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.

Deaf Day 2020

A deaf mother teaching her son about a butterfly.


This year, due to COVID-19, we had a small localized Deaf Day celebration on our DDP office grounds. We had about 150+ people come during the day and everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves. Click here for some photos of the day.

International Day of Sign Languages

This is International Deaf Week and this year there is a special emphasis on sign language. Here is some interesting information about a nation’s sign language:

How does sign language work?

A sign language relies on a combination of hand shapes, movements, and facial expressions to deliver messages. These can include a combination of:

  • Hand shapes —20-50 hand shapes with many variants
  • Orientation — This is the direction of your hand in relation to your body. For example, making a sign near the head suggests ‘thinking’.
  • Location — Signs are made near different parts of the body to convey meaning
  • Movement — Small or large movements of the head, arms and hands can suggest different words
  • Expression — Head and facial movements or expressions are used to convey emotion and emphasis.

Disinfecting Solution

Today I was making a batch of disinfecting solution we use against COVID-19 at DDP. This kit was developed in Louisville, Kentucky and donated to us through the generosity of family and friends. ( THANK YOU!) More to come…

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.