Annual Staff Meeting

I am sorry for the absence of any posts for the last four days. That wasn’t the plan as we headed north to the province of Mondulkiri for an annual meeting of all the DDP staff from Phnom Penh and Kampong Cham.

Here we are at 6:00 AM on Monday morning, loading the larger of two buses that were to take us to Mondulkiri.

The overall experience was quite good for the 35 staff who attended. It was a long drive each way but we stopped (too) many times so people had a chance to get out of the buses. And Angkor Forest, the resort/meeting center where we were based was quite nice and the staff were cooperative although the options and services were limited.

But then we had our difficulties, too:

  • We were so far out of town that even the telephone signals were erratic and hopes of using a data connection for the Internet were dashed.
  • For me the troubles got worse as I tried to switch a SIM card in my phone from the company that works well in Phnom Penh to one that is better in Mondulkiri, and in the process my old SIM fell through a crack in the wooden flooring and was unrecoverable. (I just got that connection restored today.)
  • Then on the trip home, the smaller of the two buses had a clutch problem. The larger bus towed it for an hour or so until a place was found that works on heavy machinery and the small bus was left for repairs. All 35 of us squeezed into the one bus with all our stuff. We were supposed to arrive in Phnom Penh at 4:30 PM but didn’t get there until 9:30 PM.
  • And just as we arrived, we were notified that one of the staff who had been dropped off in one province on the way was tested positive for Covid-19. That meant that all of us were at risk and was especially worrisome because the students for next year were to arrive the next day in Phnom Penh.

All in all it was a good trip and I will be showing various aspects here in the next few days.