You hear a really big “THUMP”!

We restarted our education project yesterday at the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme and now that we know about how many students will be returning, we need to make some modifications to classrooms. We also need to work on the roof of this corridor. The red circle on the translucent panel marks the biggest hole—among several–caused by coconuts falling from the trees. The coconuts weight five to ten pounds and fall from 20 to 30 feet and are capable of doing a lot of damage to buildings and people.

A busy corner

Another busy, typical street in Phnom Penh. Everything is available in the different neighborhoods and corners like these put it all on display: Chinese steamed rolls, deep-fried Cambodian doughnuts, pans of fruit, clothes. It’s all right at hand.

A *BIG* lizard

Cambodia has lots of geckos, the small lizards that are part of every house, frightening intruders to the foreigners newly arrived but like old friends to the long-term experienced people. Then are the deuk-gaais, like this one pictured on a gate post. They are big, about 10 inches or 25 cms, and they are loud! Their cry is almost like the bark of a small dog: “DEUK-gaai, DEUK-gaai,…” repeated usually about 12 or 13 times in a decreasing volume. They’re pretty harmless, as far as I know, but they certainly make their presence known with their call, especially if one gets in the house. Usually, though, the deuk-gaais are outside.

“I think it’s the black one….”

Today our Internet was not working at the Deaf Development Programme office. A man came from the Internet service provider and said that it was a problem on the street. A little later I went to a meeting and found this crew working near our office on the mess of wires and cables that hang above every street. The man from the ISP said they had cut down some other wires and took the Internet cable with them.

Who needs it?

Because there is basically no traffic law enforcement, just about anything goes here. Probably a good third of the vehicles here are not street legal for things like mirrors, license plates–and especially lights. Tonight I was sitting at a light in a tuk-tuk and twelve motorcycles passed me by. Three of them had taillights.

Back to school

The government has been taking a super-cautious approach to reopening schools in Cambodia—long after neighboring countries opened theirs–so this recent picture is surprising. Only one mask is evident–and no other precautions.

The name of the school “Go-Go International School” gives an indication of how schools are just a money-making business here. Anyone can start a school and if at least one teacher can say “Good morning” in English, it qualifies as an international school which will attract middle-class families who want something special for their children.