We finished week two of culture school with a deep sense of appreciation for being here. The school is really good. The first two weeks focused on language/culture learning. We have adopted a foundational perspective on language learning that gives us a lot of hope and excitement to learn Khmer in Cambodia. We have learned a ton of really practical tools that will accelerate our learning process. The teachers all have a ton of experience and are incredible teachers. The program is very well organized and allows for optimal learning and growing.
Likewise, the girls have been classes full time as well. They both really enjoy their teachers and classmates. They’re curriculum follows the same topics as ours; adjusted to their level and probably even more fun 😊. We are all getting some great communication tools that are already helping us adjust and grow as a family. One of the concepts we have been learning was yay duck and yuck duck. The idea is that paradox of simultaneously feeling both happy (yay) and sad (yuck) is normal. Rather than viewing yuck feelings as bad, the girls are learning those feelings are normal and even good if they are able to voice those feelings in community. For example, when we move, we will simultaneously be feeling happy about moving to Cambodia and all the Lord is going to do, as well as good yuck feelings like leaving our family and friends here in America. We are able to embrace and validate each other’s feelings, which has been building trust, vulnerability, and healthy growth. We are really excited about these communication tools as we know they will really help us adjust as a family in Cambodia.
Another highlight so far has been the relationships we have been building with the other missionaries. The girls especially have enjoyed playing with all the kids. To put it in perspective, there are about 36 adults and 34 kids. Harper has made some really good friends and is absolutely loving it here. The transition for Ember has been a little more emotional. We think the adjustment to being in class all day and away from Harper for most of the day for the first time in her life has been a major contributor. However, even with that, Ember is enjoying class, playing with Harper and the other kids.
This week we have transitioned out of language learning and into cultural adjustment, which we will be learning over the next two weeks. We really enjoyed the last two weeks, but are especially excited about the cultural training. Already we have been discussing what it is like for kids to grow up as “Third Culture Kids”. The idea being they will not be growing up as fully American, and not grow up fully Khmer. They will have a unique combination of cultural experiences with a unique set of challenges. The lessons have been from both the missionary perspective, and that of former missionary kids, which has been really helpful.
Please be praying as the next two weeks will include various stress exercises to help bring up our stuff to teach us tools for healthy processing and working through conflict in new cultural settings. It will be really good and we are looking forward to it, but we would love your prayers. We also need to pay for the girls school in Cambodia. We are looking for 20 people willing to commit to $50 dollars a month for the next year (+/- as you are able). Please go here to sign up for convenient tax deductible monthly payments.
We aren’t able to post a lot of pictures in order to protect some of the missionaries, but follow our social media accounts for updates. I’ll post another blog in a few weeks to let you all know how the rest of school goes.
Thank you for partnering with us in encouragement, prayer, and finances!
Aaron, Megan, Harper, and Ember Holmes