New Cabinets for a New Year

A big problem in the tropics is termites and we had them big time in our kitchen cabinets and in the door frame to the right of the man standing on the left above. Finally the landlord decided to tear out the old cabinets which was great except for three days of thick dust when they also jackhammered off the wall tiles.
We had no cabinets for almost three weeks and then suddenly on New Year’s Eve a work crew shows up and installs the cabinets above. That’s a simple sentence but the work wasn’t. The top photo shows them making the cabinets on the kitchen floor–more dust!—and the bottom photos shows them on New Year’s Day after they finished sanding and staining them. Now maybe we can get back to normal in the kitchen.

Enough already!

COVID-19 has affected people all over the world and in many different ways. Last week I had a funeral in Phnom Penh and afterwards met a young couple, the man from the United States and the woman from Malaysia. They were married in March and came to Cambodia for a honeymoon–and are still here. Because of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, he cannot go to Malaysia and she cannot go to the United States. Seven months now….how long is too long?

Seminary Reunion

2020 is the 50th anniversary of my class’s ordination to the priesthood and I was looking forward to seeing the guys again at the alumni reunion in Baltimore last week. But thanks to COVID-19, such was not to be. Instead a bunch of us got together for a Zoom reunion online, and it turned out to be an interesting and enjoyable experience.

Closing down

Olga, one of our lay missioners, has had to stay in the Philippines because of COVID-19 and death in her family. She will not be able to return to Cambodia so today a crew of Maryknollers emptied out her apartment. Sisters Regina (the organizer), Ann, and Helene were there along with our office manager Siphal and his wife and also lay missioner Julie Lawler and Charlie Dittmeier. Note the common Cambodian space-saving maneuver on the stairway: dividing a normal stairway into half sideways. Broad shouldered people beware.