80 years old and a new experience

I’m not much of a cook. Going to the seminary at age 14 put a real crimp in my culinary skills. For lunch every day I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple. For dinner, once a week I buy four or five servings of some dish at a rice street stall and eat the same thing every night for a week.

Occasionally, though, I might get curious and try something–if it’s simple enough. I love macaroni and cheese and heard that it was simple so I gave it a try this evening. My big problem: I don’t have a stove, just a microwave and a hot water kettle. I just heated some water, dropped the macaroni in for 8 or 9 minutes (not really cooking it like the box calls for), and it all turned out well and added a little fillip to my nightly offering from the rice stall.

Sad farewell

This evening we had a farewell reception for U.S. Ambassador Patrick Murphy and his wife Kathleen. He has been an exceptional ambassador–his terms was extended twice–and the Khmer press is crediting his tenure for real improvements in Khmer-American relations.

After greeting everyone individually, the ambassador gave his prepared remarks and they were one of the best speeches I have heard in my entire life. He was so positive and affirming and came across as so sincere.

Fr. Kevin and I have known the ambassador through our contacts at mass and were invited to the reception. Standing next to me is the Ambassador to Timor Leste who was recently appointed as dean of the ambassadors. He too comes to our weekend masses.

Back in Bangkok

I’m sorry for the week-long hiatus! The first part of this month has been crazy. Last Sunday I flew to Bangkok for my annual physical exam on Monday. They saw a spot on my lung and that required going back for more tests on Tuesday, but in the end the lung specialist said it’s probably an old infection and just check on it in a year.

Adding more complexity to the week was my seeming to have the flu while there and feeling miserable. That finally started turning around Wednesday morning and today (Thursday) I feel just about normal.

At BNH Hospital, I had to take the elevator to the 4th floor several times and noticed this admonishment on the elevator button panel, telling people not to bring durian fruit into the hospital. For those who don’t know, durian is a large Asian fruit with a thick prickly hull. It is noted for “Tastes like heaven, smells like hell,” and is also banned from all Asian airlines because of the sharp pungent odor.

Wednesday Gathering

We stopped our Wednesday gatherings of Maryknoll Cambodia when we closed the NGO, but many of us decided to continue to meet and tonight we had a gathering of nine of us who try to meet every week. Most of us were part of Maryknoll but we have others who are lay missioners on their own or with another group.

Our group meets in the home of our gracious hosts, Maria and Kila.
This was Sr. Regina’s last time to meet with us before she returns to the United States and we also wanted to remember Maria’s birthday so added a cake to the evening.