If I have learnt anything in this past week, its you need to learn quickly. I’d always read and heard in my missions classes in seminary that you need to be adaptable, malleable, able to be molded and shaped easily. It’s amazing just how quickly you learn something when injury could be only a few inches away.
Learning to ride a moto is by far the most exhilarating, scary and fun thing I’ve learnt to do. These roads are crazy. I don’t think I’ve ever driven so defensively in my life, with so much caution and weariness of people on the road. You need to learn quickly when driving, because one careless action could mean injury or death. But its fun and fuel for a moto is cheap, only about US 75c per litre.
Back home in Australia, the doctor prescribed me some antibiotics for some infected cuts that got infected back in Australia (not Cambodia..) with staphylococci. The medicine is in capsule form. Now, I’ve never been able to swallow capsules or tablets in all my 24 years. They’ve never gone down right, even with water.
Normally capsules shouldn’t be broken, due to being slow release in some cases and a full release at once can be dangerous. If you know anything about pharmaceuticals, you’d know they can contain carcinogenic materials or other dangerous chemicals. After failing to swallow the first set, I checked with a doctor friend who checked with his pharmacist friend who gave the A-OK to break open the capsules and just down the contents with water, because the contents are relatively safe.
Of course, because of the mix of chemicals you’d also guess that the insides of the capsules are incredibly bitter and taste awful. Take it from someone who has learnt the hard way – don’t break them open. I was so over it after the first day that i managed to successfully swallow them for the first time in my life, and have been doing so since.
Between learning how to read, write and speak in Khmer and learning and experiencing culture, brushing up on my mental math on my USD and riel equivalences, learning how to navigate the roads and learning how not to crash and hurt myself on the moto, the teachability you bring with you to a foreign nation is perhaps one of the most important things you can bring.
I may be here to teach english for 6 months, but I’m also here to learn and be stretched and be changed by a people and culture very different to my own and perhaps even more so, here to learn more about God and His great plans and purposes for the nation of Cambodia.