On my way…

I am at JFK airport in New York City waiting for my sixteen-hour flight to Guangzhou. I may not be able to update the website before I get back to Phnom Penh—and I don’t arrive there will midnight Friday–so it may be a while before I get back to here.

April Board Meeting–2

I spent most of the morning getting from the airport to Maryknoll, and then in the afternoon I made the rounds of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners and the priests’ seminary building to say hello to people and arrange meetings for the next few days. Click here for some photos from the day.

ChildFund Workshop

ChildFund is a Swedish-based NGO working on issues related to children in 20+ countries and this week they have sponsored a workshop in Phnom Penh to consult with local groups here.

A distinguishing characteristic of this workshop was that it was limited to about thirty people whereas so often this type of gathering has 150 or more participants. Because the hosts were Swedish and don’t know Khmer, the workshop was conducted in English which was a real plus for me as I represented DDP.

Linguistics Seminar

This weekend the Royal University of Phnom Penh in collaboration with the Chinese University of Hong Kong offered a seminar on sign language linguistics. The catalyst for the event and the main speaker was Prof. Gladys Tang, the head of the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies at Chinese University. Click here to see some photos from the day.

Lunar New Year

I hadn’t planned on a series of articles about anticipation of the Lunar New Year but it seems each day presents another example of the preparations that have now started in earnest. Here is an example I encountered today:

Most major holidays or festivals in Asia are multi-day, even multi-week events. Even a basic wedding can go on for three days. The official lunar new year day is Tuesday, 5 February, but the new year festival has already started and will continue after February 5th. In the picture above a local man burns imitation paper money and symbols of luxury items to appease ancestral spirits and make them happy as the new year approaches.

MKLM Leadership in Cambodia

Ted Miles, the executive director of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and Leslie Lopez, our advancement director, went to the Maryknoll gathering in Hua Hin, Thailand with us. Then they came to Cambodia with us when we returned yesterday. They will spend their time here meeting with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners and visiting all of their projects.

In the morning today, Leslie and Ted visited the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme to understand the program and to talk with Russ Brine (R) and Charlie Dittmeier. Here they are at DDP, again entering phone numbers for their communications while in Cambodia.

In the afternoon, they came to our weekly Cambodia Mission Team meeting to talk about the MKLM’s present situation and direction. Here they are in a general discussion after our meeting, liturgy, and dinner.