Maryknollers Get Fingerprinted

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.

Sr. Mara Rutten, who used to work for the FBI in Washington, has her height measured in centimeters.
Sr. Helene O’Sullivan has her fingers inked for the printing. For some reason, two other officers both took photos of each of us being fingerprinted.

Cambodian Microbe Hunters

Dr. Peter Gilligan, Charlie Dittmeier, and Dr. Jim McLaughlin

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.

Farewell for Sr. Luise

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.

Sr. Mary Little presented some flowers to Luise, “probably the last orchids you’ll ever receive.”
Luise spoke to the group about how much we have meant to each other.
Finally it was time for guests to go home and they said their final goodbyes.

Hua Hin Meetings (Wednesday)

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.