Time for a Haircut

As part of the DDP Job Training Project, we have a barber shop where young deaf men learn to cut hair. Of course, I have to go there. It gives “face” to the trainees that I trust them, but it also can make them quite nervous to be cutting the “boss'” hair.
The young man in the top photo was doing quite well with my hair. He was just slow, and the trainer (dark shirt above) told me that was because he was frightened to be cutting my hair and would cut just a little at a time to be sure he didn’t make any mistake. I really upset the trainee, though, when I asked him to trim the odd hairs in my bushy eyebrows. He had never done anything like that and handed the clippers over to the trainer who also took the opportunity to even out the long hair on top.

First Day at Work

Today Maryknoll Lay Missioner Julie Lawler (C) came for her first day on the job at the Deaf Development Programme where she will be an educational advisor. Julie arrived in Cambodia in January but has been in language school up to now, learning both spoken Khmer language and Cambodian Sign Language. With her is Touch Sophy, the Education Project manager, and Russ Brine, another Maryknoll Lay Missioner, who is DDP finance manager.

Yes and No

At the farewell on Monday for three of our staff, the staff did rather well on compliance with wearing masks. The interpreter by the pole doesn’t have one so the deaf people can read her face.
The social distancing wasn’t done so well, except by a few in the back who kept their distance.

Saying Goodbye…

Today at the Deaf Development Programme we had a little farewell gathering to say goodbye to three of our staff who are leaving us. We have been blessed with good staff over the years and now will miss Kanha (L), Soeun, and Sinh.

That’s my staff!

This morning, going across town for an early mass, I saw this large LCD sign board at a major intersection–and then noticed Maly, the DDP Sign Language Project manager, interpreting Cambodian Sign Language in the upper corner. We’re making the big time!

COVID-19 Notes at DDP

This week the Disability Action Council, a branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs, gave the deaf community several hundred packets containing face masks, hand sanitizer gel, and a sanitizing spray. Here some of the DDP staff set up the donated materials in preparation for distributing them to the deaf people connected with the Deaf Development Programme.

Masks for Deaf People

A Kentucky college student has created and is producing face masks with a transparent panel for deaf people who need to see a person’s face to communicate well. Part of sign language is on the hands. The rest is on the body. The emotion, punctuation, and more appears on the face and is hidden by regular surgical masks.

Here is a link to the article about the masks.

Work from home

The coronavirus pandemic has spread throughout the world and is certainly a presence now in Cambodia. Overnight our number of infected people doubled from 12 to 24. We had already been working on a DDP plan to help control the spread of the virus, and early in the morning our management team finalized a work-from-home policy. In the afternoon we gathered all the Phnom Penh staff on our porch (to minimize contact and provide more ventilation) and we explained the policy, who is to work where and how, and then sent them home for the next four to eight weeks. Who knows?