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Posted on Jan 31, 2013

I Hate Missionaries And Other Interesting Conclusions About Sexuality- Nomadic Family World Travel Blog, Budget Travel With Kids

I Hate Missionaries And Other Interesting Conclusions About Sexuality- Nomadic Family World Travel Blog, Budget Travel With Kids

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I hate it that someone else thinks they know what is best and will forcefully go around making other people, or gently bribing others to come on over to the ‘good’ side. I hate anyone thinking that they have figured it out and have the right to show someone else the light. And then, I wrote I Know Nothing (and 99 Other Things The Road Has Taught Me), in which number one clearly states that every prejudice, stereotype and opinion I’ve held about anyone and anything has been melted away by world travel, leaving me an open-minded, and certified, inbicel.

So, yeah, we met some missionaries. “Oh boy, ” thinks I to me-self as Kobi arranges a play-date, conveniently right before he waltz out of town for a week. “Great, so the mom is not even smiling, and you are pushing me into spending an afternoon sitting next to people who will try to bore Jesus, The Lord our Savior, down my throat? “And though I enjoy choking and gagging from time to time (each to his own), I have tried to cut down on that lately.Thanks love, thanks a lot.

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And so, Thursday 1pm comes and I get headache-y, feverish, rude, arrogant, busy, annoyed, tired, and hot. “So, kids, father dearest arranged this little meeting for us, but we don’t really have to go, you know. It’s hot and it’s so hot, and God, how hot is it outside, and they won’t really care if we show up or not, so whatcha think?  We should drag ourselves out there to melt in the heat or should we stay here in the nice, luscious shade where I’ll bribe you/ uh, treat you to all the sugar products your heart desires? So, what’ll it be kids?”

 And damn them, they wanted to go.  So, I grab my friends Pancho and Sal from the Rio Samaya, cuz they are cool, they’ve admitted to doing all the crazy stuff I have not  (which I have not yet), they lived in a van, their daughter plays saw (not a type-o, yes, saw, like saw, hammer, and ax heavy duty tools). I tell them, “Listen, I HAVE to go meet these churchy people and I hate being nice all afternoon with people who clearly I’ll have nothing to talk about with. I like people and yeah, yeah everyone is a book, blah, blah, blah but they are missionaries and does Kobi’s desire for the kids to have friends mean I’m sentenced to an afternoon of utter bordeom?” So we agree that they’ll find us with Sal’s she-dar (she radar) and save me from missionary hell.

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our friends, the rio samaya band

She never shows up, I arrive an hour late (half hoping we’d miss them), but no, there they are smiling, waving me to come over. So I stand there for a few awkward moments wondering if sitting down means I accept Jesus into my life. “So this is dumb, Gabi. Sit your butt down and be civilized. They are not professional brain-washers and even if they are, you can handle learning new things. So, sit!” And I do.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

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I have never had a more hysterically fun, laid-back, close-bonded time in my life. I literally fell in love with the mom, whose name I still don’t know, in 5 minutes flat.We laughed and shared deep somethings. We totally, but totally fell in love.

Back Flash

As I am walking down the street, passed the pier, after Cafe Amigos and Dolphin Shack, I start freaking out. My mind screams this:

Oh God, I just posted The Kids Saw Us Having Sex on the blog, and Kobi sent Jesus and Mother Mary to read it. Dear God, maybe they had forgotten to look it up, or, maybe I’ll just talk about raising moral children or peace in the Middle East and we’ll let that inappropriate sinful devil-talk fade away into Dante’s unspoken circles. Yeah, I’ll just play stupid. I’ll stick sand in my ears if she brings it up, and act mute and deaf. “What I can’t hear you, there’s sand in my ear.” That should go over well. Very graceful too, I might add.

So, I’m a lady with a plan. Act normal, chastity-like, smile sweetly, and chit chat about niceties while our kids play. Got it.

