Soft and Cuddly

Today I went to the airport to repatriate one of our St. Vincent de Paul clients who has been stranded here. We finally were able to get medical clearance and an exit visa for her. While I was standing in the check-in line with her–suitably distanced, of course–I saw three different young men checking into the same flight–with their stuffed animals hooked on to their carry-on luggage. Seeing three of them surprised me a bit.

Diocesan Youth Day

This weekend was a Diocesan Youth Day for the Church of Phnom Penh. Bishop Olivier generates an endless stream of activities and publications and other events to keep the church active and engaged. For this youth day pastoral centers in the lower half of the state gathered their youth together and then all were united with video hookups. Click here to see some of the happenings.

Tuk-tuk Corral

Many of the tuk-tuk drivers come from the provinces to earn money when not planting or harvesting rice but they have no place to stay and sleep in their tuk-tuks. They often gather the tuk-tuks together at night for protection and at first I thought this was such an encampment. But noticing that all the tuk-tuk seem to be the same, I’m wondering if this finance company has their own fleet for their business?

Another Farewell from DDP

Last week two young men with multiple disabilities left the hostel at DDP for a new home with another NGO which we hope will be better suited to care for them. I hated to see them go because they have been moved around before but this new situation should be better for them.


Last Friday was Russ Brine’s last day at the Deaf Development Programme and we had a little Covid-conscious farewell for him. Russ was our finance manager and worked mostly with Neang Thary, our accountant. Here she offers him a goodbye gift.

A rodent problem

This is the dining room in the “new” Maryknoll office we moved into a week ago. This used to be the kitchen (see the water pipe still sticking out of the wall beside the microwave) but for some reason they moved the kitchen through the door and outside, under just a tin roof. We used to keep this window and door open but found rats can enter the outdoor kitchen and then hop through this window and door into the dining room and the rest of the house.

This is the kitchen now, outside. Notice the door with no glass or screen so that cats and rodents can easily come in. There is enough room for them to squeeze under the door if they don’t want to jump through the door.

This is a window on the side wall of the now dining room. We asked the landlord to put screens on the windows and he did. They are plastic screens and as soon as the first rat heard we had moved in, he chewed through the plastic (see the corner) and started going through the food in the dining room. As a consequence we now keep the windows closed and locked.

To try and reduce our rodent problem, I have set a rat trap in the now kitchen, hoping to catch whatever might come under the door in the background.