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Old 11-26-2004, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Hi I am home!

Howdy everyone!

I arrived home yesterday from Cambodia and am just exhausted... I feel like I could sleep for a week.

Cambodia was an amazing experience and I cant wait to return with my husband and my child. The first few days I just got around with a gobsmacked face on.. It is a country that is very difficult to describe, it is encompassed by so many dual features... It has this beautiful quality, yet you are surrounded by dirt and filth in the streets, The people have been so challenged by poverty and war and yet are so generous and welcoming, these kids have so little yet automatically share, there is so much poverty and right next to it are absurd excesses (mostly by western NGOs) your senses are bombarded in every regard and it can be so overwhelming and yet I experienced moments of great peace and serenity...

I am so grateful for the experience and am very joyful to be with my husband and child again.

Sadly enough, there was a distinct lack of Khmer food and we ate alot of western food.. mostly pasta. When we got to know people we were able to ask for Khmer food which was lovely.

I have never been that physically challenged in my life..the heat was amazing but by the last few days I was fine..

In Cambodia my friend and I were constantly hastled about our weight. But mostly in a positive way, it is hard to describe. For some one to be my size they must be really wealthy and to be able to afford the food to be this big is a totally abberant concept for the Khmer people that I met. So they would ask questions like "why are you so fat" and " what happened to you". but even though it was very challenging it was just a cultural diffrnce that I hadn't anticipated.. i had one women rub my arm and squeeze me telling me that I must be very lucky! LOL...

The first couple of days were very rough to be quite honest.. My weight was confronting in a manner that I had never experienced.... There was no hiding from it or avoiding the issue.. I am very glad to have been this uncomfortable and challenging.. when I was asked what I was doing letting myself be this fat it really hit home. Yes indeed.. what am I doing????

But I have to admit to not eating food that was that great.. but not by choice, so I will leave weighing myself until Monday. I look forward to loosing more weight. I wont go back to Phase 1, I will start on Phase 2 and see how I go... But I am feeling confident in a wat that I haven't felt before.

So I will see you all around the boards.. and I hope that everyone is going well.

Cheers,
Marianna
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Old 11-26-2004, 01:41 AM   #2
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Default Welcome "Home"

Hi Marianna, welcome back. It sounds like your trip was exciting. (What does NGO stand for?) The boards are a little slow this weekend because yesterday was a big US holiday and most folks are away visiting out-of-town family for the weekend.

Thats too bad about your meal choices being mostly western. I'm glad you were able to get local dishes some of the time. When we were in Thailand a few years ago my husband wanted western food all the time so we had to compromise a lot and I sort of felt like I got gypped. Also, while there I wanted to buy a couple of items of clothing and both times I had to get an XL and they charged more for the XL, saying "larger size is more cloth and more work." Yeah right, can you say WESTERN MONEY and Tourist Ripoff? Of course I didn't have to buy them but I did. Live and learn.

It also sounds like your trip was enlightening as well. Were glad you're back safe and sound. We look forward to hearing more about your getaway.
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Old 11-26-2004, 07:42 AM   #3
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Marianna, welcome back! How fortunate you were to have had the experience of such a trip... I envy you.
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Old 11-26-2004, 10:05 AM   #4
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Welcome back! What a fabulous experience for you! Oh, I miss traveling since I've gotten out of the service, but I have never been to a place like that. I can't wait to hear more about it!

Sending you a wonderful warm welcome home - to the States AND to your home here with the chicks!
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Old 11-26-2004, 10:50 AM   #5
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I can completely understand the weight in an Asian country. We went to China to visit my dh's family a few years back. We went to one of the big cities.

Everytime I went into a shop to look at clothes, the sales person would yell across the racks..."No clothes for you"-if they didn't speak English.

If they did speak English it was something like, "don't even try looking nothing will fit you, and don't even think about trying it on and stretching it out for another customer" They didn't come near to tell me, they always shouted it out from across the store. So humiliating. I would always smile politely and say, "Well, I was considering purchasing something for my Chinese SIL and MIL, but since you were so rude, I'll go shop somewhere else."

Their XL is roughly an American size 10-12, Larges are about an 6-8.

Glad you enjoyed your trip.
Sarah
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Old 11-26-2004, 08:59 PM   #6
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Hi,
thanks for all of the welcome backs! NGO.. stands for non-government agency, for example the united nations or red cross or red crescent... There are many of these organisations in Cambodia, it is one of the largest recipients of international aid in the world. But unfortunately they seem to spend a lot of money on thing like huge motor vehicles and hotels.. By there are many groups that do fabulous grassroots stuff that assist the Khmer people.

Marianna
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Old 11-29-2004, 08:20 AM   #7
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Hey Chick WELCOME BACK! Glad you had a safe trip.
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:03 PM   #8
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Yeah! Welcome back.

I was just thinking about you last week. Hope all went well!
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Old 11-29-2004, 06:54 PM   #9
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Marianna - Welcome home. It's great that you enjoyed yourself so much in Cambodia. I love Asia and would really like to get back some day...before I get too old here.

Sarah, I have an XXL pant suit that DH brought from China. I can wear it right now - barely - and all my other clothes are size 6 or 8. Every time I wear it, I smile when I read the label.

When we were in Thailand, I didn't find it quite as bad as China for clothes. However, DH's interpreters (2 spinster ladies) were telling him that American women all get fat when they were married. Unfortunately, at the time, I was about 186 pounds, so felt quite embarassed that they kept persisting with that topic. I would love to go back now because one of the spinster ladies was a bit on the chunky side.

Oh well, all we can do is smile at the difference in cultures...
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