The Longest HOTTEST Year of my Life!

Well….it’s official! Abby and I have been living here in Cambodia for an entire year!! I would love to fly on the oh so common statement…”that went fast!”, (despite the fact that it did) but I can’t. I think I am more inclined to stare at you with wide, deeply serious eyes, take a deep breath and say, ” wow, what reeks?” JOKES! Sorry it’s too hard to be serious….Truthfully though, I don’t know how to summarize a year of Camp-Bloat-Ya in a single statement!  I just can’t!  I am pretty sure though, that a bunch of reflective Circle People cartoons will help me out! Yup, all you Circle People fans out there….this ones for you!  I felt these scribbles would be most appropriate being that the whole concept of them happened after coming here!  So please enjoy the following post!

Abby and I

Abby and I

Here we are depicted back in early 2012! After a series of conversations (I was informed we had) I agreed to move with Abby to Cambodia. We decided to wait one year to get everything in order. In all honesty, as exciting as it sounded, I half thought we wouldn’t go through with it! I mean WHO on earth firmly decides to move to a country across the world, THEN  checks a map to learn where this place is and what language they speak, and actually follow through with it!? We do!!! Cuz we’z smart!! Yeeeehaw

Yeah so, very soon after arriving there was a definite shock factor! I didn’t realize I was moving to one of the craziest places in the world! I knew it would be intense. I knew learning the language would be hard. And I knew jumping back into pioneering would be a struggle! But come on!!! Seriously people. The heat, the pollution, the traffic….the nose picking! Oh and the smell! At one point I would yell at guys who were peeing publicly on walls as we drove by saying “your stinking up the city!!!!” Moto rage! Lol. It was an utter and complete assault to all my senses!  Put it this way, in a sometimes tearful or as I mentioned loud way, we truly realized we had no idea what we got ourselves into. But like most stubborn people, we were not going to give up too quickly!  What doesn’t kill ya…..might mangle ya! Jokes

After a few months, Abby decided this place was for her! Things seemed to be going really well for her and she had latched onto our new lifestyle. I on the other hand, seemed to be enduring trial after trial. I was in a sense mad she liked it here because I disliked it so much. Mostly because of the awful things I was dealing with. If she at any moment said she was done, I would have been done too!  This being said, there still remained this ridiculous feeling that I can’t give up! My brain contained a battle of epic proportions….go…NO STAY….go…STAY!!  What baffled me the most though, was when I envisioned our new life here in Cambodia, it was like I just KNEW I would be helping Abby cope and certainly NOT the other way around!

The Thinker

The Thinker

To say the least I have had lots of time to think! A whole year! And now I am really quite wise! Haha. Ironically I drew my version of “The Thinker” depicted as me because I honestly feel I went and continue to go through a molding process.  A sometimes very painful molding process!  The only reason it hurts so much is because I started off the year as a lump of half dried clay. I don’t suggest anyone let themselves become that way! You won’t get anywhere if you crack under pressure! Be pliable! ………..see guys, WISE!?

Type Type Type Bla bla bla

Type Type Type Bla bla bla

Through thick and thin I have kept up this blog. It has literally been a coping mechanism for me. But I am also the type of person who needs a creative outlet, so this was my ticket! So whenever anything crazy, gross or ridiculous happened I immediately tried to find the humor in it, so I could write about it! Figuring out that I actually enjoy writing was hilarious to me in itself because I hate reading! Finding out people actually read this blog, was even funnier!

The Conqueror


No I haven’t conquered the world, but I have conquered “this year!” It’s complete! We both survived and we have all our limbs!!  We are about to sign another year lease for our apartment. I’d say that’s growth!!  It may have been the hardest year of my life thus far, but it has been the best for me as it has made me a far stronger person.  And though my gauge only measures myself…. I feel like I am a better person as well!!  So I will end on a small, not necessarily complete list, of things I have learned this year….because I love to share! ( Actually I hate sharing, but its my latest project so if I say it, maybe it will come true! )

The List of Things Sarah learned in 2013” ….
1. Always drive with your mouth closed and your visor down!

2. Cambodia has a more than reasonably acceptable amount of scream sneezers! ( The people who scream and sneeze…instead of just plain old sneeze!)

