Fr. John Barth

Wednesday is our regular weekly meeting day for Maryknoll Cambodia and today the liturgy after the meeting was made special by our celebrating the 40th anniversary of ordination for Fr. Kevin Conroy (L) and the visit of Fr. John Barth (C) who worked in Cambodia before being elected to the Maryknoll Society’s General Council in New York.

Battling the rats

There are always things to learn about a new house, and when we moved to a “new” Maryknoll office on St. 420, one of the things we learned is that it has its share of rats.

We had asked the landlord to put screens on the downstairs windows, and he did, but the second night we were there rats chewed through the plastic screening. That was in the dining room through the door in the picture on the right.

Here in the kitchen the rats found they almost had a red carpet invitation. The kitchen is basically a semi-room built onto the back of the house, probably because the builders were cooking on charcoal braziers (like most Cambodians) and the smoke would not get into the house. A solid wall extends up about five feet and above that was sheet metal and chainlink fencing–an open invitation to the rats.

We finally had enough of the intruders and installed a metal screening in the areas where the metal sheeting was penetrable. In this picture, the new screening is silver colored and above the refrigerator.

There is a door leading to the outside in the kitchen and it would stop a human being but not much else. There was just a grillwork in the door, chainlink fencing above the door, and a 3-inch gap below the door. Very convenient for rat traffic.

We put glass in the door, an extension on the bottom of the door, and more of the silver screening above the door. All of this happened just three days ago. We haven’t seen any rats in the kitchen since the modifications but we’ll have to wait and see if we are successful or not in keeping the rats out.


At our Maryknoll liturgy today, Clara Biswas said goodbye. She is with a Christian missionary group but now after many years in Cambodia—and with us–she is returning to Bangladesh. We had to say goodbye to a good friend.

Giving Tuesday, for DDP

I went to check what the tech wizards at Maryknoll had done with the video I sent them about DDP—and it didn’t come out the way they said it would! The proposal was for me to send a video that they would edit into three sections for the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before tomorrow’s Giving Tuesday.

Instead it looks like they used the whole enchilada, all 26 minutes of video except for some transitions and introductions I had included.

You can take a look at:

Something in Firefox or in the Maryknoll webpage won’t allow me to put a clickable link here so you will have to click on the address above and then copy-and-paste it into your browser address line. Sorry about that!

Thanks for any help you can give!

Giving Tuesday, for DDP

I’m not that familiar with Giving Tuesday (that started after I left the United States) but two weeks ago the Maryknoll priests group contacted me to say they wanted to feature the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme here in Cambodia in their Giving Tuesday appeal. I made some videos for them and they were supposed to start posting them over this past weekend.

Here is the link:

There was a still photo there when I checked on the weekend but I encourage you both to take a look at the videos (we were trying to explain more about deafness) and to make a donation. We are in a bad situation because of reduced donations to our funders because of Covid-19.

Thanksgiving Day 2021

Maryknoll Cambodia celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday this year. We normally meet every Wednesday and have a woman who cooks for us on that day so to fit everyone’s schedule, it was easier just to celebrate the holiday a day early. No one would notice here

We began with a simple liturgy. Each week we have five or six others who join us for a liturgy and meal after our meeting and they came for the American Thanksgiving also.
Supply chain issues hindered us this year but we finally got a small turkey, and it turned out that with all the dishes different people cooked, we had plenty of food.
We had fifteen people gathered this evening, and when all the eating was finished, there was an opportunity just to sit and chat.

A rodent problem

This is the dining room in the “new” Maryknoll office we moved into a week ago. This used to be the kitchen (see the water pipe still sticking out of the wall beside the microwave) but for some reason they moved the kitchen through the door and outside, under just a tin roof. We used to keep this window and door open but found rats can enter the outdoor kitchen and then hop through this window and door into the dining room and the rest of the house.

This is the kitchen now, outside. Notice the door with no glass or screen so that cats and rodents can easily come in. There is enough room for them to squeeze under the door if they don’t want to jump through the door.

This is a window on the side wall of the now dining room. We asked the landlord to put screens on the windows and he did. They are plastic screens and as soon as the first rat heard we had moved in, he chewed through the plastic (see the corner) and started going through the food in the dining room. As a consequence we now keep the windows closed and locked.

To try and reduce our rodent problem, I have set a rat trap in the now kitchen, hoping to catch whatever might come under the door in the background.

Moving Day

Finally the big moving day arrived. We recruited our motordupe and tuk-tuk drivers to help out for the day, and then all that rattan furniture went on to the big of a rented truck.