I have been trying to finish the posts from the trip to Bangkok but keep encountering difficulties. Now I can’t find the photos! I downloaded them from my camera and put them in a folder on an external drive, but now they’re GONE! I’m trying to recover the originals on the SD chip in the camera that’s been problematic, too. Stay with me a bit longer….
We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.
~ Pope Francis, speaking about refugees
According to World Bank statistics, Cambodia was one of the fastest-growing economies in the world between 1998 and 2018. During that twenty-year period, Cambodia’s average growth rate was 7.7%, a really impressive rate of growth–and one that is continuing today even though so much of the economy is informal, like the women above selling on the street who pay no business registration fees or taxes. Results of the rapid growth have been dramatic: Cambodia has moved from a Least Developed Country status to a Lower Middle Income level and during the period of 1998-2013, life expectancy increased by 23%.
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.
In the morning we had the final session of the April board of directors meeting and then we all headed home. I went to Newark Airport for a flight to Louisville. Click here for pictures from the day.
I was really busy with the opening of the board meeting and my taking notes as the secretary and didn’t have a chance to prepare an update here. It will come tomorrow.
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.
Today started in Phnom Penh as a usual Sunday morning but after lunch we headed for Bangkok for a meeting of the Asia South Pastoral Group of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Click here to see some scenes from the day.
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.
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.