Krache: Day 3

*edit-apparently pictures aren’t working on here, so go to to see pictures.*

Cheum reop sua!

That’s the best I can do to spell out the common Khmai (Cambodian) greeting.

We’re at the end of our third day of work in Krache now, and what a day it has been.  Each day thus far has been filled to the brim with activity.  This particular morning started off with a special bit of excitement in the form of PANCAKES from our wonderful cook, Sotie.

This morning, several of us went to the children’s center for our second day of tutoring while the rest of the group remained at the “Bamboo House” pouring cement and painting.  While at the center, Caroline taught violin and I  taught piano.  Austin, Dr. and Dr. Mrs. Nielson got some kids hooked on phonics and a special English class was held for the older children who had the day off of school.

This English class, taught masterfully by AK and Alexander, deserves some further mention.  In an effort to help the children experience  American culture and in an even greater effort to remember names, (the children’s names contain consonants and vowels that I am fairly certain none of us will ever be able to hear, much less pronounce) Alexander and AK encouraged the children to each pick an ”American” name.   This experiment resulted in names such as Grapes, Desmond, Diego, and Chips…American nomenclature at its best!  From what I hear though, the rest of the class went off wonderfully,  Grapes turning out to be the star pupil.  The afternoon English class, taught by Rebekah and Jake, yielded names ranging from “Iguana” to “Batman”.

While AK and Alexander taught in the upstairs of the main building, I was under the stilt-supported house with a keyboard and several attentive students gathered around me.  During our tutoring sessions we generally have 3 different students, each with a one hour session.   I am proud to announce that three Cambodian children are now able to sightread the melody from Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C major and just about anything else I write out for them.

In the afternoon another group (HollyAnne, Jake, Rebekah, and Wilson) went to the children’s center to tutor while the rest of us continued work at the “Bamboo House”.  Around the time when Caroline and I finished applying the 5th (really, 5th) coat of paint to the cement walls, the cement mixer broke and the guys decided to call it for the afternoon.   We all piled into the van and headed over a bumpy road to the children’s center for a greatly anticipated volleyball match.  The Cambodian workers had challenged the men of our group to a volleyball match.  Let’s just say the intramural scene at Covenant did nothing of significance to prepare our guys for the skill they met in the Cambodians today.  Despite our team’s failure to deliver, the children sat by the sidelines and cheered for the “Scots”…and for a certain Jake in particular.  “Jake” means “banana” here, so the kids seem to appreciate any opportunity to shout the name “Jake” .

I don’t feel able in these few paragraphs to do justice to all the smiles, cuts and bruises, laughs, and conversations that came with today, but know that they were plentiful, and that all served a purpose.

This is the point where synopsis of the day stops and where I begin to record some of the musings I had while painting , so feel free to zone out, but it would be pretty great if you could just keep reading.

I’ve spent a good amount of time this trip worrying about being “that short term missions team”.  You know, the one I learned NOT to be in Community Development class this semester.  I’ve been so worried about hurting instead of helping that at least in spirit, I haven’t been helping at all.   I recently heard a speaker (Covenant Commencement 2011, holla!)  talk about the significance of  doing the seemingly small things of the kingdom, the significance of being pretty normal.   I believed the term he used was  “plodding visionary.”   It’s sort of ironic that this would start to mean something to me while I am in the middle of Cambodia.   God has clearly put me here in Cambodia for these two weeks for a reason.  I’m here, aren’t I?  Nothing but pride made me so concerned with being “that missions team”.  There is something beautiful about finding the space to trust God, strive towards humility, and to simply serve as asked.  My mom used to always tell me “do a little, do it well”.  This is just as true in Cambodia as it was when she asked me to pick up my floor.  God is a God of little things in big places.  God is a God of big things in little places.   We are called to live out the gospel , to do the next thing, to “do a little and do it well” wherever we are.  Let this be your prayer for our team this week.

I know this post is horribly long already, but if you’re like me, everything is better with pictures, so I’ll leave you with a few I took at the children’s center today.

-Hannah Copeland (+the others)



3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lea Kelly on May 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you for your story. I hope none of you will fret about “too many words” because all of us praying here are so thankful to have the updates, but mostly the reflections the Spirit is giving to your hearts!


  2. Posted by Marian Horne on May 15, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Hey Cope! (Hope the use of the Tower room nickname is ok—I’m just so used to hearing it from AK that I can’t help myself!) I loved reading your synopsis of the day as well as your “musings” at the end. Thanks so much for sharing your heart!! Love, Marian Horne


  3. Posted by Susanna Griffith on May 16, 2011 at 3:24 am

    I love the blog! The guys’ defeat on the volleyball court reminds me of how the males of last year’s group got creamed 11-1 in a soccer match against the South Africans. Painful, really.


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