 Forward Flash to The Moment I Got Busted

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They found us/ we found them and she smiles sweetly. I think to myself, “Great, she’s already trying to convert me.”

As soon as I sit down to her right on the dark brown lawn chair with the broken front leg and that spoke sticking out the back, she says, “So I read that sex post, and just died about the kids and the blow job part.”

I, the Jewish girl, think: “Mother Mary, save my Jewish sin-filled mind and soul and take me away right now, right now, right now.

I say, “You died?”

I think:  Oh shit.

She says: “Yeah, it was so funny, that was my favorite part,” and she leans over and tells her friend all how my kids were mesmerized by art of women giving men blow jobs in the largest adobe village in the world at Chan, Chan, Peru.

The friend asks, “So, was it paintings, statues…. ”

Missionary friend chirps up, “Statues, right Gabi? And not just one or two, but like 50 of them. Pick your blow job size of small, medium or large. ” And I join her, “Choose your blow job median- wood, copper, iron, diamond studded, or the specially crafted abstract art version. ”

We’re rolling over laughing, and keep talking about sex, about what is was like to have our kids see us having sex, and about how poorly we planned this that now that finally we have our own room here in The Led Zephyr, Kobi goes away for a week. “You’re the funnest missionaries I’ve ever hung out with! And you represent the Godly side, God help us!” and we’re laughing so hard.

 I have fallen in love with a 48  year old Canadian missionary wife with four kids, and you know what pushed me over the edge? She leans over and says to me, “Where were you while I was growing up? We would have gotten into so much trouble together. “

True Love Is

Yeah, that’s love, true love. Should I tell her I was a shy nerd and wearing my hair down once or twice a year was wild and way out of my comfort zone? Should I let her in on the fact that I’ve never been drunk in my life, never tried any drugs at all, puffed twice on a cigarette at the ripe old age of 24,  and smoked pot for the first time last year? Should I tell her that being comfortable with my exploding sexuality, let alone talking and laughing about it (and everything else) is a very new state of mind for Gabi? Should I let her in on the fact that I’ve become this fun now, and spent most of my life up-tight, stressed-out, over-strung, and perpetually-worried (about whatever). No, she’s falling in love with Gabi at this moment. Like I’m falling in love with her, in this moment. Some things don’t need to be said.

So, I love missionaries, druggies, the politically correct and incorrect, and one day, I may be able to even say I love pedophiles. Why? Cuz I’m sick? No, cuz I’m learning that everyone I ever judged or felt ridiculously and irrationally mad or disgusted at as a people have come and side-slapped me with real, genuine and shockingly refreshing beauty. So, once, I would have put Arabs (two really surprising YouTube videos about that one trip with her,  My MAuslim Mother) , missionaries, druggies and pedophiles in some similar category (was I really that ignorant? ) and today, I really don’t have labels that fit anyone anymore. It’s all been screwed up for me now, no one fits into those neat little schematized compartmentalized boxes anymore. Damn,  life was so much simpler when I knew who was who. I don’t know shit anymore.

And this, as the world would have to be so generous in bring it to me, this would the third missionaries we’ve met so far. And, funny, we’ve become close and in total love and admiration of all three. Damn them!

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In Ecuador that couple from Finland(?) who saved an indigenous girl whose family had thrown away for she was the twin and their belief was that one of the two was a gift from God, and the other from the Devil. So they saved the  abandoned ‘devil child‘ and have for fifteen years raised her, her husband, and their beautiful son. They also  helped convert the entire indigenous tribe slowly to Christianity and brought more candy than my children’s weight, combined for one Christmas event. The candy pretty much made instant converts from my kids.

In Peru, Anna and her family (YouTube  interview series with Anna) , and all the magical work, love, honestly, openness, humbleness, and beauty you can find in one couple. And now, in Cambodia, the anti-social missionary in the black bathing suit and all the great laughs, honest sharing, and mutual respect and admiration that flowed from one afternoon in the blazing Sihanoukville sun.

