Brown Bag Lunch

This is the equivalent of brown bagging lunch in Cambodia. In a culture where a meal is not a meal without rice these metal section containers are used. Rice wouldn’t fare so well in a paper bag, but these containers have one section for the rice and then two or three other sections for vegetables or whatever to go with the rice.

Farewell to the Barbers

The Deaf Development Programme offers two years of non-formal education and then a year of job training. For the boys our most successful skill to learn is barbering. Today three of our new barbers left DDP after three years with us.

The boys’ parents and some brothers and sisters came to pick them up, and we tried to really welcome them and help them to feel proud of their sons. Too many families with deaf children see their sons and daughters who can’t hear as problems, so today it was good for us to emphasize to these parents that now their sons can set up a barber shop in the provinces and contribute to the support of the family.
These parents rode in a tuk-tuk for three hours to reach Phnom Penh before lunch so we planned to feed them before their return journey.
It was good for the other students to be part of the celebration, too, to encourage them with a recognition of the success and accomplishment that can be theirs in another year or two.
Then it was time to load the barber chairs and mirrors and barber tools into tuk-tuks for the ride home. It was a crowded ride for the families.
This family was able to arrange for a tuk-tuk with a rack on top so they had more room inside for the people.

Sign language class

Today Ms. Korn Maly (with microphone) began a new class teaching Cambodian Sign Language and I was invited to give a welcome to the students. I emphasized how important it is for more people to know sign language so that deaf people can be more included in the day-to-day interactions of life.

WIG Visitors

Several months ago some DDP staff attended a meeting of the Women’s International Group to talk to them about deafness and the work of DDP. They invited us to apply for funding through them, and this week a delegation from WIG came to visit DDP and discuss our work. We were very pleased to welcome them.

New Wheels 2

Back on January 1st, I showed some pictures of the small motorized tuk-tuks that have become the new norm for public transportation in Cambodian cities. Four models with LPG-powered engines were featured.

Well, there’s a new kid on the block. The Onion is a new version of the now familiar motorized tuk-tuks but it is different for two reasons. First, it is produced in Cambodia! It was completely designed here and is locally manufactured. And secondly, it is electric. It has a lighter plastic body and a really quiet electric motor to propel it.

Is it safe?

When I opened up a new box of soap (from Thailand) today, I noticed it had an expiry date printed on it. Given that food dealers are super cautious about things like expiration dates because of the risk of getting sued, I’m betting that even a year after 8 November 2024 the soap will still be safe to eat.

Women’s Day 2023

The Deaf Development Programme always celebrates Women’s Day as one of its special days and this year we moved the celebration to this Sunday so more people could come from the provinces and join in the fun and camaraderie.

This was the first big celebration we had since we moved from our old office grounds where we had big open areas. Today we used the eating area for our hostel and it was cramped but not so crowded as to be uncomfortable.
Our celebrations always have an array of simple games which people really enjoy. Here a young woman flips a water bottle to see if she can make land upright. If she does her paper is stamped and she gets a prize.
Another game challenged participants to blow a ping pong ball across glasses of water.
Another game used a water gun to shoot balls off the cups.
Those who were successful at the games brought their stamped games slips here to claim a little prize.
The games were fun but perhaps the most enjoyable part of the day was eating lunch together and then just talking to and catching up with friends not seen for many months.