I moved. My life in the multi-colored room which I slowly grew fond of, had come to an end. Sooner than expected. Wait! It was never expected! My new home is a beautiful villa for my standards – a normal house for you, maybe. I moved, yes. But this is far away from being everything that changed.
How come? Well, there was an idea which wouldn’t leave my mind anymore. And then ZACK BUMM it came true. Too fast to keep up with it. Too fast to work out a plan, a concept, a system. So fast, that I rarely had time to find reasons against it. It was fast, yes. However, that brought 1001 challenges with it. Without exaggeration!
It started by analysing my living situation. My landlord and I didn’t get along that well anymore. The bathroom had one defect after the other. My satisfaction decreased, I felt more and more uncomfortable and more and more I realised, that I could live nicer for the same price. Apart from the company of my cat, I wished more people around me. Furthermore, I wanted to delve deeper into the Khmer lifestyle. And ZACK the idea appeared and BUMM the realization followed.
My vision was to find a house with 3-4 bedrooms and to transform it into a Safe House. Say, to take in teenagers and young adults who are in an emergency situation – like having abusive parents, lack of money, etc. To give them a safe place to live and to prepare them for an independent future. Sounds easier than it is. In my room, I rarely had to do anything for the household and before that one I have never lived alone, let alone set up a new household. It’s not that being a housewife is a dream of mine. However, the idea was already too sticky and I didn’t lack of getting support from whoever I dared to tell about the idea. Without doubts, it’ll have great impact on the lives of those people and will leave positive foot prints.
When I was a teenager, I had a “plan” or rather a dream for something like that, which would maybe take place in the remote future. That future, when I would be overfilled with life experience, when I would have a great husband next to me and would know, how life works. And most likely, I expected it to happen in Switzerland. That time, my dream was to have an open house, a shelter for people who needed some distance from their family and co. and therefore wanted to stay at my place for some days or weeks. Why? Because I also drew on such opportunity when I was a teenager. That time, it was a great blessing which had helped me a lot to find my own way in life…
Nowadays, I am narrowly past my teenager years, far away from being married or experienced, still quite naive. However, this didn’t keep me from pursuing the idea further.
Step #1: Search a house. Various people have told me, how difficult it was to find something pleasant. “No worries”, I thought and looked at more than ten houses. Conclusion: tumbledown, dirty, dusty, neglected, dark, expensive, too far away, ….. Frustration came up, doubts turned up. I told myself, if I really should pursue this vision, God has to give me the perfect house. That’s why I wrote a list with all details I wanted and prayed for it. Not one week passed and an agent suggested the absolute dream house. My challenging wishes came true. Flooded by daylight, spacious, with rooftop, without wild colour combinations, between town center and ICF, …… ZACK BUMM.
Step #2: Negotiation for the contract. Two days later I met with the landlord and a translator and witness. I stood up for appropriate furniture and for a change in some other contract clauses. Eventually, a part had to be added, what extended the meeting by up to two hours. ZAAAACK BUMMMMM.
Step #3: Move house, 19.01.2015. Totally excited was I when I cleared my room and I realised, that I actually had started to like it a bit. Luckily, the landlord was waiting in the new house (we hadn’t arranged any time) and he handed over the keys to me. Weird feeling. Simply moving in a huge house, with an idea in mind which wasn’t clearly detailed yet. In Cambodia houses are left uncleaned which is a rather disgusting tradition, honestly. Apart from removing human dirt we had to kill about 764 mosquitoes, destroy 51 cobwebs – and still is the one or other spider living here. Even though, I’ve eaten a leg of a big one once on the market, I’m still very disgusted by them…!!
Step #4: First housemates. Three moved in on the very first day – quite unexpected. Together we try to get comfortable. A part of the furniture was missing in the beginning, however, time is here not as important, punctuality is totally overrated. I remember one time when I waited for the landlord who showed up 3.5h too late. At least, he comes at all, right?! As quick as possible, I made up rules, had meetings with them. They help a lot. I send them to the market as often as possible to relieve myself. They smile warmly whenever we bump into each other. Priceless.
ZACK BUMM. I couldn’t catch up writing everything in my diary. Challenges occur daily. Sometimes it seems to be a big wall I will never be able to break down nor to climb. But also positive, speechless moments belong to entire experience. Help flows from all sides. Familiar and foreign people promise financial, spiritual and psychical support. It is overwhelming to see how people from the western world care about the lives of the Cambodian people.
Your support counts. Give teenagers and young adults the chance for a change in their situation and life. Be a part of giving them a better home, a safe place to sleep, good quality of life, love, freedom and joy. Maybe we will never be able to change the entire world, but at least we can make steps in that direction and leave footprints. Thank you for your support.
Bank account – Post Finance, Switzerland:
IBAN: CH16 0900 0000 8773 8037 8