Gotta Love Those Missionaries!

“But, why?” I ask myself. Cuz they are not people out with the goal of forcing others to do things not in their will. This is not the Spanish Inquisition. These are people with a belief that they are passionate about, with a direct ticket to the light, to the answers to what they believe is the right and meaningful way to live. And they so ferociously believe in their way to the light, that they want to share their joyous revelation with others, and maybe, a lost soul or two, a person searching for clarity and calm and answers, may be attracted to their intimate campfire glow and say,

“Yes, I like the hues of your soft embers. That tunes sings softly to something deep in my soul> It answers  questions I didn’t know how to ask. I like the harmonious like-pitched frequency of your music. Yes, I want to learn to dance that dance. Can you teach me how? “

And then, our people with love in their hearts and a desire to share that with others, say, kindly, “Yes, I can teach you. Let us walk together for a bit.”

And then, it begins- people, searching, find people, searching to share, and they walk and dance for a bit together, all the more grateful and full of light because of it. And so, damn missionaries, I’ll have to add you to my list of prejudices, with the Muslims, cuz you’ve shattered this one too.

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Cream On The Cake: Free Pizza

Oh, and she paid for our $5 pizza. I  know! That’s what did it, really. Not the hysterical laughs, not the fact that she had read about us in both the Washington Post/Family On Bikes site or the Phnom Phen Post, not that she thought we were so cool, not the sex talk and the constant intellectual sex jabs, not the hot guy working out in front of us who we all hooted at, not my admiration for a mother sharing her story with another mother, and then us two moms just sat there, in the often painful silent knowings of motherhood.

No, none of that. It was the free pizza.  “Damn, kids, why didn’t we order more? ”

 Good night friends- sinners, Muslims, missionaries, pedophiles, and the like. We”ll all meet somewhere, somehow, right?

[And if you in the latter category of pedophiles , don’t you even dare look funny at one of my kids. I’ll kill you! Ok, I still have issues to work out. Let’s leave this on a good note, a soft smiling note, the note I feel here, now,  and the deep warm fuzzy that comes with removing yet another dusty layer of my own ignorance.]

Got any religious pre-conceptions to throw at me? I’ve got plenty to say! Got any stories of up-tight, righteous, kill-me-now boring people who turned out your maternal soul-mates, and you feel that you miss them so, even after that one golden afternoon together? I also fell in the love with the light in a few short hours. Have you ever had those irrational, unreasonable love affairs too? Ah, I’ll just scratch the mosquito bite that pulsating into right ankle, and smile at the world (and, wait, breathlessly, to see if you comment).

 🙂

Wanna really really help us out friends? You can directly empower us to continue our travels. Did you know that the more YouTube views, the more comments on this blog, the more Twitter followers, the more Facebook friends directly helps us make more money? How? Cuz we can ask advertisers for more money the more active our online presence is. So, help us out cuz you love us, subscribe to the blog, and our YouTube channel, and Twitter, tell everyone you know on Facebook to like us, and if you have any contacts with a newspaper or magazine- tell them how amazing we are! That is 100% directly funding our journey.

 

Comments

comments

48 Comments

  1. Dammit Gabi, I always have to comment, it’s getting embarrassing! I have a new friend of a few weeks, who is A MISSIONARY. It’s true, she’s lovely and normal and kind and fun. She’s called Cheryl, she’s real. I was a bit weirded out at first, too. Only you could build such a great post about it though 🙂

    • dammit alyson. do you really have to read, interact, laugh and love me as you do. like the woman who comment above, melanie, you are there for everything i put out and i looooooove you for it. i bet cheryl is amazing. all my missionary friends have been. one day i’ll have to write about anna in lima. she is magical, and no doubt, an angel. hugs to cheryl. i’m glad you love the way i build it… and when you say other super nice sugar-coated things. gabi

