way out on the lake for lunch. Soon after lunch we came closer to shore and went swimming.

On Thursday our family went up to Kulen Mountain for the day. It was a real treat go there, because it’s a bit expensive. We hiked down to the falls and were there for a bit before heading downstream away from all the people that were congregated around the falls. Once we found a place downstream that we liked, we sat down and ate a snack. Soon after that most of us children were wading in the river. About 4 o’clock we headed back up close to the falls. Much to our surprise everybody was gone…Apparently the sun going down behind the mountain or the time scared them off. Either way we had the place to ourselves and a few of us jumped in the pool there for another swim…

Then on Friday we spent the afternoon at a waterpark here in Siem Reap. We really enjoyed it, but were soon wishing the slides were higher/faster.

Saturday and Sunday were pretty much just normal, except for Sunday afternoon Lori headed back to Canada…We were sad to see her go, but she wasn’t quite as sad to go this time as she usually is..:) Those of you who are in the know, know why. The rest of you I guess you’ll just have to wonder…

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Here’s a family pic we took since we were all together again.

Well that’s all for this time…

Luke for the Helmuths

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December Busyness

December has been really busy right from the beginning of the month. On Monday the 4th Mom and Dad, went to Phnom Phen to meet with a lady about getting some paperwork in order. The meeting went well and they came back late Tuesday evening.

Before Mom and Dad got back from Phnom Phen, my cousin Kayla Yoder got here from the States. She is teaching my younger siblings for the rest of the school year:)

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Around the 10th the Khmer Christmas season officially started… Well, that’s what it seemed like anyhow. Over here all the churches do a Christmas party involving a service, food, and very loud music…We’ve been invited to at least 5 this year, and I know of 5-6 others…Maly’s church has their party early so that people aren’t as busy yet, so that was the first one we went to, which seemed to kick everything off.

I started teaching English again around on the 12th. I hadn’t started teaching English again after furlough, because I had to teach my siblings until another teacher could be found…Chandra had been teaching the classes, but she was leaving on the 15th so I took over for her.

On Wednesday the 13th we had all the staff along with their families over to our place for a farewell supper for Chandra. We also used the opportunity to pack 300+ little gift bags to hand out at our Christmas party, which was planned for the 16th.

Chandra headed back to the states on the 15th…We did a lot of preparation for our Christmas party that evening. Some of what we did that evening was tent set up, butchering a pig, buying vegetables, and practicing some singing.

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Practicing…

Early the next morning, things started happening for our Christmas party. Tables, stage, and sound system were set up. Food was prepared, and songs were practiced one last time. Then came the wait. On the invitations it said the program was supposed to start at 3 o’clock, but it was close to 4:30 before we finally got started.

The program went well. We had singing, Sokhom told the story of Jesus’s Birth, and Dad had a message on salvation (our reason for the party).IMG_9016

Half way through the program we realized we didn’t have enough tables and chairs for how many people had showed up so we quick went and rented more. Our closest estimate is that there was 430 people there. We had only planned for 350.

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Just part of the crowd…There was about another time this many to the right…

After the program came the food. All of us staff and some volunteers tried to serve everything as quickly as we could, but it was  really really hectic for a while. After finally getting everything served and cleaned up, we staff finally had a chance to eat, but there wasn’t any food left…Well that’s what we thought for a while, but Frank’s sister had stuck some back for us right when we started serving it. She said that she knows the Khmer people in the area and knew there wouldn’t be any left even if we’d have had twice the amount of food, because they’d just have taken more home if there was extra…

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There was a major traffic jam leaving once supper was finished.

The last of the month has been busy too, but because this post is getting long already I’ll just wait a week or two to post about the actual Holidays…

Well that’s all for this time…

Luke for the Helmuths