I’m tired of feeling like ants are crawling all over me, and ignoring it, and then realising that ants are crawling all over me.
I’m tired of luke warm showers in the dark.
I’m tired of not feeling clean and not being able to find nice Khmer food to eat, of always seeming to be stuck with the slightly average to borderline poisonous rice and pork.
I’m tired of falling back on badly done Western food as the ‘safe’ option.
I’m tired of rats and mice and mosquitos, and I’m tired of them being in our bedroom and our kitchen.
I’m tired of not sleeping.
I’m tired of being woken up at 5:15am by Khmer Kareoke as the school is opened.
I’m tired of the smell.
I’m tired of always having a thick layer of spilt milk and pencil sharpenings and spat out food, of piss and mud and crumbs caked in to the soles of my feet, no matter how many times I wash, or how hard I try to keep them clean.
I miss wearing socks.
I miss good coffee.
I miss cuddles in bed and holding hands in the street and I miss salad.
I miss green vegetables and swimming, I miss lifting weights and going to the shops in my active wear.
I miss being paid.
I miss having a job.
I miss having somewhere to call ‘home’.
I miss my whites still being white when they come out of the wash and I miss my fabric detergent.
I love traveling.
I love teaching.
I love being immersed in a new culture, I love making new friends and finding out what really makes Cambodia, ‘Cambodia’, but this whole experience hasn’t been the rewarding heart warming ‘gap yah spiritual awakening’ they’d have you believe it is.
I’m part of the staff, but not really.
I’m a teacher, but not really.
I’m not here long enough to make a difference and it frustrates me to the point of exhaustion when I try.
I want to stay, I want to help, I want to teach.
It’s my passion, my vocation, it’s probably my career.
It’s satisfying and rewarding and you feel a sense of purpose…only I don’t feel that here. I’m so preoccupied by my own selfish misery that I can’t get past how difficult that class is, how hard they are to teach, I can’t think of new and different ways to engage them be as so far al efforts have crashed and burned or been met with “No, teacher.”
It’s every day, right in the middle.
9 more teaching days.
I’m counting down.