  2. Yet again Gabi, I feel like my head has been through a mangle! Laughing my socks off! Prejudices go way too deep in the UK, mainly driven by the media and a minority of extremists. I have to breathe and think every time I feel some malice against asylum seekers etc..because it has been drummed into me from believing too much hype and by some family members who, to be honest are just repeating what their parents drummed into them. When you’re a child you don’t have prejudices and generally have a feel for what is right and wrong. Parents have a lot to answer for sometimes.x

    • melanie love. i adore you. i do. i love talking to you about these issues, about what life means, about what our parents taught us and about our journey through that and into who we are meant to discover. i love that you laugh at my stories. i think laughter brings so much good energy and i feel like you and i are just sitting down for coffee and peeing in our pants. like the missionary woman said, and i believe you did to once, where were you when i was growing up? i love you melanie.

  3. “And they so ferociously believe in their way to the light, that they want to share their joyous revelation with others, and maybe, a lost soul or two, a person searching for clarity and calm and answers, may be attracted to their intimate campfire glow”… I am so glad missionaries have proved you wrong… you are a missionary of sorts. I love missionaries, they have more courage then i ever will. Going to another country and sharing your faith to non-receptive people is hard!
    Great post Gabi, I can’t wait to smash your preconceptions on me – Aussie Christian :p When can we meet?!

  4. Hi Gabi,

    I can relate to your post on many levels. 🙂 Very funny!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and love it! I am American, married to a Brit, and have three gorgeous daughters ages 9, 7, and 5. Last year, after a lot of careful thought and consideration for what is best for our family, my husband and I decided to sell everything we own and follow our dreams. Despite very occasional moments of sheer panic and self-doubt, we are doing exactly that! I’m writing to you from Hong Kong, our “home” for four days before we head to SE Asia. Life is meant to be lived and not to just exist, right??!! (Thank you, Oscar Wilde, for those wise words of inspiration.) I know you’ll agree with me on that one. We spent two months bombing it across the US, a couple of months in the UK, and now onto more unfamiliar territory. Yippee!!!!

    Anyhow, your blog has been a great resource for me and helped to inspire me in all my excitement and reminded me to keep on trudging when the going is tough. Thanks!! Perhaps our paths will cross one of these days…

    Mandy

    • mandy, i have goosebumps from your note to me. sometimes i write, and i tell kobi, i’m writing for myself, and i am, but it goes out into cyberspace and i think i’m the only one reading it, which i do more than anyone else. great therapy for me. just last night i sat up late after everyone was asleep and read the missionary post again and laughed so hard i cried. i love that i crack myself up. so, back to the point. i thank you so much for commenting. i read so much online and don’t leave footprints and you did. to know that you’ve been reading my posts and that it has inspired you means the world to me. i am so honored. i hope you check out our youtube channel and facebook page. each has stuff that never get onto the blog! and please keep commenting. i would love to know how you guys make it on your adventures. so unreal.

      maybe we will get to meet so soon. we are in vietnam for another week and then will be on koh rong island in cambodia for two months. we’ll be at the dive center there (amazing)! maybe we can meet. i’m so proud of you guys. it is terrifying and amazingly exciting at the same time. oscar wilde is the bomb, totally. so is rumi. check him out. google ‘rumi inspirational quotes’ and you’ll die a few times over.

      do you have a blog, somewhere you post things. i’d love to see. oh, and read on the blog “i know nothing and 99 other things the road has taught me’ you can find it on the ‘best of’ page. you will love it! hugs to you mandy and i can’t wait to talk to you some more. gabi

  5. You are so “real”, I just love it. You actually write what we are all thinking. You are so brave and honest and that is what makes you great. Your “former you” and “current you” sound so similar to me. I was so up tight and well behaved and now we get to be free. I just read the caught having sex post too…. we haven’t been seen, but asked questions about noises. Thus far it was sufficient to say dad was giving mom a massage… I am sure the time will come soon. Thanks so much for sharing and making me laugh.

