Nostaligia, and Sharing Pieces of Cambodia at Home

A few nights ago, I dreamt about Cambodia.  In the dream, it was my last day working at Green International School, and I was spending it with my kids and coworkers.  Then, I was struck with a sense of panic: I did not, could not, leave, I was not ready to move home.  Dream-me planned to immediately cancel my flight, apologize to my parents, and stay.  I woke up, feeling panicked and teary, only to realize a few moments later than I am home.  And I’m (mostly) happy about it.

But some days (today, my dream day, and many others,) I miss it like crazy.  I miss my students, and teaching in general.  I miss watching them learn and improve.  The little things, like a student writing “cat” on their own, or drawing a picture of a flower complete with seeds, roots and a bumblebee for pollination was incredibly fulfilling, and I feel like here, I am not yet living up to my full potential, or doing what I’m meant to do.

I will go back.  And most likely, I will teach again – in Cambodia, the US or elsewhere in the world.

But for now, I’m trying to do what I can from home.  I’m working at Strand bookstore in New York City while I find a job in non-profit (which I will succeed in doing, in spite of what people have to say about nonprofit and the job market.)  I am also working with my mom on an exciting project:  as a way of maintaining connections with CCPCR (the organization that runs a shelter for child trafficking survivors), my mother and I are selling some handmade Cambodian products and selling them in person, in shops like Dem 2 Hands (Montclair, NJ) and now, online, too.

We have just opened a shop for these gorgeous silk necklaces on etsy, which you can find at https://www.etsy.com/listing/159192891/beautiful-silk-bead-necklaces-handmade .  The necklaces were made by women with disabilities and diseases, trained by a fair-trade store to make silk goods and support themselves, and their families, financially.  I invite you to access the site, and buy one (or two, or three!) for yourself or as gifts.  We’re hoping to develop a Western market here for various Cambodian-made silk goods, and this is our first step.

A HUGE thanks to everyone who has helped support ECPAT Cambodia and CCPCR, by donating online, purchasing prosperity hens and attending the event at Yogadishu in Montclair.  Child sex trafficking is a cause is so close to my heart, and I’m going to do my damn best to continue to spread compassion and knowledge back here at home.

Love, as always,

M.A.

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4 thoughts on “Nostaligia, and Sharing Pieces of Cambodia at Home

  1. Beautiful sentiments from my beautiful Melissa and the necklaces are so lovely. Tell your Mom to bring some this weekend. Love you so much.

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