Retreat: Monday

Four of us drove from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville this morning on the new highway just opened up. It is like the Interstate highways in the U.S. and cut the travel time from 5 or 6 hours to just 3 hours. A great improvement!
The highway is finished but the rest areas are not. This one had a functioning gas station but all the planned commercial sites were empty except for one coffee shop.
While no one could use the Catholic center during Covid, they did a lot of renovations. Because of my advanced age–not because of any significant achievements!- -I got a room in the VIP section where the four bishops stayed. This is a far cry from what it used to be with a small bed and bare concrete walls!
The first official act of the retreat was vespers together at 5:00 PM.
Then Bishop Olivier had a formal welcome for everyone in the outdoor dining area.
Then the electricity at the center went out. A generator powered three or four lights in the courtyard but our dinner was in darkness broken by phone lights.
The retreat sessions were held in a different building apart from the residence buildings. The meeting room, too, has been completely redone and is so much nicer now.