Monday, March 30, 2015

Four Faces

Being in Cambodia is most definitely the coolest and most interesting experience of my life

Monument honoring the late King Norodom Sihanouk

So this past week has been absolutely crazy. We flew out here to Cambodia, all of the process was super insignificant except for when we actually arrived in Cambodia. We got here in the thick of the heat and surprisingly it was the same kind of heat that I had been working with Brother Bergstrom in over the summer. I'm not gonna lie its super hot. But I have had a bit of experience with super hot living Texas my whole life. So Ill be alright. 

Phnom Penh airport

Anyways we got here and went straight to the mission home and on our way I took a video of the traffic. Which should be on the Google drive. I was baffled haha. I also didn't know that in just a few hours I would be biking in it. So anyways we get to the mission home and nothing super cool happens we just sleep over for the night and the next morning we get our new companions and areas. So I was assigned to Chaktomuk area with elder Gardiner from West Valley UT. Chaktomuk means "four faces"and its the area right up against the Mekong river on the southeast part of Phnom Penh. 

So if anyone has seen Skyfall recently there is a scene right in the first few minutes where he is following a guy and then he runs out side and there's a street with just chaos going by and tons of motorcycles and mopeds and noise. That's straight up what I see when I step outside every single morning. It is AWESOME. I wish I had time to take more pictures but I'm trying to make the people that live by me not think I'm a tourist so I don't take pictures and I make sure I say all the words with a good Cambodian accent. Yesterday I was buying soap from this shop like right outside our house and there were two brands and he was like asking which one I wanted and I said "muay na kobaan" which means like "either one" and he started cracking up because I was white and i knew like a few words in Khmer. I actually didn't understand why he was laughing at first so I had to ask my companion later and that's what he told me. 

So there are also three main smells that I have seemed to mainly smell here in the city. 1. Rubber and tires 2. burning wood/ campfire smell 3. fish that are either being cooked or rotting. All of the smells that I have smelled here consist of one or two of these smells. In fact the rubber and campfire combination isn't that bad, and the campfire and fish isn't that bad either, but when you combine the fish and rubber it makes me almost gag. But it's all good...I have 2 years to get used to it.

I have a whole new perspective on traffic lights and it only took 3 days. Right after my mission I'll probably rack up a few tickets from running red lights. But let me explain: There are basically three types of roads. Big, Medium, and Small. So when two big roads intersect they usually have a traffic light. Which most people obey and would be dangerous  not to, but the people that really need to be somewhere can make it across fine. And as the light starts to count down (they have timers, which if they didn't I feel like they would totally ignore the lights altogether) at about 5 seconds left everyone just starts going. So here is where I needed to practice because taking a right turn and going straight is super easy but turning left is tricky (yes, I may need to mention that the roads are just like the US, they drive on the right). SO here is what you do. you go left before anyone starts across the intersection coming from the other side, and you start riding into oncoming traffic (mom just try to imagine that the cars and motos are made out of pillows) so then once you are on the very left side of the road you wait till there is a break and you shoot over across however many lanes of oncoming traffic there are, and then you go all the way across the lanes that are going your direction to get to the very right side of the road and then you're good to go. Until you need to make another left turn.

I believe this is Elder Gardiner. I found it on Elder Nhem's (right) blog. 

 I will talk more about the people we teach in next weeks email I just wanted to like create a setting for each lesson so you actually know what its like.

Love, Elder Hall

Wyatt's Travelog in pictures:

At the MTC, ready to go.

Getting psyched to bike all over Cambodia for 2 years.

Time to go: at the MTC travel office.

Waiting for shuttle to SLC airport with Elder Osborn.

SLC airport


Missionaries can't watch movies on the flights, so they watch the map.

Hong Kong airport?

About to arrive in Phnom Penh

Last companionship selfie with Elder Ros

Cambodia, Phnom Penh mission home

1 comment:

  1. Love the story about how to make a left turn! He is doing great! We are so proud of him...