3. Abby is soooooo clutzy! I never knew it before! I am flabbergasted! I am not kidding, the other day she passed me on her way to the sink to clean off the remote control that had a huge blob of ketchup on it! Not a spatter, a massive blob! Don’t ask me about white shirts, last portions of delicious food or little ledges built for tripping people!

4. Never cheap out on toilet paper! Just……just trust me okay! Don’t do it! And on that note, never trust a fart! Especially here!

5. It won’t become easy till it stops being hard! Hint hint: trials start and trials end!

6. Finding a hair in your food is the LEAST of your worries!

7. Keep your life simple! STOP buying stuff!! It’s just stuff!

8. Any place can be home with good coffee! Um, can someone send me some good coffee?? Jokes

9.  I will never say ” OH I LOVE the heat!”  I used to say that always. I thought having lived in Australia for 2 years meant I knew heat!  Nope!  You have no idea!

10.  And I realize this sounds really After School Special of me, but……TRY! Always do your best because nothing good comes easy!!

This is a thank you card I got from one of the girls in our hall who knows VERY little english but helps me with Khmer. It says " Thank you very much.  I like bong Sarah"

This is a thank you card I got from one of the girls in our hall who knows VERY little english but helps me with Khmer. It says ” Thank you very much. I like bong Sarah” I blurbed out the name.

I love this note it says " Abi and Sara Thanks for letter. Abi always take care your young sister so good and Sara always making joke.  * If you follow this blog, your email notice will have the wrong picture of the note on it.  I guess I have to hire a different post -checker -before -publishing -person.

I love this note it says ” Abi and Sara Thanks for letter. Abi always take care your young sister so good and Sara always making joke.
* If you follow this blog, your email notice will have the wrong picture of the note on it. I guess I have to hire a different post -checker -before -publishing -person.

PS! So our official day was Feb 7th! We had planned to get a few friends together and go for a yummy dinner and have an epic night!  INSTEAD, both Abby and I have been sick for a week!  Finally went to the doctor THAT day as I was fed up with being sick!  I was told I had a regular irregular heart beat and was immediately sent for an echo test and ultra sound on my heart!

Starting the new year out right!!

Starting the new year out right!!

As you may notice this picture looks like it was from 1973. I put a filter on it to look that way to match the condition of the equipment they used to do most of my testing.  All and all, it was a FALSE alarm and I am SERIOUSLY FINE!!!!  I got to see and hear my heart for only $42!! DEAL! OH YEAH!  In the end, the day may not have been epic….but at least it was informative and relatively cheap!

Thanks for always reading guys! Please let me know your thoughts! Comment or send me an email! Would love to hear from you all!

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43 thoughts on “The Longest HOTTEST Year of my Life!

  1. Michele Thoeny says:

    Reading your posts makes my day. The honesty and humor are blended so well. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of life on the other side of the world!

  2. Kristy Lebid says:

    Sarah- This was one of my favorite reads(although I think I say that about all of them haha). Thanks for all the laughs for the last year. Writing about the trials you and Abi went through with humour, helped us though our trials, so thanks! Glad to hear your hearts ok! Can’t wait to show the kids this.:) Take care and moto on!

    • Thanks Kristy! I am glad it helped you! It’s funny a few people have said that when really I wrote this blog for sheer humor! Glad good has come of it! And it’s exciting the kids like them too….the pictures anyways! Thanks for commenting!! I appreciate it!

  3. Cori says:

    Just read your `much anticipated` Blog….It is the best one yet…I LOVE the circle people …so so proud of you girls..True grit…You didn`t know that Abby was clutsy???Mom

  4. Kristy Lebid says:

    Oh and the whole nose picking/eating is not isolated to Cambodia, you should see your sisters still in Canada( see I didn’t mention your names Amber& Marcie ;), the nose grazing that goes on when they watch a movie….oi!:-)

  5. Colleen says:

    Have been enjoying your blogs. Happy one year anniversary for Cambodia

  6. Tricia Niebergall says:

    Oh sarah! Love your honesty, honest people are encouraging. Plus you’re funny.
    2013 has been a pretty big year! Hope the next has many great moments too
    Lots of love

    Sent from my iPad


  7. amy says:

    So proud of you both! Your drawings need to be made into a book please 🙂 Would also like a Sarah-Slang guide book 🙂 Take care of yourselves!

