I have always been reminded that even outside of formal education, we learn something new every day. So, rather than give you a list of over 300 things I have learned this year, I compiled a short list of life lessons, practical skills, and just plain silly things I have learned this year.

  1. When going to the market to buy sugar, it is best to at least know the word for sugar or salt in Khmer
    1a. The words “It tastes like the ocean” are never positive when making a dessert
  2. It is possible, albeit a bit tight, to fit ten people and their luggage into a Toyota Corolla
  1. English is weird
  2. Putting on Tiger balm and then touching anything near the face (especially eyes) is a horrible idea
  3. The differences between outputs, outcomes, and impact in project proposals are really nuanced, and yet simultaneously extremely distinct
  4. Clean handwriting really does disintegrate the longer someone learns a language
  5. The saying about remembering things being like “learning to ride a bike,” is an accurate analogy, based on someone who went from riding no bikes for about six years to riding through traffic in Siem Reap, Cambodia successfully
  6. There is something really special about hearing a worship song sung in three languages at one time
  7. Cambodia’s palace is pale yellow, no matter how many times I convince myself it is blue
  8. When describing the weather, “hot” and “cold” are a matter of perspective
  9. It is important to read the bottle when buying laundry detergent to avoid the possibility of using fabric softener for six months
  10. Height is one trait that is taken advantage of much more frequently when someone is the tallest in the room
  11. There is a way to cook fish that allows people to just bite into it, bones and all
  12. Although cockroaches have been described to me as able to survive the apocalypse or anything else, if they get stuck on their back then they are dead
  13. Drinkable water, especially cold water, is a gift
  14. Don’t know, ask!
  15. Need help, ask!
  16. Things that happen in the United States, even small ones, affect the wider-world in ways that we do not even know or think about
  17. Attempting to explain the difference between conscious, conscience, sub conscience, and subconscious in simple English makes for a ridiculously difficult and ultimately hilarious conversation
  18. People can put sweetened condensed milk on pretty much anything, and it is delicious
  19. How to tie a balloon
  20. The Lutheran understanding of communion is not classified under “consubstantiation”
  21. Mosquitoes are just as attracted to me here as they are in the United States
  22. The “F-word” in Khmer DOES NOT sound like the word for “to help,” despite what someone says, so avoiding the word “help” for fear of swearing is really just going to deplete the number of available sentences
  23. Senses of humor may vary drastically, but smiles and laughter really are universal

 

Ashley

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