    • heidi. i’m so glad i did this little contest thing… that’s how we found each other, no? i can’t recall. at any rate, i’m soooo happy to make you laugh. it brings me tremendous joy to write my truth, and have real people with real stories and real pasts and real issues to overcome in their life journey, write back, laugh with me, interact, cry. thank you. i think i am insane but i like me that way. thanks for letting me see myself the way i really want to. 🙂 caught having sex… oh the images, the images. since i wrote it, some backpackers we’ve met read it too and told me they are still scared from the images of seeing their parents. great. keep commenting love, it makes my day, my week, my life!

  6. Ohhh Gabi! I’m only commenting because you are sooo Fricking Honest!!, 😉 I have to say that the title is very catchy. I was wondering why you hate missionaries when they are suppose to be these amazing and selfless people. I was pleasantly surprise to see the turnout. Really funny about you wondering what would they think about your sex post ( which I’m going to read right after I finish writting this) . In another note: i think your youtube video about “this is home” ( or something like that) while in the Bungalow in Led Zephyr finally got my husband to see that we can do this RTW trip as well. I was sooo genuine ( specially the kids yelling on the back) -just like my own family. Thanks for sharing the Love!

    • wow vanessa. i’m so honored that you commented. i see i’ll have to work hard to earn your comments by being “sooooo fricking honest”. so, every time you comment, i take that as the deepest, truest most powerful hug you can give me. thank you for that. of course, as i write your comment i’m being interrupted five times (not exaggerating, we’re doing studies and i’d rather write to you than explain AGAIN common denominators to a child who is not getting it!) i’m back. i’ve been teaching and through my teeth BEING. VERY. PATIENT. cuz i wanna be online writing to you about missionaries and sex and not antonyms. ok, i’m back again…. so is my life. poor me, right? i’m so happy that you guys are enjoying my writing. i can’t tell you how much i appreciate that conversation. i write like i’m writing to a dear friend and you answer me as such. thank you. wow, which video is it you watched at the led zephyr… the one where we were evicted? or the one where the kids saw us having sex? so many good ones to pick from! if want to subscribe to the blog and/or youtube channel, you’ll never miss any of the ridiculously embarrassing things that i talk about. i’m honored to inspire you guys to hit the road. vanessa, how did you find us? i hope we can also connect on facebook… loads of fun stuff and great pics there. do you guys have a blog about your plans to go. ok, i’ll stop grilling you. i’m just so curious. hugs to you. can’t wait to see what you think of the sex posts.

      • GO ANTONYMS and COMMON DENOMINATORS!!! LOL. Can’t wait for that fun part of Road Schoolng ( NOT!) 😉
        Well, Gabi, I guess we are friends now. I’m glad I got to you before you have 1000 comments to reply to. What will do?
        This is the youtube video i was talking about: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kX3DPACUIbg (What Home Means When You’re A Nomadic Family- Coco Bungalow (Koh Rong Island, Cambodia) I did comment on it too and I think I found your blog via Discover.Share.Inspire. I also liked ur FB page a couple weeks ago.
        SInce you asked I think is time for me to start my blog about the plans and all my struggles convincing my husband and kids to just get the hell out of here. And “here” is beautiful Cape Coral, Florida USA,,,!!! But we are not from “here” I am from Puerto Rico ( which will probably make me the 1st RTW travel blogger with family from there) my hubby is Venezuelan and our beautiful 3 kids were born in MIAMI, Fl. Still not sure if I’m writting it in English, Spanish or Spanglish..heheh… I will definitely let you know when is Up . Keep sharing the love ! Vanessa

  7. This is Kobi, Gabi’s husband.
    I read this and i remember when we arrive to Bocas Del Toro, Panama and as we were walking on the beach toward Starfish beach, we meet a group of local strong believers. we were charmed by one of the very old women and engaged in conversation. it turned out she is a HUGE Jesus believer. to long story short, after few minutes, all all, the nomadic family, stand on the beach in circle with that huge believer and made us recite sentences accepting Jesus into our lives. I wanted to bury myself. I was conflicted between stopping it and the take the risk of insulting her or just eat that “shit” and spit it later. I chose the latter.
    Gabi, this post is amazing and the honesty, from my end, is sometimes embarrassing. thank you for being my travel partner!

