Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cambodia 2009

Cody ran in a half marathon in Cambodia while we were there!!! Here is a great action shot!!! I am such a proud wife! He has never really been a runner but when he makes his mind up to do something...he ALWAYS follows through!!! I woke up very early with him just so I could be there to cheer him on. I really wish I would have trained with him, but I didn't so I was just his cheerleader:) I was really nervous for him. I knew he had ran 11.5 miles about 2 days before we left, but I also knew the weather played a big role in his running. It was cool that morning but warmed up to 89 degrees before the race was over. Cody finished the race and I was soooooo happy for him! What an accomplishment!

People actually live on this lake. They have floating homes. Cody told me it was the only day he actually teared up. I had several moments but I missed out on this lake tour b/c I was sick:( Let me tell you, being sick in another country is a WHOLE differnt ballgame!!! Phenergan and this anti nausea liquid medication were my best friend for a couple of days. I believe Cody could actually relate to that as well. He got sick a couple days after I did. We recovered quickly though, thanks to medications!

Here is a Tuk Tuk and our driver! I described it better later on in one of the pics. He will take you wherever you wish to go for a small fee!
This is a Pharmacy in the village

These pretty girls are called Apsara dancers! Apsara dancing is a very unique dance which involves moving their fingers and hands in ways I could never imagine! It was really fun to watch! We had dinner while they danced! I really dressed up for the occasion... Ha!

We ran into Andrew Zimmerman from Bizarre Foods while we were on the Ankor Watt tour on elephants! He talked to us briefly and told us his show would be airing during the early spring- April! I will have to be sure to catch that episode...thank goodness for DVR!

I got to feed an elephant bananas during a tour of Ankor Watt!!! I was a little scared at first but then I warmed up to it! Elephants love to eat, that's for sure!!! He ate the entire bundle of bananas and even the bundle....if you know what I mean!

We were honored to attend a wedding while we were visiting Siem Reap. The story is truly amazing! The groom in the picture below had a 4 lb tumor growing on his face for several years. It almost looked like another face on his face. PCL posted it on the Internet and soon after that, French doctors called and wanted to do surgery free of charge!!! He had MULTIPLE surgeries but it was all worth it to him in the end. Someone said he could not even look people in the face b/c he was so embarrassed. I cannot even imagine how that must have felt. He finally got to walk down the aisle with pride! He did good too! His wife is BEAUTIFUL!!! I don't have the before picture but I got to see what he looked like while I was in Cambodia and it is a miracle how he looks now!! This story was truly a blessing from up above:)

Angelina Jolie is a strong advocate for Cambodia. She has a home in one of the villages in Siem Reap. Her oldest son, Maddox, was adopted from Southeast Asia.

This is Angelina Jolie's favorite restaurant in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It turned out to be the BEST food we put in our mouth in Southeast Asia!! Cody and I both got the chicken Parmesan and it was fabulous!!!

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of their troubles" Psalm 34:17

This is where the movie "Tomb Raider" was filmed! The tour was amazing to see!

This is an example of the water tank supply system. This is for an entire village to have clean drinking water.

Notice the small village house behind us....this was where this girl lived!

This was the pool at the resort we stayed at in Siem Reap, Cambodia!!! It was absolutely beautiful!

Me and my sweet hubby taking a ride in a Tuk Tuk!!! Tuk Tuk's are scooters/motos that have a carriage hooked to the back of them where people sit. I thought they were the neatest thing! However, the ride could be very scary at times weaving in and out of traffic in Cambodia! People over there do not wait on someone to pull out ahead of one another, they just take off as they please. They don't have speeding limits or many laws at all.

Cody and me standing in front of Ankor Wat

Sandy, me, Tim, and Mike helped serve the children ice cream sandwiches....which are very different than what we eat.....they are served one scoop of ice cream (vanilla or chocolate) on an open piece of french bread. I wasn't sure about it at first, but it is actually REALLY good:)

These girls are standing in front of the PCL Orphange. They are extremely happy and blessed to be there. Some of these girls would have been sold for sex trade. So hard to even imagine! I am thankful for PCL for providing a safe, clean, home for the children. There are also 4 widows who live there as well. They do all of the cooking and cleaning. They also provide the children with motherly love as well!

Okay if I could take any of the orphans home with me it would definitely be this little guy.....his name is Braum.....isn't he a cutie:)

We took all of the orphans on their very first hot air balloon ride!!! They were sooooo excited and loved every minute of it:) It was a real blessing for me to see how happy they were!

Cody and I on our very first hot air balloon ride!!! The view was beautiful looking at the largest temple in the world.....Ankor Wat!!!

