May Lay Missioner Meeting

Every month lay missioners from many different sending groups and different countries meet in a support group in Phnom Penh.

In the meeting today, Maryknoll Sister Regina Pellicore gave a reflection on the rosary. It was both interesting and substantive because most people just start saying the rosary as children and no one ever explains or discusses how to pray with it.

The lay missioners gathered today came from eight different countries.

Maria Montello worked out an activity, actually making individual rosaries as part of a prayer together. The activity was followed by a dinner prepared by Maria and Kila Reimer.

AMD Testing

This is Dr. Long Chhour, an eye specialist, who has been testing and treating me for Age-related Macular Degeneration in my left eye. AMD in my case causes a fuzziness to appear in my central vision in that eye. The electronic unit is for testing with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). I have been lucky to find Dr. Chhour in Phnom Penh.

These are the OCT test results. The shallow part of the green curve indicates degeneration of the macula. It is a really interesting testing procedure.

I’m back….!!!!

After almost a one-month hiatus, I finally have access to this website again! The technicians at EsoSoft that hosts my website found two plug-ins that had stopped functioning and disabled them so now I think things will work OK.

This is just a quick test that I can post again and a notice that I should be on the air daily from now on. I’m sorry for the silence! I hope you can come back again!

It’s 7:00 AM Sunday morning here in Phnom Penh. I’ll be back later today.

Taiwan Trip-Sunday

The Maryknoll priests group is having an Asia Region Assembly 13-17 February 2023, and Fr. Kevin Conroy and I were invited even though we are no longer members of the Maryknoll Society. I flew Sunday, 12 February, from Phnom Penh to Taipei.

This is a sign on the desk at passport control when leaving Cambodia. No other country in the world has such a sign because it would be unthinkable to charge for checking a passport but officials in Cambodia thought it necessary to post this sign because in Cambodia officials do charge illegal payments (bribes, “tea money”) for almost every service citizens need.
I went to the Maryknoll house in Taipei and there was met by Henry Wong and Judy Wu, friends and colleagues from Hong Kong who are now resident in Taiwan.
Judy and Henry and their son Dominique then took me to dinner where we had time to catch up.
Then they took me to the Taiwan Lantern Festival, a two-week extravaganza of lights covering blocks and blocks of downtown Taichung.

The lights and displays were spectacular!

No mailman

After I wrote an article for the Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Louisville family, former students, and others donated to help pay for our work with refugees here. I wanted to write a personal thank-you to them but we have had no outgoing mail since it stopped in May, 2020 because of Covid. I decided to write the thank-yous and send them by courier to Louisville where my sister would drop them in a mailbox. Yesterday I contacted UPS here and they wanted $92 to send the letters; DHL wanted $82. I then went to Express Mail Service of the post office and sent them for $37. But after I paid, the clerk told me it would take five to ten days to get to the US!

Oh, well….at least my investment years ago in Forever stamps paid off. I bought them for 32¢, I believe, and now they cost 60¢+.

Just like the old days….

Today ended up with a delightful visit from Dave and Sharon Rohe who met with Roath Leakhena and me in Phnom Penh. Dave and Sharon and Leakhena used to work with American Friends Service Commitee (AFSC) in Sihanoukville and I collaborated with them in a small deaf program they had. Then Sharon and Dave moved to New Zealand. Now they are in Cambodia for a visit and we had a wonderful time talking over a pleasant dinner. Welcome back!

What makes my day (or week)!

I’m sure all of us have certain little events or occurrences or perhaps meeting certain people that “make my day,” that is, something that gives a really pleasing and satisfying tone to the day (or maybe to a week).

For me, it is having the bananas I buy in a bunch (called a “hand” of bananas here) get eaten before the last ones are impossible to peel and so overripe they need to be eaten with a spoon. This hand of bananas has fourteen individual bananas. Normally the bunches have anywhere between twelve and twenty bananas and the fruit sellers don’t want to cut the bunch in half, which would be perfect for me.

I am the only one who eats at my house so I need to consume them all. This type of banana is smaller than a typical US banana and I try to eat one at each meal and that would work out to finish them off in about five days. But with eating breakfast in different places because of morning masses, sometime I’m slow working on the bunch and after six or seven days still have a few really brown, really soft bananas to go.

So it makes my week when the bananas are still firm and good tasting when I get to the last one of the bunch!