Siem Reap MKLM Retreat

While the Asia Area Director, Steve Veryser, is in Cambodia, the Maryknoll Lay Missioners here are having a short retreat experience in Siem Reap where Angkor Wat is located. Today was a travel day.

A pleasant initial surprise was how well organized and clean the Larryta bus service is! Their terminal is really well planned and their staff very helpful. Here a manager in a tie assists an elderly woman to a seat in the waiting area.
There were two stops in the six-hour ride to Siem Reap. At this first site, Cambodia’s obsession with heavy, immovable, impractical tables and stools made of luxury wood was obvious, but the restaurant was most pleasant and friendly.
Another characteristic of Cambodian travel spots are the men’s urinals open to public view.
At the second stop, two hours beyond the first, it was again spacious and clean and very well organized.
Another feature of every stopping place on the trip is the ubiquitous spirit shrine, this one quite large.
Julie Lawler and I traveled together in the van above. Here at the Larryta terminal in Siem Reap, Julie negotiates with tuk-tuk drivers for a ride to the Jesuit reflection center.
Finally we arrived at the Metta Karuna Center. It is a delightful and most accommodating center for retreats and reflection groups with spacious grounds filled with all sorts of meaningful layouts and statues and thought-provoking arrangements. Here is a statue of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.

Beth Goldring is a Buddhist nun who is leading our reflection, working from her Buddhist studies and experience to help us develop a theme of nonviolence.