In this series we talk to Cambodia expats about what they know now that they wish they had known when they first moved to Cambodia. This week we talk with American expat Sheila Mischke.
Sheila, the mother of last week’s interviewee Anna Mischke, has been in Cambodia for two years. Sheila has been the General Manager of Beyond Interior in Phnom Penh, and although she’s planning on heading back to the US soon, she hopes to find a way to live in both worlds in the near future.
MTC: Sheila, what do you know now that you wish you had known before you moved to Cambodia?
SM: “I wish I had known how very difficult it would be to leave. As I think about wrapping up a two year stay here I find that several times a day I see and experience things that are so beautiful and tender, or at least funny, that I wonder if I will ever enjoy myself to this degree elsewhere.
Life is so wonderfully raw and real here. The climate, poverty and culture here causes so much of private life to be lived along the road that the traveler gets a peek into otherwise hidden scenes. Babies being bounced and bathed, business men pondering their invoices, teens examining their spots, meals being cooked, dishes being washed. It’s all so out there.
The wealth and climate of my homeland dictate that most of life take place behind closed doors. I already feel lonely thinking about it. Ahhh Cambodia…how beautiful you are.”