It was a long day. We started from the DDP office in Phnom Penh at 6:00 AM and drove six hours with a couple stops before reaching Siem Reap where we ate lunch. Then we arrived at the Metta Karuna Reflection Center, found our rooms, and quickly got started on the program.
At 6:00 AM the Phnom Penh staff left on the bus from our office. Staff from Kampong Cham went directly to the center in Siem Reap.
Because of the early start there was a stop for breakfast about two hours into the trip. Here two restaurant staff (left and right) stare at DDP staff using sign language.
This stop was in Kampong Thom which is noted for eating insects, especially its roasted tarantulas in the left plate in the back.
Another hour and a half along the way we had another stop for people to use the bathroom.
Finally, a little after noon and 180 miles later, we reached Siem Reap and went to a restaurant for lunch.
At the center, the gate was too narrow and the wires too low for the bus to enter so we unloaded our gear out on the road.
Rather quickly we got going with our program. Here one of the staff explains the house rules and procedures for our stay.
then Grace Ortiz spoke about creating a deaf friendly environment at the center for the next four days.
The major part of the afternoon’s agenda was given to Keat Sokly, our co-director, who spoke about the workings of the new social security system in Cambodia, what it can do and how effective it is so far.
Not all of our staff could make it to this annual meeting but we have 51 with us.
After supper some of the staff stopped to chat under a light on one of the walkways.
Then some of the more energetic staff got together for a karaoke session, singing to projected words in the meeting area.