Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years!

Well 2012. 
You have been one grand adventure. 
Technically we're losing 15 hours of you this year, because of the time change, but somehow I don't feel ripped off. 
You have brought precious time with family and hard goodbyes. 
You brought us Brenna and (much more recently) Adielle, for which Im so thankful. 
Along with some tears and hard times, you have also brought incredible beauty and joy. 
During your days, we have taken planes, trains, rickshaws, tuk tuks, autos, bicycles, boats and motorcycles. We have travelled far, run hard, lazed around, been bored and thrilled. 

We have met people, beautiful, full of life, people. We have heard their stories, seen their scars and wept with them. 
We have had our hearts shattered and put back together again. 
We have cried over the poverty, the loneliness, brokeness and sin of this world. 

We have rejoiced at grace, love, truth and the redemption of Jesus on the cross.
We have held crying babies, had conversations where no-one speaks english, prayed for the hurting and loved the ones who aren't loved. 
We have pulled teeth, changed diapers, combed out lice, been in hospital. 

2012 has brought us incredible joy and realization. 
The realization that when you allow God, the one who knows your heart, who knows every corner of your soul, design your life, it will be incredible
Incredibly hard, incredibly awesome, incredibly real.
 When you are willing, He will bring it! 

So heres to 2012. I will never forget you. 
And to 2013, whatever new adventure it brings. 

Yes. Andrew "accidentally" dropped me. 

Thank you all for your support and love! We pray that God will bless you this year! 
Bring it on 2013! 

Sunday, December 30, 2012


We were so excited to arrive in Cambodia! The country is resilient and the people are known for their friendliness and warmth! Once we crossed the border from Vietnam, we were greeted with local snacks. 
Toasted beetles, BBQed turtles and steamed crayfish. 
Yeah. Needless to say, we decided to sit that out! But the locals on the bus dug right in! They sat there, shelling beetles and popping them into their mouths like we do sunflower seeds!
 Welcome to Cambodia! 

Spot the turtles?

We stayed at a family run place in Phnom Penh. It was really close to the markets and on a quiet(er) street! Not to mention, it was $5 a night! Score! 

We enjoyed walking around the city, seeing the royal palace and museums. Cambodia has a violent, heartbreaking past. Its amazing that the people are still so sweet, but they are! 

We ate lunch at a small stand and sat with grandma and grand-daughter. We love having "conversations" with people that don't speak the same language! Their relationship was so sweet! 

We enjoyed cold sugarcane! I must have gotten it from my mom, because I cant stay away from the stuff! It tastes like my childhood in Paraguay! 

I thought I would show you what the local gas station looks like. Thats right! Big coke bottles with gas in them! 

Watching the sunset off the balcony! Beautiful!

This was the little boy who lived downstairs. His mom (and possibly dad, we don't know for sure) owns the place. She adopted him last year, which spoke volumes to me. Adoption is NOT normal in Cambodia. Its hard to believe, but he is actually Cambodian! 

Stopping for our afternoon iced green tea (for me) and strawberry milk tea (for Andrew).

These were at the local restaurant. 
No, Im not kidding. Frog and turtle is very common on the menus here. No I haven't eaten it yet and have NO desire too! 

After 2 days in Phnom Pehn, we took the bus south, to Sihanoukville, which is a beach town. The main beach was much too busy and "party town" for us, so after a long (not too much sleep) night, we decided to go to quieter beach. A short 3km tuk tuk ride away is Orches beach. Perfection! Quiet beach, sun and relaxation! We stayed for 5 wonderful, relaxing days! 

This is my favourite cambodian meal. They call it the "cambodian taco", but its nothing like a taco. Its more of a combination between an omelette and a pancake. You stuff in it lettuce leaves, with other fresh herbs, then dip it in a spicy, sweet peanut sauce. Amazing

We played some pool. It turns out that Im awesome. 
And by awesome I mean so terrible that a homeless 9 year old girl beat me and apologized. 
Yeah. I rock. 

