Shrey ya’s happy day

Today is our day off… and we thought it would be fun to give Shrey ya a day off {from reality} too. We woke up early to the sound of pouring rain– bummer because we wanted to take her to the beach. But then we decided to take her shopping instead! As Phally drove us to the village, we were nervous that her grandmother wouldn’t let us “babysit” her for the day. After all, we’re practically strangers… why would she trust us? Well, the opposite happened and when Phally asked her if we could take Shrey ya to have a “happy day” as he called it, she said, “YES! You can take her for 1, 2, 3 days, no problem!” So, just like that Shrey ya climbed in for her first car ride ever:

She was quite shy at first, but then again, I would be too if I’d never been in a car before. With Phally translating, we asked her if she was hungry and what she wanted for breakfast {expecting her to say she wanted pancakes or donuts} but she wanted a ‘lunch box’ aka rice, pork and eggs. Well, that’s what she got. A huge plate of it!

 Then we colored. She was so excited to get a WHOLE box of crayons all to herself because normally there are so many kids at the village, she’s lucky if she gets one! She kept arranging the crayons in the box so that they all pointed the same way… a woman who likes order!

Then she found the fish tank in the lobby and had fun banging on the glass to scare the fish.

By now, she wasn’t shy anymore and grabbed my hand to go exploring. We eventually made it upstairs to our room, and we gave her a gift: some new clothes. She was so excited that she made a b-line to the bathroom, unashamedly took off all her old clothes and turned on the water to take a shower. It was the most hysterical thing ever! Equally hilarious was the fact that she had never seen or used a toilet…she almost fell in.

After she put on her new clothes, she decided to explore the room. She found my makeup bag, opened the eyeshadow and put some on. You can’t really see it in this picture but, her right eyelid is a beautiful shade of green and purple. I have NO IDEA how a 5 year old girl living in a poor village knows how to put on eye shadow, but she did.

Then we jumped on the bed, played baseball, threw the ball, played with a balloon, played with a tissue, squirted silly string at each other, drank some milk, ate some candy {she found our hidden stash!}, and broke a drinking glass. It was fun.

Then, like she owned the place, she put everything she could find into her little pink bag, and it was way to cute to try to stop her. So here she is, treasures in toe, ready to go shopping…

with all the essentials of course: 7 toothpicks, 4 pieces of candy, a wiffle ball, her old clothes, tissues, a can of silly string, water bottle with juice, a balloon, chapstick, soap, a toothbrush and don’t forget the plastic toy ladle. And with that, we were ready to take the market by storm! And it was storming out. But Shrey ya was ready for it…

Since it was raining, we took a tuk tuk. This was also her very first tuk tuk ride. On the way over, we asked her what she wanted to buy: “A BACKPACK!” she told Tida. {Tida is our friend who works at our hotel. She came with us to translate and to negotiate prices} We arrived at the market and Shrey ya’s eyes were wide! She went straight for the jewelry counter; not because she wanted to jewelry, but because she had never seen anything like it before and she thought it was very beautiful.

I don’t know who had more fun, Shrey ya or us. After every purchase, she insisted on carrying the bags.

We left with a pretty pink princess backpack, notebooks, crayons, a pencil case, an adorable school uniform, and a sarong, food and laundry soap for her grandma. Here she is, ready for school!

The rest of the afternoon consisted of sitting in the sink…

brushing her teeth…

and since she brushed her teeth in the sink, she got toothpaste spit on her feet so then she proceeded to take shower #2 and then put on her other new outfit. And since she just brushed her teeth, the obvious thing to do was go have some ice cream— while holding an umbrella of course.

And for some reason, she thought it was very entertaining to put 2 flowers in the cup and dump ice cream on them. We thought it must be a Cambodian thing until Tida came over and said, “No no no! Why didn’t you stop her!” Oops.

Here she is with Shrey mom {the hotel owner’s wife} and Tida

And here she is wearing a wig:

And here she is focusing really hard on sharpening her pencil:

And here she is with us:


We had an amazing day and are so glad that we got the chance to give Shrey ya a “happy day”.


9 thoughts on “Shrey ya’s happy day

  1. I was so excited to see these pictures! What a wonderful day the Lord gave to all 3 of you. I am sure Shrey ya will never forget it and neither will you guys! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  2. Shrey ya is darling, and your love and care for her is a joy to see. Thanks
    for sharing your day off with her and me.
    Carolyn 🙂

  3. Wow–Dave and I SO enjoyed reading that moment by moment summary of your day!! It made us smile and laugh and think what fun it is to bring joy to children’s lives…and how much joy they bring us in return (no news yet on our side=)! Sounds like you both learned a lot from each other and I hope you are able to stay in touch with her family!

  4. Pingback: in case you’re wondering about the broom | Anderson Adventures

  5. I laughed so much while reading this post! She is so adorable, and so precious. Im really happy that you spent time with her, Im sure she will remember it forever. Thank you for allowing God’s light to shine through you. I don’t know you but I have stumbled upon your blog and am inspired. I’m also from the states (Massachusetts to be exact) and am currently living in China as an English teacher. I can totally relate to your joy in finding a Dunkin Donuts in Korea! We don’t have them in China and boy do I wish we did…or even a Krispy Kreme! I’d do back flips if it opened here. Keep writing! Keep traveling, I love reading your posts.

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