    • ok fine, you can stay. i won’t kick you out. god that woman in on bocas island was exactly the type i abhor. she made us stand there, hand in hand, and kept saying, ‘children, repeat after me. i, take jesus the lord our saviour into my soul. repeat it children, loudly. there you go. jesus, i have been blind but now i see your godliness, i have been empty but now i have found you. forgive me thy holy father [she’s yelling] forgive me!” and on and on. and i told the kids in hebrew under my breath, “just repeat guys. it will end faster.” and to you dear husband, “KObi, do not offend the nice old lady. it means nothing…” “But the kids are being forced to say…” “Kobi, just words. we are just being polite and respectful to a nice little old lady that’s all” and then, remember the entire group started cheering, “praise to jesus” when she finished and yelled over to them, “these five lost souls of the chosen people have taken jesus into their heart.” jezzzz… i love you kuba. i’ll keep traveling with you inside, outside, abroad, at home, just stay my life travel partner, ok? do you even have return comments clicked? will you ever even see this? hmmm… i won’t say anytyhing and we’ll see. i love you.

  8. Wonderful post. I too was a little curious about the title and was pleasantly surprised to find the outcome. I have a lot of ideas about certain groups of people too that I am hoping to have dispelled when my children and I start travelling. I agree with Melanie’s comment above about predjudices being driven by the media. I am in the US and the amount of predjudice and fear the media spews is just overwhelming, which is why I do not watch or listen to it.

    I always enjoy reading what you have written and gain so much love and respect for you every time I do. <3

    • hi lacie dear. what a joy to read your comments again. i have many prejudices i’m working through, one layer of ignorance at a time. i love when you read my stuff. thank you for the love and respect. it is so very mutual lacie. so very, very mutual.

  9. It’s so refreshing to be proved wrong sometimes, isn’t it? The very same thing happened to me… I thought a new missionary friend would do nothing but try and convert me, yet she was nothing but good fun. Although after a while she did reveal she was really worried about me burning in hell 🙂

    • Linda, i love that i was proven wrong and that your friend thought you’d burn in hell. i had a boyfriend once who’s mom was really worried that jewish me would be in hell for not accepting jesus in my heart. i guess it’s natural to think that people with a life purpose or an ‘agenda’ would try to put that agenda on us too. and fun, linda. she did but i loved it. it only showed me further that god is so kind and cool and doesn’t matter if you talk about sex all day,he’ll love you all the same. thanks for taking the time to comments. dearly appreciated.

      gabi

  10. Oh, love this. That’s one of the great things about the world isn’t it – that people can be such a surprise. 🙂

    • micki, totally! 100%! and have you kissed a missionary today?

    • cat, i was too, and i do again and again when i read the article. it’s all so true, it makes is delish, no? thanks for commenting…. 🙂 have you kissed a missionary today?

  11. This is hilarious! I would have wanted to meet you all to dispel my ideas about missionaries! All I have met here are the traditional-you-will-go-to-hell-if-you-don’t-convert types. Tsk tsk

  12. Wow…this isn’t at all what I expected from the title. Guess that whole “not judging a book by the cover” thing applies.

