So, this week, I really struggled to pick a word. Not because none came to my mind, but because too many did. In going through this decision process, I then decided to stick with English this week and use a word that encompasses most of the others.
Part of Speech: Noun
Definition: an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.
This week I am participating in a storytelling workshop at my site placement. Not only that, but if you are an avid reader of this blog (or know about my time here in Cambodia), you know that I attended a storytelling conference last September. Funny enough, this is run by the same organization. Simply the Story hosts workshops all over the world and continually tries to teach about sharing the Gospel through story. Although the workshop this week is literally the same workshop as the one I attended in the fall, this time the entire thing is presented or translated into Khmer.
As I compare my two experiences in this workshop, I keep finding ways that I have grown in the past six months. Last time I stared with some people chose to tell a story in Khmer. I was lucky to understand Keenyom (the word for “I”.) Their language put me in a state of awe. Now, I still cannot comprehend large portions of what is being said, but I can pick up enough words that I get the gist of the story. Khmer still puts me into a state of awe, but now I can appreciate more deeply just how rich and beautiful words can be in the language.
At the same time, I also realize that the changes between then and now are not only changes, but are now part of my story. The story of my life in Cambodia. The story of the people I meet, the food I eat, the songs I sing, the conversations I have, the memories I make, the words I learn, and the moments I cannot fully express. Cambodia’s story is formed by the people here. God’s story is intricately woven throughout the people here. My story is richer because of the people here. Stories are important, and every new day I spend here makes me want to hear more tales from the people around me. Each of them are happy, sad, excited, scared, angry, joyful, nostalgic, mundane, holy, or somewhere in between, and I want to know every one of them. Share your stories, because they deserve to be told.
P.s. While enlisting help for the word of the week I had a few fun suggestions from friends that I think deserve honorable mentions: Chickens, Neeyay (Khmer for talk/say/tell), and meticulous.