Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The New Building

I thought I would show you some pictures of where most of my time and thought is going right now. When we first leased this building the inside was covered with mold and smelled like cat pee. Yet I could see the potential from the moment I walked in. A solid building that was built in 1950's. After the Khmer Rouge it become the police station. The police station move a few years ago and the building has been empty since. 

 The outside of the building. Notice the huge opening on the left side of the 3rd flood.

 Now we are ready for windows and doors

This will me the 1st floor restroom. The middle will be knocked out and made into a single area. 

 The stairwell, looking into the Mexican restaurant, beside the 1st floor restroom.

 Here is what I saw when I walked into the building for the first time. 

Mold and trash removed. Its amazing what a little paint will do. Well actually a lot of paint.

The view from the rooftop of the town center. We have been blessed with an amazing location.

Help support the construction and start-up. Currently there is a matching grant, so every dollar you give will make a bigger impact! Continue to check back to see what is happening. 

Seeing the Change

Here is the video I created for Graduation. My favorite part of the day was watching the girls see themselves and realizing how much they have changed. Its was a proud and tearful moment!

God is the one who creates change!! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012


"Every dad should teach his daughter to ride a bike."

I think it’s time for a funny story. I have a confession, as a child I never learned to ride a bike. My grandfather bought me a really nice pink bicycle. I have never liked pink, it’s too sissy for me. When I was young I was very stuck in my ways, and I refused to ride the pink bike. So I gave it to the neighbor and rode my blue scooter. This really had not been a problem until now. The main way to get around is by Moto. I thought it can’t be that hard, so I bought a moto. Needless to say it was much harder than I expected. I am naturally clumsy and do not have good balance, in return making the process to learn how to drive the moto even harder. I had taken it out to the ‘air port’ a couple times to drive and practice. Until now I had a tuk tuk and a driver to take me where ever I needed to go, but now I am on my own. So this morning I get up alittle early and headed to work. We had a hard rain last night making the roads muddy and rough, but I did well. Granite there was no one else on the road at 6am. Once I made it to the main street, I start to think thing is fun and I can do it. I began to slow down, or basically stop to turn in and the moto tips to the right. I got it stood back up quickly, and it tips to the left. As I am standing it back up again, I grab the gas instead of the break. Needless to say I was the entertainment for the neighbors. I have a little road rash on my hand and knee. Once I got the moto parked and I cleaned up, Ly Phalla sweetly tells me “it’s ok if you fall a few more time you will get the hang of it, or maybe a 4-wheeler would be better for you.” Haha I love how kind and encouraging she is.
I will get the hang of it or I might be in the market for a 4-wheeler.

I have everyone is having a wonderful week!!

Day 4 Someone Who Makes Me Smile

I could not choose just one.

My Girls

My 2nd Family

An  Angle

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 3 Mail

This is the last mail I received.
Mail means a lot now days. A simple letter or package will brighten my whole week. I have gotten old fashion when it comes to letters, hand written ones are amazing. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Photo A Day

So I took this from a friend. I know many of you have done this, I figure it would get me back in the retune of blogging. I kinda put it on the bottom of the list when I was focussed on getting the restaurant opened. Now that we have been opened for a month I have more time.

Day 1 Reflection. 
As I sit and reflect my life the past couple years.

Day 2 Color
Green, The color I see every day. 
The color I relate to as growth and life. Where I grew up as a child, when the seasons changed everything would be such a vibrant green. Now today green makes me thing is the growth of the girls and new life they are finding. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Top Five

Saturday's Top Five (no cretan order)

- My Smoker came today, this excites my on many levels. We can start curing meats to have in the restaurant and wholesale, and I get to play with fire and have some good food. I will be buying a good steak next time Im in Phnom Penh, the fix a salad and baked potato!! I could use a visit to Outback right now :)

- The girls came together can worked as a team. About a month ago we had a little typical teenage girl drama, and I had felt they didn't fully work together. So I have been harping about teamwork. About only being as good as the worst person, so you better help each other out. Tell them stories about when people really works together and some about what happen when they didn't. Explaining to them, it's impossible to do it on there own. At pray time each day I pray for it. And finally today they clicked together as a team. I think it was out a sheer fear, (fear of felling, fear of disappointing, fear of not knowing thing, fear of the English people they were about to serve), whatever it was they came together and it was beautiful. When we sat down to talk about the day it was the first thing they said, 'we worked together as a team!!' This still puts a smile on me face as I type it.

