Word of the Week Wednesday 3/15/17

Top of the morning to you!

Welcome to another wonderful Wednesday! Although St. Patrick’s Day is this Friday, I thought it should be incorporated somehow. Fun fact, “top of the morning to you” is an Irish greeting, and a normal response would be, “and the rest of the day to you!” However, that phrase is a freebie for your Friday festivities! Today we are looking at the word….


Language: Khmer

Part of speech: adjective

Pronunciation: t’mei

Translation: New

Now, while this word is not new to my vocabulary, I found it strikingly relevant quite recently. As mentioned about a month ago, I am now in the second half of my year here is Cambodia. I am astonished every morning when I look at the calendar and realize that March is already here, and a quarter of what we were just calling the “new year” is almost over. Now, I often try not to dwell on the time I have left here because it makes me quite sad and distracts from the now. We were warned when coming into this year that there will be days that become monotonous, or routine. This is even more likely the longer we are here, but I realized this past week that “new” things are still happening.

I am still trying new foods, seeing new places, meeting new people, learning new words, and thinking new thoughts. New is a word that we often take for granted. It is the dress we just bought and want to show our friends, it is haircut we try when the old style wasn’t doing it for us, it is the occasions that can be memorialized, or highlighted. But what about all the new things in our everyday life that we may not remember as being new six months from now?

For instance, I learned the word t’mei months ago. I cannot tell you the exact date, or even what made it stick in my increasing Khmer vocabulary. What I can tell you is that the day I learned it, you better believe all my hostel friends knew it was new to me. Learning a new word is exciting, and makes me want to use it so that it really sticks. And now, new is old, and I’ve moved on. But THAT is what we shouldn’t do. Rather, we should realize that the small and big moments that are new today and every day are still important when their shiny paint is faded.

Just like that pair of shoes you never want to stop wearing, that song that is always in your head, or that friend who never had an expiration date, new things become old things that make up our life. So, celebrate that new piece you just painted along with your crumbly clay cup from second grade. Rejoice in the comfort food you ate as a sick child while also finding new foods and flavors. Remember the new today, and then remember it again in 2020.

Keep Shining,



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