  13. My first comment so i will generalize … ok well, impressive writing, very good points beyond my disagreement in some parts, love the way you are thinking trough the process of your experiences…
    overall the general point is clear, very true and inspiring 🙂
    (i hope it makes sense)

    • wow. wow. wow. i should hold a gun to your hear more often. it brings about great results. thank you yianni. all that you said makes perfect sense to me, and yet, i know that the next time you stop me from my khmer message, you will tell me in detail everything you didn’t say here yet. thank you for the help. so, you love missionaries now? 🙂

      • I don’t, because beyond the super great, easy going first impression that they want to make, they really represent church’s close minded- forgotten from time- very unfair a lot of times, ideology…
        and it will get there sooner or later.
        Every -ism (in my experience) creates limits… it tells you how to think, to who to talk, to who to say hallo and what is hallo. The only think that we have to do is act right, listen to our hearts and things are not so bad, the Sun is always rising. Your Little adorable solie, possesses the know how but her every day exposure to modern-western societies will make her loose the connection. Maybe not as long as she is a part of the Nomadic family 🙂

        • oh my god you are surprising me. we’re gonna have lots of fun online. i can tell. Yes, I agree. I do. I am not a fan of any -ism that separates us into ‘us’ and ‘them’. If your ‘ism’ lets you bring light to your soul and to others, great. I believe each will find their own path to their light in whatever way works for them, and that, like i said in the introduction, no one has the right to tell anyone THIS way. i hope little Solai keeps her own internal compass of who she is and doesn’t loose that because friends, tv, and the internet tell her otherwise. I hope none of mine loose it and I’ll do my best, as long as I can, to teach them otherwise. I do think being in TNF helps break societies choking brainwashing and lets them draw open-minded conclusions. noticed the fashion scene in the backpacker community. how many holes do you have in the shirt you are currently wearing? did you steal it or find it? get it second hand or get it fixed up twice already along the way? that, i like.

          i CANNOT WAIT to keep talking with you this way. Cool. That way I don’t have to talk to you on the sand before the steps to CoCo. Cool. we can totally replace face-to-face contact with this. cool.

  14. Hi Gabi,

    Wow I am so humbled…when I started to read I thought oh shit its about me..she hates me…oh my I love you Gabi..glad we met..offer still open if you want to come to Kampong Cham..

    my name is Marti 🙂

    • hi marti. i’m sooooo glad you read it. and you for one knows the story with the broken leg and the chair poking me in the back, the pizza, the guy working out and us hooting at him, you know it all. but you didn’t know my secret inner workings and i was holding my breath and waiting so long for you to read it. i’m so glad you did. how did you find it. i do love you too marti. this post i guess, yes, it was a love letter to you. i know your name love but didn’t put it cuz i wasn’t sure you’d want it in there. if you do, i’ll add with joy and honor. and if you have a website or email which if anyone wants to reach you at they can, tell me. i’d love to visit you but i don’t think we’ll be traveling in cambodia once we leave the island. tell me again how far from sihanoukville and where so maybe, maybe, maybe we could work it out in our exit. i’d love that. you’ll feed us again? 🙂 gabi

  15. Gabi, I have nothing to hide. you can put my name anywhere. I think the writing is superb and I love your honesty. I too try to live authentically so what you saw is the real me, Jesus and all. Kampong Cham is about 2 hours North East of Phnom Penh. So maybe 5 hours from the beach. I of course understand if you can not make it. And yes I would feed you!! If not I will think of you often and follow your story.

    • ahhh… let me just wipe the tear. i hope i didn’t make you feel that you have to apologize for who you are or what you believe in in any way “jesus and all” quote. i love every bit of who you are and what you taught me and what we talked about and the laughs, oh the laughs. thank you dear friend and teacher marti, jesus-loving and all. 🙂

      i wish we could make it to you but it’s looking slim to none. i’ll push and see if i can change anything here. we will be in PP on march 5 for one day, any chance of you guys coming into town for the day. i know it’s a long shot but we have a flight to catch on march 6 at 6:30 am and i can think of nothing in the world i’d want to do in PP rather than see you.

