29th July, Cambodia, Siem Reap. I woke up this morning at 6.45, kissed Tom, then went in the shower and tied my hair in the standard day time bun. I then washed my face and put on some pyjama like bottoms and an ABC’s and Rice school t-shirt. No make up, no straightens, just a normal day time Cambodian style. We then went downstairs to have breakfast. We both discussed the day ahead and once we had worked out that we were going to finish the wall and have some pictures by it I decided to change into some nicer Cambodian pants and a brighter t-shirt, keeping the same sports bra on. We both hopped on our bikes and made our way to the school. I taught music to 4 classes in the morning and then when break time approached we finished painting the musical notes on the wall. By the end of break time, 9.50am, the wall was complete. Tom set up his go pro for some selfies by the wall, whilst I fanned my sweaty body with my t-shirt. Have I already mentioned you sweat as soon as you walk outside? By some miracle I had taken off my bumbag for these pictures. Tom gave me a hug and said ‘we did it’ and ‘now the children have got something everlasting I would like you to have the same’... and in less than a second he bent down on one knee. One knee. I thought I was imagining things. Tom was kneeling there right in front of the music wall that we had completed for the children. In my special place. The amount I was sweating (and probably smelt) didn’t cross my mind at that point. I responded, ‘what, really? Are you serious? Really?’. Realising that he was serious by the ring that was now gleaming in front of me, I said ‘yes’ and then cried my eyes out whilst nearly keeling over with shock. I had always thought to myself if I brought a boyfriend to Siem Reap they would be a keeper. The teachers were over the moon for us and the kiddies, who understood, kept touching my hand and smiling. Tammy told us to take the afternoon off and although we didn’t take it willingly we definitely needed it.
When arriving back at the guesthouse, the bed was covered in petals spelling ‘I love you’ and there were swans made out of towels as well as a bottle of champagne. This was the hotels third attempt I was told later that evening as Tom had planned to do it when the wall had been completed so joined a WhatsApp group with the guesthouse to arrange it on the down low. The wall nearly got completed on Friday morning, Friday afternoon and then the final and successful attempt, Monday morning. Just as well we took the afternoon off as I think we spent the majority of the time on FaceTime with family and friends whilst drinking the bottle of champagne. We then went out for a lovely traditional Khmer dinner at a restaurant that supports local organisations... another one of Tom’s amazing surprises. The conversations we had during the day were amazing, like no conversation had before.
I don’t think I’ve stopped looking at my left hand all day. So here I now am, still in complete shock and filled with happiness, with the love of my life and in my favourite place ever. Saying ‘yes’ in the most special place of all... a moment I will never forget