  8. debshare78 says:

    Hi Sarah, we love your blog here in England, I frequently read it aloud to my children, but sometimes cant finish because I am crying with laughter! We think youve done amazing this last year, its a real inspiration to us all! May Jehovah continue to bless your efforts.
    Lots of love, The Share Family
    PS We love the circle people, you should do a childrens book, def include the nose picking one, my kids loved that!

    • Yesssss! More circle people fans! And in ENGLAND! Wow. I am continually amazed at how many people read my blog! I am truly greatful to hear from you! Thank you for all your kind words as well! Here is my official Shout Out to the Share family! Thanks for reading!

  9. Amieeee says:

    Sarah you write my favorite silly blog!! And thanks for the reminders: ill start working more on the “try” and not being a crusty lump!! And Seriously you don’t need to have a heart condition to inspirational 😉 xoxo-ur neighbor in t-land ameeeee:)

  10. Laura Stiles says:


    My name is Laura S. Totally went blog hopping when my brother went to Thailand (Mike and Kenzy S – you met them on your trip I’m pretty sure). Anyway, they told me about a sister’s blog (Offering Ourselves Willingly), who mentioned your blog, so I’ve been weirdly stalking you now from Cape Verde. Don’t be creeped out, but I bought a one way ticket to Cambodia 😉 I love reading your blog and figured I’d finally tell ya! You have a great sense of humor and are a very good writer. I find it amazing that we are living in completely different areas (over here on this tiny, undeveloped island off the coast of Africa and you, in a huge bustling insane city), yet the experiences can be very similar and as a result encouraging to me over here. Nice to know I’m not the only one who goes through ups and downs need-greating and that, when all is said and done, the experiences we gain in life and the advances we make as a person are worth so much more than the conveniences of wifi and iphones and big comfy couches and clean streets and nice grass at city parks and Mexican food and especially missing our family. But, in 100,000 years, when we look back, those few years we spent away will be so small in comparison, and yet like a bright light on who we are as people and what we treasure in our memories from this old world (which is the only thing we can take out with us…. not pizza deliveries at midnight, unfortunately ;).

    But anyways, thanks so much for keeping up with the blog. It’s not easy to keep it interesting and positive and regular (I didn’t even try to do one cuz I know I couldn’t). But I read blogs like yours like I read the yearbook – for encouragement and sometimes a wake up call that other people do it and survive and are still happy in their assignments 🙂 So, thank you!


    • Wow! Thank you for your comment Laura! I should tell you I am a little creeped out though! Jokes! I am glad you stalk this blog, that’s why it’s here. I am glad to hear you benefit when really I wrote it mostly to try and make people laugh and give myself a project! It is very true though, we all have our struggles where ever we may be! Thankfully not for much longer! Thank you so much for following despite having not even met me……Yet!! Keep up the good work in Cape Verde! I will be thinking of you!

  11. Paula says:

    Oh Sarah and Abi,
    What can I say? I am BEYOND proud of you both.Not only did you “stick it out” for the whole year but you have left your own mark in Cambodia (not with pee on the wall or dropping a turd on the street or by picking your nose in public – although give you a couple more years there and you may start “fitting in” better!! haha) The lives you have touched there is evident in your studies and letters from the ones you have associated with in the congregation.
    And yet on a daily basis you not only affect those in Cambodia with your great example, but all of us around the world that have the privilege of reading your blog and emails. You remind the rest of us that we need to focus on more spiritual things, to let go of this world and focus on the new world to come. You remind us of whatever crappy little things we are going thru here is nothing to what you are enduring there, and not just enduring you are thriving!!! We love you and miss you beyond compare (not that you would even notice by our lack of contact… Sorry, we are working on that). As much as you were hoping Abi would give up and say “I hate it, lets go home” we were secretly hoping you both would come back (of course ours were for purely selfish reasons) we want to be in the presence of AMAZING girls like yourself too.
    Thanks for the blogs and pictures and HILARIOUS experiences!! Keep sharing, keep strong and we can’t WAIT to see you this summer!!!

