DC Sisters Anniversary 1

25 years ago the sisters of the Daughters of Charity from the Thailand Province came to Cambodia and started ministering in Battambang in the northern part of the kingdom. Tomorrow they have an anniversary celebration at the Catholic center in Battambang and today sisters from different provinces and their friends from Cambodia started coming together.

This is the residence building on the church compound where I am staying. We arrived about 2:00 PM after a six-hour drive from Phnom Penh.

At the end of the welcoming mass, Bishop Kike invited all the Daughters of Charity to come to the front to be recognized.

After the welcoming mass, the sisters and guests gathered for a great meal.

Slow Day

Most Cambodians do not work in offices or factories. The large majority work in the rice paddies and fields. And most of the rest work in shops and businesses set up in their homes, in the informal economy. In the informal economy, there is a lot of down time–sitting and waiting for customers. Above, the man on the left is a crossing guard, helping customers for a store get across the street. The man on the right is a motorcycle taxi drive–a vanishing breed–waiting for a fare.

Old Friends and New Friends

Those who remember the old days in Phnom Penh–basically the pre-Covid era–will remember Friends, the NGO that cared for children at risk, kids who were deaf or blind, street children, children of fishing families living on boats.

One of Friends’trademark initiatives was the Friends Restaurant, staffed by ex-street children, the only place in Phnom Penh where you could get deep-friend tarantula.

The restaurant didn’t survive the Covid shutdowns but now a welcome sign gives notice that a newly renamed “Friends Kitchen” will soon open on Street 13.

Charlie’s House

This is the house I live in St 53BT in the neighborhood called Boeung Tum Pun, in the unit on the far right. It’s four stories, and Christian university students from an indigenous tribe live on the top two floors. They get up there by a metal stairway coming from the right side of the covered entrance yard at ground level.

I have the ground floor and a second or mezzanine floor. Notice the building is one-room wide, what is called a pteah lveng in the local dialect. A building like this is built for one family, with a shop or restaurant or small business on the ground floor, but landlords block the inside stairways to upper floors and add the outside external stairs so they can house two or more families in the building.

Tangkok Pilgrimage

During the Pol Pot era, many Catholics were killed by the Khmer Rouge. Some of them have been proposed to the church as actual modern martyrs. Every year the Church of Cambodia has a celebration at Tangkok where there is a shrine to the martyrs. It has been reported that next year, Pope Francis will officially canonize martyrs from Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.

These photos are from yesterday’s ceremony in Tangkok.

Singapore Visitors

Today a group from the Singapore Wesley deaf program came to DDP for a visit. Half of them have been to DDP before and it was good to see them again, catch up on what’s happening, and do some planning for the future.

The Singapore group with the DDP management team.
The president of the Singapore group leading a prayer at the end.
A final shot as they prepared to leave and head for a workshop in Kampot.