Disclaimer: These are my views and do not reflect the views of the Peace Corps.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Who are you? What’s going on?

Sometimes people just show up at my house. It’s like I moved into the Cooper/Burns house, but in Cambodia. Imagine living at “The Burrow” in America and not really speaking the language. How do you keep track of who is related to who? How do you know how long someone is going to be at the house? The simple answer, you don’t. The same holds true here. I believe that the root of the similarities between my home in America and my home here is that both families strongly believe in the concept of the “extended family.” Under this heading, friends, friends of friends, friends of friends siblings, and anyone remotely connected with one member of the family becomes a part of the family. As a somewhat shy kid, I was not a fan of this arrangement. I always asked why. Why are these people at our house? Why did you say they could stay here? Why can’t I just nerd out on my computer in peace? You get the picture. I gradually came to realize the benefits of the extended family. It wasn’t that our guests were just my mom’s friends, through the extension of the category “family”, the people who stayed with us became a part of my family too. To my family and extended family and all of those I once considered “randoms”: I love you all!

P.S. I’m still considering whether this concept applies to animals. Sometimes animals just show up in our backyard here. E.g. I was doing my dishes the other day when these guys came to say hello:

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