I lost my passport….in Cambodia….on Christmas day. Ever have a day like this? It was a particularly rough one for me; one that has many more twists and turns. For instance, we went to the police station in Kampot to make a report only to be told they wouldn’t help us. We paid for new passport photos only for the photos to be the wrong size with an evident line across my neck from where they lightened my face. We purchased bus tickets back to Phnom Penh only to be told several hours later that they had oversold the bus so we wouldn’t be going after all. Finally, attempting to make an appointment at the embassy I found out the at the earliest I could be seen was over a week later. This day went south very quickly and from the looks of it, wasn’t changing directions any time soon.
I call my mom because that’s what I do when I’m worried. My mom, who happens to know the answers to all of life’s problems (doesnt’ yours?!),suggested that I post my dilemma on Facebook. You see, I don’t really enjoy posting anything that would make others worry. However in this instance I figured it really couldn’t hurt and if nothing else, we would have hundreds of folks praying for us and we could ALL use extra prayers. My mom was right (nothing new) and almost immediately we began getting responses. Folks from all over were reaching out. We got emails from all sorts of people offering advice, places to stay, friends to talk to, and most importantly, prayers. It was an incredible feeling realizing how many people were willing to help. Their good energy set a positive tone and enabled us to conquer this debacle in much better spirits.
The “corrupt” cops in Phnom Penh gave us a ride to the Tourist Police Station. I wish we had gotten pictures of Chase and myself on the back of a police scooter as a Cambodian policeman whizzed us through the busy streets! The tourist police who, “only help foreigners if you bribe them,” filled out a police report for us with no mention of a bribe. The individuals at the embassy allowed me to enter without an appointment and gave me advice on what to do and assured me I would have a passport within 24 hours.
I spent the day smiling and emitting the love and happiness that I could feel being sent from all of the people praying for us back home. In return, we received even more love and more smiles from the locals. This seemingly “traumatic” event restored my faith in the Cambodia people. It made me realize that I hadn’t been soaking up each day and living it to its fullest. It made me even more aware that life is short and that things could always be worse so appreciate what you have while you still have it. Smile at strangers and offer help to any and every person you can find.
My sincerest thanks to each of you for your prayers, calls, emails, etc. Your willingness to help has provided me with an overwhelming sense of love. Your prayers and good vibes are present here in Cambodia and I can feel the love that you are sending. I promise to use this positive energy to uplift others and spread kindness everywhere I can. I love you all!