Posted by: Simon & Becci | May 2, 2011

Our house

Our future house

We have a house! After nearly 5 hours of building relationship, negotiation over things like air conditioning, mosquito nets and kitchen shelves, we have signed a contract for $350 a month on a brand new townhouse in the south of Phnom Penh.ย We have a lovely landlady who speaks good English and lives two doors down.

Becci with Som-Phors, our house-hunter

Finding a house here is completely different from searching in the UK – no “rightmove” here. Houses for rent are advertised simply with a poster and phone number stuck on the door outside. In a city of 2 million people that means you need some help finding one that suits you! Midge recruited a “househunter” for us, a lovely lady called “Som-Phors” who, despite being 8 months pregnant, spent several hours looking around the city on her motorbike looking for suitable houses.

The one we’ve gone for is typical of the houses being built across the city. ย It is tall and thin, has tiled floors and walls, and has 4 bedrooms each with an en suite bathroom. Most people use the room downstairs to keep their car, motorbike or bicycle in! It’s similar to the house we are staying in with Steve and Midge, just smaller. By way of comparison, a one bedroom flat elsewhere in the city costs $380 so we think we have a bargain – lots of room for visitors – sign up now! ๐Ÿ™‚

The plan is to start moving stuff into it next Tuesday just before we fly back to the UK so that Steve, Midge and the boys can stay in it for their final couple of weeks whilst they clean and empty their current house. We now need to go shopping for an oven, fridge and bed in the next few days.

Looking out at Phnom Penh from our future balcony

Our time here continues to be a whirlwind of activity and with so much stuff to learn our brains hurt! We have met lots of people (and are trying to remember how to pronounce their names), have both started learning to ride a motorbike (more on this in our next blog) and are gradually learning our way around the city. I have also had a number of really helpful chats with Steve as a crash course into everything I might need to know to lead the church out here. We also managed to see some of the royal wedding on Friday with a group of British ex-pats which was fun but made us feel a long way from home!

We are looking forward to having Peter Brooks from Sydney come for three days this Thursday. Peter oversees the church here and is coming to help and advise so that the next few months go smoothly.

One random fact to finish off with – I have discovered that the word “Phnom” in predictive text on a mobile phone is typed the same as the name “Simon”……



  1. Good news on your house hunting. Praise God. $350 per month for four bedrooms compares quite favourably with Paris prices, I would say! I think that amount here would get you a cardboard shoe box with no sides or roof and to be shared with three co-locataires. All on the ninth floor with no lift, of course. We will miss you at prayer and fasting next Tuesday and Wednesday so we look forward to seeing you at Brighton. Love from George and Gill

  2. Wow, you really are moving! Sounds like you’ve been doing really well, I hope you’re both coping with the pace of learning & adapting. Stay safe on the motorbike!!
    You’re missed already here in Cov. Church was cool on Sunday by the way, God’s peace just came in worship in a way I hadn’t felt for ages. ๐Ÿ™‚
    have fun!!

  3. Wow! We’re so excited to hear that you’ve found somewhere to live – and it sounds great!!!! So good that the land lady speaks English too! What an adventure you guys are on… it’s only really hitting me now, as I’ve just finished reading this entry. You guys are crazy!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ In a good way. Learning to ride motorcycles, a crash course in leading a Cambodian church, texting words such as ‘Phnom Penh’ (I had to look that up right now)… You guys are my heroes! Will continue to be praying for more blessings around each corner and loads of fun. Love you, Em x x p.s. I’m just about to post some Yosemite photos on facebook – you might want to have a look – God did a great job.

  4. … but do you get clubcard points with it?

    Great to hear that things are going well… looking forward to hopefully dropping in next year some time… ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Wow Great news!! Very excited for you Praying all goes well with getting stuff sorted furnishing, names, crash courses, motorbiking ( not getting the 2 mixed up !) and Pete Brooks visit You’ll be coming back for a holiday!
    With Love and prayers and given the time of day night night!! Martyn Judy n Beth xxx

  6. Hi guys! Great news on the house front. I’m so pleased for you.
    Lots of love, Steve
    P.s. I smile and sympathise with your struggle of pronounce unfamiliar names.

  7. Looking forward to a picture of Simon/Becci on a motorbike ๐Ÿ˜€
    Great that you’ve got a house! Looks very much like those in China’s rural areas ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love & prayers

  8. Hello lovely friends!!! So pleased you have found a house (v. classy going for a town house you know though I bet it feels a bit different to Stradey Cl, Binley!) We’re both thinking about you lots and looking forward to catching up with everything soon.
    lots of love. xxx

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