Fourth Graders Visit Church

Every year the fourth graders from the International School of Phnom Penh come to visit the Catholic church in the Boeung Tum Pun area of the city as part of their study of major religions.  They hear what Christianity is about and get a chance to see the church and the sacristy (the room where all the vestments and supplies are kept), and then to examine up close the statues, stained glass windows, etc., in the body of the church.  And then they ask questions.  Fourth graders have a lot of questions!

A task associated with the visit is taking some notes about Christianity and also sketching something in the church that catches their attention.
The students described themselves as Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Mormon, and atheist. For many it was the first time they had ever been in a church.

Phnom Penh Graduation

Today we had the third and last of our Education Project graduations, this time at our main office in Phnom Penh.  Actually this event centered more on the new incoming class of students who just started their education this week.

The deaf students watch the sign language interpreter. The hearing staff watch the speaker on the other side of the room.
Keat Sokly, the DDP director, gives some opening remarks.
Some of the new students enjoying refreshments after the ceremony.
A large number of the hearing and deaf staff who work at the Phnom Penh DDP office.

Kampong Cham Graduation

On Monday this week we went to Kampot Province for the graduation of our DDP students there.  On Wednesday we attended a similar graduation in Kampong Cham Province.

Kampong Cham students playing a game before the ceremony started.
Inside, other students were practicing the national anthem in sign language for the opening of the ceremony.
Students taking photos with proud parents.
A group photo of all the graduating Kampong Cham students.
Finally a photo of the graduates with their parents and with the incoming new students.

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.

Notable Quote

If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kampot Graduation

Today we had a graduation ceremony for the students who finished our two-year non-formal education program in Kampot Province.  Quite a few staff from the DDP office in Phnom Penh were there for the occasion.

One of the deaf students receiving her certificate from Charlie Dittmeier.
An official from the Provincial Ministry of Education gave a talk.
A picture of all the students and their teachers.
After the ceremony, we went to our hostel, DDP House, for lunch together.