Inspiring day and the big spill!

The day was especially inspiring and recharging. 
Firstly I visited the university and saw the classroom where I will be teaching. It helps me to feel orientated; although I’ll be glad when the first lesson is over and I find my flow.
Then I enjoyed a long brunch with my journalist friend – who is also Jewish. I mention that because I’ve never met a ‘practising’ – if that’s the right word Jewish person before. So it was quite amazing to learn more about the traditions especially over the weekend, see her pray and bless the food. There was something quite enchanting to hear singsong voice in prayer before eating. 
As we chatted about her job and the challenges she faces – believe me, you haven’t seen censorship and corruption until you’ve been here, I felt more inspired by her. Especially when I listened to her current personal conflicting emotions of personal morality, professional capacity and the fear instilled when being pushed to keep within the lines of censorship. As the rain poured we sat on the balcony. The refreshing rain to clear the sticky humid heat. We reflected some on my personal journey, my marriage and my feelings as well as considering that of my husband’s. I wouldn’t usually talk with someone about this personal situation or reflect verbally – instead choosing not to focus on the subject. I found her honest questions and personal experiences really helpful. A refreshing insight that was honest and I knew would require later in depth consideration.
We decided to head out on our motorbikes later in the afternoon for a chance to soak in the rural and real rustic Cambodia.
I returned to my hotel briefly. Feeling both tired from the intensity of our talk but also refreshed – awakened.
We took a long drive out, which was absolutely amazing.
 I will post pictures on a different entry for anyone interested.
Towards the end of our ride, I had followed in order to take pictures, she took a quick swerve to the right, assuming something was wrong I followed. I watched in horror as she skidded out and fell, only seconds passed before I hit the very loose gravel and lost traction myself to come off the bike. My instincts are very good on the bike. I know to let go of the handlebars, and I knew this situation was a lost cause because of the loose gravel. I’d previously had a calf panic and decide last minute to jump in my path but I was able to take an almost doughnut like swerve with a leg down to avoid it. 
So there we lay, the two white girls with our bikes on us in a dirt track miles from anywhere. Once I made sure she was ok, she looked very shaken, my immediate concern was getting the bikes started. 
As we carried on (thank god the bikes are pretty tough) I found the whole thing hilarious. How silly we must have looked! 
The drive back along a main road in dark was awesome as lightening gave a spectacular show.
Back at my hotel I took my first aid kit out and pulled gravel and stones from my cuts and used especially strong antiseptic wipes – which stung more than the cuts. In NZ, I wouldn’t have been so diligent to treat the cuts, but here the risk of infection is too high.
I faired the worse between the two of us, but it’s all great fun. Who hasn’t taken a spill negotiating the dirt tracks in Asia?!
We had dinner at my hotel, but she looked exhausted and drained and left soon after.
I sat alone, enjoying the local beer.
My head was full of images I’d seen, our conversation, refreshing and much needed rang gently in my heart.
But the biggest thing for me was to sit in the present. I have accomplished so much already. Met so many insightful and inspiring people. Been fortunate to see the surrounding province. The darkness was unthreatening as it settled around my little guesthouse, home. The sounds of wildlife and distant beeping of motos. The chatter next to me of passionate NGOs talking about their elephant conservation project which was indeed interesting (I’d met the project manager earlier). And intend to ride out one weekend and see their progress.
The air was clear. The beer cold and welcome in my mouth that still had residual grain and sand from our ride.
I was sat in the present. Relaxed. At peace. I soaked in that blissful feeling. 
An anonymous face in a country full of pride and committed to family and work ethic. My own stories kept quietly in my heart and my mind able to just enjoy every thing around me.
A special day. 


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