The church’s Christmas season officially ended last Sunday but we at Maryknoll just took down our decorations today, before our weekly Wednesday meeting. Here (L-R) are Sr. Helene, Hang Tran, Julie Lawler, and Sr. Mary.
Fr. Hung Nguyen was an associate priest with me starting in 2001 and then he returned to his diocese of Seattle. Now he is looking at possible Asian mission again and today he and I met with Bishop Olivier to discuss the possibility of Hung’s working with the English community here. I hope so!
My trip to Bangkok was rather simple, just a consultation with the surgeon who removed part of my kidney in May to make sure all things are going well. There weren’t a lot of exciting photos!
The focal point of the trip was BNH Hospital in Sathorn in Bangkok. A good hospital with really good staff and good medical care. And a garuda mounted over its front entrance.
The next morning I was up at 3:00 AM to get to the old Don Mueang Airport for an economy airline flight back home. In one of the main passenger areas there was this large Buddhist depiction, just to remind travelers that they are in Thailand!
Tomorrow I go to see the surgeon in Bangkok who in May removed part of my kidney, for a six-month checkup. I suspect it will all be rather routine but it requires a trip to Bangkok. The beginning of that trip was not routine–beset by horrendous Phnom Penh traffic–but then, maybe that unfortunately is becoming routine also.
I was on an economy airline and limited to just a carryon so I exited quickly, bought a Thailand SIM card, and headed for the airport bus stop. I took at A3 bus to Lumphini Park, the closest I could get by bus to the Maryknoll house. From the park I then took a taxi to Maryknoll. Today the the US dollar = 34.21 Thai baht so the 50-minute airport bus ride was 50 baht, about US$1.50.
Yesterday turned out to be a very interesting Saturday. President Biden flew in on Air Force One in the morning for the ASEAN summit meeting held in Phnom Penh this weekend. He is Catholic and I had read that he tries to go to mass on Sundays wherever he is, so I was not too surprised when the US Embassy here asked me to have mass with him yesterday. The time for the mass changed three times during the week but finally we had a morning mass at the Raffles Hotel where the United States delegation was staying.
This year Bishop Olivier invited the lay missioners working in Phnom Penh to attend mass with him on Mission Sunday. There are not nearly the numbers of lay missioners we had before.