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February 9th 2014
Published: June 10th 2017
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Last night after evening meditation we watched a movie together. Kids piled on laps, nestled beside adults, spread out on the floor or hugged in close; mostly everyone was quiet and attentive. The movie was long so some fell asleep under their blankets. Since the day begins early, by 9:30PM I was also sleepy, but still needed to take a (cold water only) shower before settling down for the night. All day long the Khmer wedding music had been blaring away, and now that it was night, it was getting louder and louder. Can I sleep through this? Apparently I can, for a bit at least. The music was constant, so nothing startled or disturbed its even flow, but sometime in the early morning, while it was still dark, it changed. It now sounded as if we were in a Heironymous Bosch painting. I could not go back to sleep.

So I lay there, in my narrow, hard little bed. For some reason it is cut so short even my 5'6" frame does not fit well. The mattress is long enough to fit a regular length twin bed, but because of the poles at head and foot to hold up the mosquito netting, the mattress therefore has to be folded over at one end, and tucked inside the poles. I chose to fold up the foot end, resulting in an even shorter bed. I am not whinging here, just describing the two beds in room 4 and the double difficulty of trying to sleep in a too short bed listening to loud music. It is not possible to sleep straight through the night without waking several times to untangle my feet from the twisted sheets at the foot end and wonder if the mosquito netting is still tucked in over my feet. I do remember the loud wedding and funeral music from two years ago, but I don't remember nightly fights with my bed. The other rooms have longer and wider beds so maybe one of these little beds can be switched out and replaced with a regular size bed, thereby offering one longer and one shorter bed in each room. Then I'd only have the loud music at night impacting a potentially sound sleep. I could probably move the beds with the help of one other person, into and out of the rooms, but since I am only living here temporarily Melinda or Wayne should be asked first, which I find I am reluctant to do because there must have been some reason for downsizing the beds in the first place. Maybe I'll just let it be; I'm only here for two more weeks anyway, and sleep will come when needed, no matter what size or how comfortable or uncomfortable the bed.

Postscript: I never did ask about switching the beds, as there always seemed to be more important work that needed to be done, such as fixing the broken water pipe to the volunteer dorm, and reroofing the girls' dorm, and whatever else needed doing. There is only so much time in a day. But I am surviving and occasionally even dream, so I must be getting adequate sleep. It would be nice to be back in room 2 however; even the mattresses in that room are thick and comfortable. I remember sleeping very well there.


28th February 2014

Good morning from a very decadent Florida, to say the least. Fascinating hearing of your challenges and the love of the children for you. There is a definite reason for you to be there. Saw Julia for coffee by the roadside in Gastonia, N
C as Jules and I were in Greenville, SC assisting Jonathan and three kids. Ran out of time and courage to look up Hugh and Eva on Greer, NC...hopefully next time. Traveling is crazy in SC and NC... Signage is awful! Looking forward to more glimpses of your Cambodia experience.

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