At least once a year, Bishop Olivier comes to the Maryknoll office for one of our Wednesday meetings, a liturgy, and then dinner together. It’s just an informal time to talk and catch up with what we are all doing and for us especially to hear more about the workings of the diocese here.
First, sorry for not being able to post yesterday. We had to get fingerprinted in the morning and the plan was afterwards to update this website before heading to Siem Reap for a deaf youth camp. But it turned out the whole morning was spent with the fingerprints so that I had no time to do anything before heading north to the camp.
A recent directive from the Ministry of Social Affairs said that all the Maryknoll project directors need to get a criminal record check. Probably that is the result of international NGOs pushing against the trafficking and abuse of children here.
I thought it would take maybe 15-30 minutes for the seven of us to be printed but it took 2 1/2 hours. We had to fill out a form for the Cambodian police at the Ministry of the Interior and that took a while because they wanted all our heights in centimeters, etc., and then eventually we each were fingerprinted twice.
The original plan was that we would get fingerprinted and then we would send the copies of the print and our payment to the FBI in Washington, DC., they would do a criminal check, and then send us a record of their findings which we could submit to MOSVY. But it turns out that the police here have some sort of working arrangement with the FBI and the US Embassy so the time spent on all the paperwork was to send that to Washington for us. We had to pay $30 each for that, plus $2.50 for new photos, but if we understood correctly what they were telling us, we don’t have to do anything more.
Jim McLaughlin is a former Maryknoll Lay Missioner who helped set up diagnostic microbiology labs in Cambodia and then co-founded the Diagnostic Microbiology Development Program there. He serves as president of DPMD and returns to Cambodia several times a year to mentor, advise, and teach. He just returned to Phnom Penh with his friend Dr. Peter Gilligan who is the Director of Clinical Microbiology at the University of North Carolina in the United States. Peter will consult and review the DMPD operation and teach the Cambodian staff and technicians and students who are making this new field a reality in the kingdom. Here they are visiting the Deaf Development Programme.
After twenty-five years in Cambodia, Sr. Luise Ahrens is preparing to return to a new mission in the United States. Tonight was the last Maryknoll Wednesday meeting Luise will have with us and several of her long-standing friends from the old days joined the Maryknollers for this final gathering.
Yesterday I couldn’t find some photos taken in Bangkok on our return trip to Cambodia. Today I found where they had lodged when I imported them and now they have been added to the Friday page. Click here to see Marj at the Bangkok airport.
Today was a travel day from Hua Hin to Bangkok to Phnom Penh. Click here for a few photos from the trip.
For the Maryknoll Lay Missioners and the priests and brothers, today was the last day of meetings. The sisters will continue to meet tomorrow. Click here for pictures of this last day together.
The retreat ended yesterday and today we started the meeting portion of our gathering in Hua Hin. The morning was given to an exercise we called Open Spaces where people were allowed to post topics that were listed on the board and people were free to choose which topic session they would like to attend. Participation was rather sparse, partly because Obama was giving his farewell address as president. In the afternoon all the Maryknollers from all the different countries met as Maryknoll Asia South to discuss and plan retreats and schedules for the next two years. Click here for some photos.
The 2017 Maryknoll retreat ended this morning and the afternoon was generally free and then in the evening there was the traditional talent show. Click here for more.
Today was the fourth day of our retreat—and the rains continued to pour down. Click here to see the pictures.