  16. Hello dear dear Gabi,

    I am sad we will not see eachother before you leave Cambodia. I hope and pray your continued journey is full of love and light. Thank you for the great day in the hot Cambodian sun. I shall never forget it, it will bring a smile to my face when ever I recall it. Love to you and your family..please tell Kobi..thank you thank you for setting up the day!! I will continue to follow your journey.
    marti

  17. Love this post, Gabi. What I don’t really like is fundamentalism, and it’s easy to get be fundamentalist about the groups that are the most that way, but then we can miss out on some true friends by putting labels on others and we can be fundamentalist ourselves. This shows why it’s great to have an open mind about EVERYONE! Love you!!

  18. When I was a kid the Jehovah’s witnesses were always trying to convert me. Or someone was. I would have thought the same thing you thought. Great read.

  19. Interesting one Gabi. I completely agree about not judging a book by its cover and sadly thanks to our cultures around the world it is almost impossible not to have any prejudices about some people. Perhaps the best way of dispelling these prejudices is to meet as many people of various backgrounds as possible. In my honest opinion though, I could never put paedophiles in the same category as Muslims or Missionaries though. Paedophiles are people who harm others (not to say that missionaries don’t – in less obvious and direct ways), and give their extremely vulnerable victims no choice.

  20. When I was studying in the Czech Republic way back last millennium, the only other native speakers were some American missionaries. We always refused their offer to meet up for fear of being brainwashed. Now I wish I’d taken them up on their invitation, if only for one time only. Too late now. But, wait, there are some US missionaries I see wandering around Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Hey, guys, wait up. Let’s go grab a cortado.

    • Matthew, you are a dear. Don’t worry. I bet missionaries were the convert-or-you-will-burn-in-hell type which is exactly why you didn’t meet them then. You and they were not ready yet. God, we talked so much about sex my missionary time was one of the most delightful afternoons of all time. Tell me how are the missionaries you see walking down the street. I bet you’ll break some preconceptions too! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Gabi

  21. wait wait wait…I have to go out and look for missionaries! Didn’t know they were so much fun! 🙂 It’s remarkable: the things we already knew keep on being confirmed. Something about a book and it’s cover and maybe also something about best things that happen when you don’t expect it.
    Gabi, are you sure you are not the missionary for honesty, real life and taking the best out of every moment?
    I really loved reading your post. Enjoying life and fun are shining through your words like sunbeams warming up the earth…or something. Anyway, I didn’t know missionaries also ate pizza…maybe they are not that strange after all :::)))

    • emiel my friend. i have missed you and your thoughts. i had a chocolate ball a bit back at the german bakery (in india run by the nepalese) and thought of you. it was pretty good but not as good as you know…. yes, they eat pizza and laugh hysterically about sex. i adored marti to death and share with her a deep bond of love from that one afternoon. i also deeply love the missionaries anna and her husband whom i fell in love with in peru, and the missionaries in equador who saved the girl who was a twin and her tribe believed the smaller of the twins was the devil and left her to die. a lot of amazing sex talk and laughing and crying. i know! the world keeps shocking me by shoving all i know up my nose. i love you emiel.

  22. Too funny. I’m still a bit cautions of missionaries but reading your experience has helped me open my mind a bit.

    • mary, you are a dear. it was too funny and still i find myself suspicious of others sometimes and then i think of how much i hate missionaries and laugh at myself. all my love to you dear, gabi

  23. I have a friend who used to joke “the less I know about my enemies the better.” Spending time with people makes all the difference as you so aptly observe.

  24. Another entertainingly great read Gabi. With all your stories you really need your own chat show on TV!! You never seem to have any dull or mundane stories or experiences.

    • james, what an unreal honor and joy to have you around. really, seriously, fab. thank you. i’d love a tv show but only if it’s live and i can be my insane self without anyone editing me. it will come one day, now that you’ve said it. soooooo fun to have alyson’s love and yours. no. fuckin. way. (yes, i’m going to hell for the f word too. hipeee!)

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