2017 Priests Retreat–Monday

Monday was a day for traveling from all over Cambodia (about the size of Wyoming) to Sihanoukville down on the southern coast of the kingdom.  The distances are not actually that great but for some of the priests it is a two-day trip because of the difficulty of travel in Cambodia.  This is Archbishop Sebastian Francis, our retreat leader.  Click here to see pictures from Monday.

Cambodia Priests Retreat

Today was the beginning of the annual retreat for all the priests of Cambodia.  It is held at the Catholic center in Sihanoukville and for most of us it was a travel day to this southernmost province in the kingdom.  In the picture, Bishop Olivier welcomes everyone to the gathering

The Internet doesn’t reach to my room and I have to go to another building to make these posts so I probably will only get to post things here once a day. On Tuesday I will set up a main page for the retreat which will link to the individual days.

Birthday Celebration

We are in the middle of a three-day holiday for the birthday of King Norodom Sihamoni seen here visiting a family in the provinces.  The king is a really nice person–the only smiling, human face in the government—but why three days for a birthday?  That is why Cambodia has twenty-five public government holidays.  The US has eleven.  How do you rebuild a country when no one works?

Cleaning Up

Today we had to run down to Kampot Province for some meetings.  We got over to DDP House, our hostel for young deaf people in our Education Project, just as they were washing dishes after lunch.

Production and Marketing

Various groups of impoverished people locate themselves in places where large numbers of people with money are, i.e., at the entrance of the western-style supermarkets, at tourist attractions, etc.  Other groups frequent places where the normal traffic of every day life has to slow down or stop, i.e., at intersections or at the increasing number of traffic lights in Phnom Penh.  When the light turns red, small children or slow, tottering elderly come to the cars and peer in the tinted windows, hoping to sell limes (as in these photos) or flowers or other trinkets.

These two children approaching cars to sell limes at a stop light are the front end of a small family business.
Around the corner, mother and the smaller children put together the bags of limes that the larger children sell. They might make a couple dollars in a day.

Religious Education Finale

Many of the international schools in Phnom Penh are giving final exams to their students in May, and in the religious education program for the English-speaking Catholic community, we had our final class this past weekend.  There weren’t any exams but rather we had a farewell for Ms. Beata Pratiwi (far right) who has been a coordinator for the program but is now returning to Indonesia.