Name That Itch!

After spending the last 3 years of my life cold, I am definitely getting what I asked for on this trip, HEAT. A way of staying cool in the Cambodian heat is the use of the oscillating fan. Yes, it keeps you somewhat cool but often times I find it drying out my contacts or contributing to a game I like to call “what is that itch?” With my hair slightly moving in the wind, I am unsure if any movement on my body isn’t something else. In our host house, I have found limitless ants and mosquitos. Sleeping at night means waking up a few times itching and then checking out all the new bites in the morning. This also doesn’t make me feel any better about my lice scare since all the kids that I work with have lice and how can you say no to hugging them. Thus, it’s a battle of do I itch because if lice, ants, mosquitos, or is it just my imagination?

This is only the tip of the iceberg that has left me feeling rather vulnerable in Cambodia. My definition of cleanliness has been altered slightly, lice checks are practically a daily occurrence, and being a sweaty mess is part of the daily uniform. I say this with humor, I am one nasty bitch at this point.

I am constantly using antibacterial gel and hand wipes and never leave the house without my own toilet paper. I have seen some of the worst bathroom practices and dare not say more than that. I have also concluded that I should no longer have my hands anywhere near my face.

I really just have to sit back and laugh at this point. I have learned to embrace my “nasty bitch status.” No matter how gross I may feel or what my eyes might see throughout the day in regards to cleanliness, there is still no other place I would rather be. Martin Buber says “all journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware,” so I am taking the bright side of things knowing that my current cleanliness status is only but a wonderful part of this secret destination; enjoying the goodness that comes from vulnerability.

Itchy, itchy….I got to find out what this new itch is……till next time.


2 thoughts on “Name That Itch!

  1. Yes, Kathy, you are a real adventurer. I think on a lot of days I would put up with the itches for the warmth! But today there was hardly any wind and it was Tshirt warm. Not supposed to last; merinos tomorrow. So think of us back in merinos, and it'll probably cheer you up. I have a harder time with the makeshift toilet thing. I never was much of a camper! All power to you and your fortitude. Hi to Garnett.


  2. Hariata, my NZ tramping days have prepared me well although the NZ bush is 5 star compared to Phnom Penh. I hope you enjoyed the good weather day. I'm sure Oriental was buzzing with goodness. I did see it was quite windy the next day. Sending you my love with a little Cambodian heat! Hugs!


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