Cleaning up

Today a group of lay missioners in Phnom Penh visited the seminary to talk with the seminarians who will be priests in three years. Then we had dinner together and then Sambath, Chamroeun, and Ratana did the dishes.

Not little green apples….

Cambodians, especially the deaf youth, live a simple lifestyle that is closely linked to nature. Today there was excitement in the morning break when the students discovered two small green mangoes on a tree on our property–unfortunately too far out of reach for even our mango-picker poles.

I love mangoes but the idea of eating a hard, unripe green mango is yechy for me. Cambodians put some sort of salt or spices or something on the green mangoes and think it’s heavenly.

New Church Progress

Our two wicker cabinets and keyboard and processional cross arrived at St. Jude Thaddeus School after a short one kilometer ride from the DK Meeting Centre.

Myra, the school owner, and two staff move our cabinets into a storage area they created for our church materials.

When you’re thirsty….

Just about anything you want to buy in Cambodia can be bought on the street–blue jeans, shoes, raincoat, underwear, coconuts, fried chicken, snails, drinks…. Here is a drink stand. The long poles sticking up out of the green bucket are stalks of sugarcane. They are run through a device like a washing machine wringer to squeeze out the juice. Really good!

New Church Progress

The furniture and equipment from the previous St. Jude Thaddeus School building has now been moved to the new site of the school. Currently it is held in what will be a multipurpose room while the classrooms are being completed.

Backpack safety

These two young women are wearing backpacks and doing it right. Too many people, especially women, are injured when thieves on other motorcycles drive up next to them and grab the strap of a bag or backpack. If it doesn’t break, they pull the person off the moto and still get away with the bag. The woman above on the right has the best protection–covering the backpack with her jacket. Wearing a backpack behind you, like the woman on the left, can be dangerous because it’s reachable, but this woman’s back is shielded by her companion.


A group of us continue to meet on Wednesday evenings for a liturgy and then dinner together. Tonight we were joined by Rachel (L, seated) and her daughter Chenda (2R, standing). Rachel was a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Cambodia, arriving in the same group with Charlie Dittmeier in 2000.

Pineapple Season

Here where the weather is always basically the same, especially temperature-wise, the indication of the season of the year is often the appearance of a fruit. We don’t have baseball, basketball, football, etc., seasons. We don’t even have sports leagues like that. And the trees are always green and something is always flowering so you can check the roadside markets to see what they’re selling and you know what season it is.

Pineapples are here!

New Church

The new St. Joseph Church is getting more detail on the outside and getting ceilings and column decorations on the inside. Fr. Chatsirey is talking about being in the new building by Christmas.