    Hugs and Kisses!
    Paula, Andrew and Koya

    • You are just sooooooo full of it!!!
      Only kidding Paula! I was taken back by your comment. Was so nice of you to say and take the time to write. I am glad you didn’t tell me to come home by the way. No one ever did. It made me mad that no one did! But knowing I stayed because I wanted to, out if laziness in not wanting to fly…lol( loser excuse) and the challenge in itself feels pretty good! I can’t wait to see you! Not Andrew tho, just you! Love, Sarah
      Ps. Prob Abby will like your comment too, but who has time to wait for her. Besides, this is my blog! Lol!!

  12. Jen Tasi says:

    I am so proud of your courage and stick to it ness. Love your blogs

    Sent from my iPhone


  13. Dad says:

    Just want to say how proud that we are, of you and Abigail. You in this last year have come to realize what is said in the 34Psalm vs. 8, “Taste an see that Jehovah is good,O you people; Happy is the able-bodied man that takes refuge in him. Happy to hear that you are staying another year, have rented out your rooms for another year! Love Dad

    • Well thanx dad! All I can say is I tried my best. I know though it wasn’t all on my own strength! Love you. I am sure Kona, Jasper, Koba and Maui will enjoy our rooms….free of charge.

  14. Whitney says:

    I seriously think I are my new favorite person. Your such a good writer and ur mind/art is so uniquely you and I love that! Keep being strong and hopefully we can come and be a support system for our newly found Cambodian family

  15. Sherry says:

    Okay, so I know I rarely…almost never comment on your blog however there has been many times I have laughed until tears were running down my face. What an experience the two of you have had. We are all so proud of you. Thanks so much for sharing this last year with us all. The pictures and life experiences you have shared have truly been amazing. Jehovah has blessed you with such wonderful things and thank you for sharing those blessing with all of us. Miss you girls.

    Carl, Sherry & Montana

  16. Ria says:

    Happy anniversary Sarah! The circle Abby realizing how much she loves it there really was awesome. Thank you always for the fun stories and drawings. I am a huge fan, and it looks like there are many huge fans here. Keep up the good hard work you both do!

  17. ACCinMA says:

    Hi Sarah – I just visited Cambodia (after the Int’l Convention in Myanmar) and fell in love with the people and the country. We met Scott and Tawny in Siem Reap, and I found your blog through her Instagram comments. Small world. Although I don’t know you, and feel slightly like a stalker reading your blog, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy it. I hope that we can do something similar soon and reading about your experiences is helpful, eye opening and encouraging.

    • Sooooooo creepy stalkery-like! JOKES This is why my blog is out there, for readers! I have lots of followers that I have never met before, so welcome to Team SezKapow! We aren’t very predictable here, and a little bit coo coo but we are very welcoming! Glad you enjoy the blog. It’s seriously just me rambling about the things that make me laugh or I find interesting! I am truly amazed at how many people that write me and say they have been encouraged! Thanks, it builds me up to know it! Comment all you like, then I know you are out there 🙂

    • Ps. Yes!!! What a small world! Especially in the coolest organization in the universe! And, a little bit jealous you were able to go to Myanmar, Cambo wasn’t invited…..*little tear*

      • ACCinMA says:

        Thanks Sarah. The convention in Myanmar was absolutely incredible. Beyond words. I have been to Int’l conventions before but this one has spoiled me for life. I actually fell in love with Myanmar first….but remember how one of your posts talked about how fancy Thailand was compared to Cambodia? Cambodia is fancy compared to Myanmar. You would have to be very hard core to be a need greater there. But it is tempting. They are experiencing amazing growth in the field and the Branch was actively recruiting.
        By the way….are you American? Canadian? British??

  18. Del says:

    Hi Sarah, Don’t forget the peg on the nose when you’re on your bike! And as far as the heart rate goes it might be too much coffee or just plain bad coffee! Thinking of you and Abby. Congrats for surviving your first year. It can only get better. Lots of love. Del xx

  19. Esther MacDonald says:

    Hiya, so good reading your blog. I’m laughing my head off and so encouraged and happy to see you going so well. We had other friends that were there for some years, the Pazine girls? I can’t beleive how good your going with the language too!!! Keep up your efforts and your stories. I’ll write more another day. Love ya
    Esther Macdonald x

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