DDP Menagerie

Our new office for the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme is much an improvement on our old location. It is notable for the increased space we have and the different uses it makes possible. And it is noteworthy, too, for the accumulation of stone animals the landlord deposited around the grounds when he first developed his property. Here are SOME of them!

Corn to Go

I had a wedding on the other side of town this afternoon. On the way back I passed this woman selling hot corn on the cob from her bicycle.
At the next light I pulled up beside a seemingly satisfied customer of hers.

Pandering to the Populace

110 cc and 125 cc motorcycles
(waiting on the sidewalk for a red light, but that’s another problem).

Khmer Times (newspaper): What kinds of vehicles cause the most traffic accidents in Cambodia?

Colonel Visal (Chief of the Traffic Police Office): “Causing the most accidents is motorbikes, including the ones used to drag a cart and tuk-tuk. Accidents caused by motorbikes account for 70 percent of all accidents in Cambodia. The new law states that motorbike drivers whose rides are 125cc or less will no longer need a license, yet our statistics prove that it is that kind of rides which cause most of the accidents in the country.”

Cambodia averages five or six traffic deaths a day, with many more injured. The government’s response? Eliminate the need for a driver’s license for the largest category of vehicles (by far) on the road. It makes the locals happy because they don’t have to pay for the test and bribe the test official, and it makes the government happy because it gains them votes. It’s like, in the United States, if the government said that no driver licenses would be needed for any vehicle selling for under $40,000.

On the hunt…

This scene is not uncommon in Cambodia—a young man with a mango picker, a long bamboo pole with some sort of basket at the end to put around a mango so that the mango is caught when it is pulled from the tree. This boy already has one mango in his hand. A question: is he collecting mangoes from his own trees or using the long pole to reach into others’ yards to get their fruit?

Bangkok Trip–Day 3 (Pt 3)

These are just interesting scenes from the trip to the airport

I switched from the sangtau to the BTS, the elevated Bangkok Sky Train.
There is great respect given to the king in Thailand. Here his picture appears on a display in the BTS carriage.
I went to the Silom Road area where there is a daily night market but it was too early. Just a few shops were starting to set up and I wasn’t able to look for a cheap watch.
There was a cart full of colorful piggy banks ready for display
but I wasn’t interested.
As I went back to the BTS I passed this large and elaborate spirit house
set up along Silom Road to placate the spirits
displaced from their lands by all the commercial development.
Then it was a one-hour bus ride back to Don Mueang airport
and the AirAsia flight to Phnom Penh, just 55 minutes.

Bangkok Trip–Day 3 (Pt 2)

I had planned to meet with some experts on deaf-blindness today but they didn’t answer my e-mails and I ended up with a free day that gave me a chance to catch up on some work before I left the Bangkok Maryknoll house.

Sakhorn, the office manager, has worked with Maryknoll for close to thirty years and is one of those invaluable people who enable us to function reasonably well in another culture and another language. He does a little bit of everything, like fixing the computers.

This was my first time to stay at the new Maryknoll house and it turned out quite well. I was surprised that they even had a hard-wire Internet connection in the rooms. Unfortunately it was on the wall opposite the desk so I worked on a little night table and stool.

John Beeching and Tim Raible and I ate lunch together at a little food shop around the corner. Here Tim pays the bill.

Then it was time to head to the airport. I was interested in exploring the non-taxi transportation so I caught a songtau (truck with bench seats) for eight baht (about 30¢).

Troubles Galore

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….