New Maryknoll Office

Maryknoll is moving to a different office building in August and today we went through the house with the landlords to check for need repairs and changes. Here Sr. Regina calculates whether our dining room table will fit into this space. It does.

Signs of Progress

A somewhat unlikely sign of progress in the development of Cambodia is this small frontloader at a sand pile on a construction site. It would be much more common to see a handful of humans–maybe most of them women–moving the sand around with shovels. But Cambodia is becoming more and more mechanized.

More vaccine for Cambodia

[Photo from Khmer Times]

After incurring only about 375 positive cases of COVID-19 in the first fifteen months of the pandemic, Cambodia now has experienced more than 72,000 cases in the last five months. Phnom Penh is almost completely vaccinated but the country has had 800-1000 cases per day for more than two weeks. A good number of those cases now are “imported,” i.e., brought into Cambodia by migrant workers returning to Cambodia after their jobs disappeared in Thailand when factories there were closed. Many of these returning workers are crossing the border illegally and it is feared that they are bringing the delta variant of the virus.

Above is a picture of 325,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Japan, part of a one million dose gift. This vaccine arrived yesterday.

Can you hear me?

Maryknoll Cambodia has been looking for another office. One shophouse we checked out today had this audio room on the second floor. All Cambodian buildings in the cities are made of concrete and terrazzo floors, and the noise level and echoes are terrible. Apparently a previous audiophile occupant of this house fitted out this small room with carpeting (unheard of in Cambodia) and padded walls to create a quiet listening environment for a discerning ear. First time I’ve seen anything like that in Cambodia.

Our new home?

Maryknoll Cambodia (the official name of our Maryknoll presence in Cambodia) is considering a move to a new, smaller office.

We have identified 25+ shophouses that are available in our area but most are not the right size or the right price. One especially promising one we visited this morning. Up on the third floor it had this strange open place at the rear, next to the stairs going to the open roof area. Since most Cambodian houses are built without closets, this flat space is probably a storage area.

I don’t worry….

This motorcycle driver is a good illustration of the casual approach to driving here. He has no helmet. His bike has no rearview mirrors. His taillight is broken. His bike has no license plate. Does anyone worry? No. Could he get stopped by the police? He could, especially if the officer feels the need for a little extra money. Is it likely? No.