I even found time to paint my toenails!

Andrew found an awesome starfish! 

This sweet little girl lived at our hotel. I gave her a drawing book and she loved it! Every time I saw her after that, she was scribbling away! 

Our kiwi friend, Bianca, and fellow canadian, Rachel. It was so nice to travel with them for a couple of weeks! 

Christmas morning at my parents house always means eating pringles and drinking eggnog. I have no idea why we do this or when it started, but its now tradition. So this christmas, feeling oh so far away from home, we had Pringles. It wasn't the same, but it was nice to think of where the tradition came from; Christmas with family.

Not too bad a place to celebrate the birth of Jesus eh? We didn't think so either! 

The hut accommodations. Sadly, we didn't get to stay in these ones, as they were full, but our kiwi friends did and they were amazing! 

We grabbed a bus back to Phnom Pehn, as we needed to pick up our passports (with our Thai visas!) from the agent. It was supposed to take 6 hours, but took 8. Welcome to Cambodia. Or really, anywhere in SE Asia! 

The Royal Palace all lit up! We weren't able to go inside because the Kind dies a couple of months ago. When the King dies, the palace is closed for 3 months to honour Him.

And we got to see this little guy again! He was so excited to see us! Lots of yelling and soccer playing happened before we had to catch our bus! And no, he hardly ever wears pants. Thats pretty common here, its part of the toilet training! Actually, I have only seen a handful of babies wearing diapers (and trust me, I see babies!) while the rest are potty trained from when they are newborn! (Its called "Elimination Communication" in north america, but heres not the place to discuss that further!) :)

Andrew and I laughed at this. Its truly a bank, but it makes me think of my american friends who (jokingly) call Canada, Canadia. 

So thats some of our time so far! I am behind in posts, so Im not going into too much detail! Im sorry! We are having such a blast in Cambodia, the people, the food, the sun! We love this place! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from Cambodia! 
We pray you will know peace and joy this season! 
Love, The Wiebes

Saigon and Cu Chi!

Our time in Nha Trang ended and we were excited to head to Ho Chi Mihn City (now called Saigon)
But not before enjoying the beach one more time! 

I are some rice puff thing (huge eh!) 

While Andrew enjoyed some young coconut juice!

And then Andrew got a $3 haircut! It ended up way shorter than he wanted, and uneven. But then, it was $3, what can you expect! 

After taking the night train, we arrived in Saigon at 4:45am! We enjoyed some coffee and were off for breakfast. We had a good laugh at this sign, and wished we could have it printed onto our t-shirts! We are constantly being bothered by people. In fact, when we left this restaurant, we were outside for about 1 minute and were talked to by 7 different people, all selling something! It gets tiring. 

Saigon is wonderful! Its busy and loud, never resting. Its also home to some amazing food and friendly people!

We found a tiny little place that served the most amazing food! We went back there 3 times in 3 days! 

We had a 1 hour massage ($5 each!), where they also massage your head. Andrew insisted on taking this picture immediately after, he thought my hair was hilarious. 

The most amazing fruit shakes! They were so fresh, yummy and large! For under $1 each! I love SE Asia! 

Some seafood, waiting to be bought. Not so sanitary here. 

We took a bus to the Cu Chi tunnels, which are a couple hours outside of the city. It was here where the Cu Chi people hid in the forest, dug tunnels and lived in them. They were made during the French occupation in the 1940's and then further expanded during the Vietnam war in the 1960's. It was pretty impressive! The underground community was made up of over 250 km of tunnels and chambers!

One of the tiny entrances! Hard to find in a forest! 

This lady was making rice paper. 

Many of the tunnels have collapsed, but we were able to go into a small portion of one. They have made them quite a bit bigger, but it was not comfortable to shuffle through them! 

As you can see "bigger" isnt very big to us! 

 Some of the bobby traps the Vietnamese set. 

It was an interesting trip! We really enjoyed our time in Vietnam and will miss the coffee so much!