We visited an orphanage in Cambodia and one of the girls presented me with a present (a beautiful yellow/orange scarf) thanking us for everything!.....the same night, we said a prayer for them and then they turned around and put their hands on us and PRAYED FOR US! Wow! Talk about shedding some tears. Now that was SPECIAL:)

Hugs are the greatest gift of all!

All you need is LOVE!!
A baby boy trying to nap in a hammock in his house. When I saw him, I immediately thought about Reed. Reed has it made,you know?? So sad:(

Home made cast out of bamboo, cloth, and some sort of glue?

I have been trying to find the time to blog about our mission trip to Cambodia. Well, it is now 11:00 at night and I guess it is on my heart to share. I would like to start off by saying....Cody's business partner invited us when Reed was about 3-4 months old. My first response was "Are you kidding me? I have a newborn baby!!!" "You want me to go for HOW Long??" Cody realized it was a tough decision for me but managed to keep bugging me to death about it. A little background...Cody's partner is a part of a Non-Profit organization called People for Caring and Learning. This organization is one of the few non-profit organizations that 100% of donations go for the cause with nothing going for administrative costs. The greatest need in Cambodia is clean, drinking water. People for Caring and Learning have installed water tanks throughout the villages and also water filters in several homes. One water filter can supply a family of 4 for 1 full year with clean drinking water for only $10!!! PCL also builds houses and schools for the Cambodian community. Each house costs $1000 to build! So far, I believe they have built 10 homes but Fred Garmen(the director of PCL)and may I add an AMAZING man, has so many more hopes and dreams to come!!!! He even made the comment that he would live in Siem Reap if he did not have a wife and grandkids back in the U.S.!!! You can visit the website at Okay, now back to my response...I talked,cried, debated, prayed, and prayed, and prayed.... Well, Sunday morning rolled around about 2 weeks later after Cody popped the question, and I will have to say our preacher spoke about stepping out of your comfort zone to reach someone or do something for someone else around the world. His message spoke to my heart and I felt led to do church was out.....I told Cody how I felt and the answer he had been waiting for was finally.......YES! I have decided to go with you to Cambodia!I would have to say, it was comforting to see how happy my final answer made him feel but most of all I had a peace about it all. I felt real good about it for a while and then I would look at my little boy and just think how in the WORLD could I ever leave you for so long??? I knew though without a doubt the Lord would be the one to give me strength, and he sure did!!!!! My wonderful parents and in-laws were AMAZING for us during this mission. Cody and I both appreciate and love them sooooooo much!!!! We could have never made it out of the country without them!! That aside, the morning we left had to be the HARDEST DAY OF MY LIFE EVER!!!! I was much better after I got in the car about to Hampton which is about 30 miles outside of El Dorado. Cody and I really did need some time to reconnect with one another and get away, so at the end of the was well worth it! Anyway, our experience is so difficult to explain to anyone who has not been there. I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am to be an American!!!! We have it completely made over here in the U.S. However, The Lord gave me comfort by knowing my baby boy would be taken good care of. During all of my thoughts and prayers......all I could keep telling myself was how I would LOVE to share my love with other children who DESPERATELY need it!!! I will have to say...... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!! I could share sooooo much more but it would take forever so I will just share my pictures. It was really hard to pick just a few pics for this post so I may post more later. Here are a few to enjoy!


  1. I have been waiting to see your pictures from Cambodia. I know this trip was hard for you and Cody but very rewarding at the same time. I know yours and cody's faith has grown and that is so amazing the opportunity you both got!!! I would love to go to a third war country and do therapy. I hope maybe one day I will get that chance. I teared up on several pictures the one that really got me was the little boys homemade splint bc that is OT work and it breaks my heart to see that. Thank you for sharing. I love you and hope to see you soon!!!

  2. I didn't know you went to Cambodia! When did you go? How long were you there? It looks like you had an amazing experience!

  3. Love love love the post. I want to hear more about it!!!

  4. Joni so sorry. It is Amber Evins that just posted that comment. I am having trouble posting comments that show my name.

  5. Joni, what a great storyboard of your trip. I want you to come talk to our UMW and bring your pictures. Maybe we could set the computer up to show the slides on a bigger screen!! We were so happy to keep our sweet grandson, Reed. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness when I knew you and Cody had landed in LA. God is so good!

  6. oh my! I was tearing up the whole way through these pics. I'm not sure I would have been strong enough to be around those children. It would make me so sad. That is an awesome thing you and Cody did. The little boy napping in the hammock just makes my heart hurt. Thanks for sharing those!