- Prayer yesterday. (yea it was yesterday, but we were praying for today). We had a lot to get done yesterday in preparation for today. So instead of having bible study, we took the time to really pray. I had them pray for the person to their right, for their selves, for the restaurant, and anything else they wanted to pray about, then I would finish. We all pray in our native tongue. So naturally I don't not understand most of what they are praying for or about. Yet it was so powerful and true. They were speaking from their hearts, I could tell that. That being said, they normally only pray at lunch, and Im guessing its the normal, bless this food, amen. So it was amazing  hear them be true and open. By the time it got to me, my eyes were full of tears. This is super exciting and bring joy to my heart.

- There is nothing like the adrenal rush you can from a kitchen. I love the rush of craziness, having to move faster then you normally think. Yea some people might think I'm crazy, be I love it. We had that today! I had invited 15 people to come have breakfast with in a 2-hr window, for the girls to gain experience. Of course like normal 4 people come in sit  as soon as they order,  an eight top plus three kids come in. So that turns everything from nice calm, to everything is crazy( or oh goodness I'm pumped)!! The girls get the food cooked, drinks made, and served, as I pitch in were need and play happy hostess. As the next few people come in the girls are getting the hang of things and are able to do things without questing me how to. I am still pumped. I have been going since 5 am, in the kitchen from 6am-1:30, and it's nearing 11pm. I should be wiped out, but I'm not. It's been awhile since I had the rush. It's like a second wind, that came a the perfect time, as we make the final push to open in 8 days!

- Last but not least. Like in most restaurants the girls got tips today. I explained to them to make it fair to the ones who work in the kitchen that week, we would be splitting them evenly between each of them. So at the end of the day I counted them up and divided it evenly between the girls. I gave it to the after we talked about the day. As we sat at lunch, they start talking about how quick they can get to the market. I naturally engage in the convo, asking what they were going to buy. A few weeks ago I worked on teaching them to budget and plan, which is a really hard concept for Cambodians. Since then we have joke around with one of the girl who spent most of her money on make-up. Jokingly I ask if she is going to buy makeup. She replied with a big smile 'yes Chef and lotion.' we continue around the table of what they are going to do, buy phone card, give to family, save it, don't know and then look at the market. They all started laughing, I asked what . They explain they she never buys anything, she just looks and ask how much. She is my saver! Later in the day we head to the market. They normally fellow me around as I get what we need and plead to carry all the bags. As they start today, I looked at them and tell them they can go buy make-up, and off they go with big smiles. Ly Phalla and I continue getting what we need. They returned fairly quickly, back without any bags. So I ask led if the place was closed or what, she quietly says no Chef. I asked well why didn't you buy makeup, with a slight grin she tells me she is going to save it!! I know the other girls had influenced this choice, but I was excited to see they are listening and starting to understand. The culture here is very much life for the day. They don't really think about the future or tomorrow. I think this comes from not having much and Cambodia's recent history durning the Khmer Rouge. Having her be able to understand and want to plan for what is to come, breaks thru in and levels. Next task is to have them set goal for the future.

Today was a great day. It really sank  in that the restaurant is going to open and people are going to come eat. That the girls are learning and growing, not just in cooking but in live skills and more importantly toward God.

Thank you for all the prayers, they are felt and answered!!

Things to pray about
-For the girls as they are making the final preparations for the opening. 
-For health of me, the girls, and the staff.
-For the Restaurant.
-For the girls as they continue to learn and understand about God and the love of Jesus.