Saturday, 31 January 2009
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Heading to the Healing Home this afternoon. Usually my left turn into a lane 100 metres from here is an art-form against opposing cars, bikes, motos, pedestrians and dogs. Today - behold.
Don't think deserted streets = quiet tho'. Where would the Chinese New Year be without the trusty firecracker?? There must be many fireworks factories in town. This year business has been remarkable good for them. The kids in our lane have certainly bought not less than 150kg of product.
Schools have mostly closed for three days (but this is not a holiday ...) which meant that our Kids Club had an extra 15 or so little ones today. This is about week 5 of running a one-hour program twice a week for the little locals. Today I counted 44 local kids unleashing happy bedlam on our place. I'm not sure if word of our plumbing issue had got out but Susie discovered one kid peeing in the garden ...
Ryan, a trainee doc from Dunedin, setting himself up for a big sweat at kids club today. Ryan is working in a children's hospital In Phnom Penh for three weeks and together with physiotherapist fiance Rebecca connected with us via folk from The Street Church in Wellington.
There was face-painting, skipping, soccer (of sorts), Ryan-climbing and tennis balls everywhere. I spent a bunch of time tossing tennis balls to boys who looked to be eight years old. Most of them had very, very poor ball-catching co-ordination skills. Later Chantol, Bonna and Dtouch taught a Jesus-song and then Chantol told the story of the good Samaritan - complete with lively actors. We have a great team here!
Friday, 23 January 2009
Donnie's offsider Kun (with his face buried in a helmet) about to hop on the motorbike for the 90 minute trip to Ngeit's village. Yep, that's how much seat space he gets ...
Susie has been shopping - three sets of baby clothes, toys, nappies and whatever else was thrust into her hands by happy market vendors.
Phanna leading a Bible study in the main bedroom this morning. Two further patients are out of the picture in beds to the right. Baby Alisa does not attend the studies - she will be found in Sopheap's arms somewhere around the Healing Home. Dtouch is in the white shirt behind Phanna.
One of our seven patients is Dtouch, a 31-year old guy with a lovely shy nature. He had a snake-bite at age 14 which eventually healed, only to be bitten by a dog in the same place some years later. He did not want to bother anyone, so for years he hid his leg under long pants. Finally the smell of a leg turned to ulcerated yuk became too bad to hide.
He's not yet a Christian but he loves to receive prayer. The poor guy has also just had what was meant to be a biospsy removal from his groin but in fact a chunk was cut out. He's not walking well at all.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Yes - sad but true. Con and I were the only blokes on board - most of this table-load are Kiwis including Helen (left front - Aucklander, teaching English in Hagar) and Kate (front right - Wellingtonian teaching in kids school for two years here).
Family group on the back yard. Sypho (pronounced See-poh) is on the right - a fantastic young lady who volunteers at our home - and has her sights set on becoming a school teacher.
They live in a sweet little village in Takeo Province that follows the now-familiar 3-step of tarseal - gravel - goat track. Tau's home is very simple. A river runs directly behind Tau's home and a couple of little boats are bobbing by the bank. Even tho' he has maybe 600 square metres of land, there is no garden planted - just a few banana palms and papaya trees.
Home sweet home for Tau. That's his little daughter in the white shirt.
Tau has a 16-year old daughter (standing next to Sypho in the top picture) who has been working in a garment factory. Garment sweat-shops earn something like 80% of Cambodia's export income. As a sign of the economic times that are hitting Cambodia, her factory has closed and she is out of work. Export orders are drying up and already many thousands of workers have been laid off.
From what we are able to ascertain, her $50 a month sounds to be the family income. With this scenario being repeated again and again in the nation, very many Cambodians are facing difficult days.
Here is the little guy, all wrapped up in Nicole's arms
Pedros and his mum came to us last week looking healthy as, but with a malaria-positive diagnosis. We're not sure whether the diagnosis was dodgy or whether Jesus has done His stuff - but three days later another test gave them the all clear. Mum was thrilled to bits and disappeared on a motodop praising the Lord!
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
We just had time to orientate Jason to motorbike survival essentials and the local coffee shops before we had to head home for Sue's mum's funeral. So, we smiled and said 'welcome to off the deep end - you are here to run the Healing Home too'.
Remember the wasteland where the missing rat trap was found? Now behold! That's Julia and Jason in front of the bean frame - and the emerging beans in the foreground.
We also have lettuce, chilli, tomato, bok choi, passion fruit, chick pea, ginger, garlic, chives, cabbage and more veges than I can remember, in various tiny form emerging from our soil. Loads of rubbish fill has been removed and an amazing labour of love and planning is beginning to grow. Oh, and we now have a compost too.
Jason sorting the wire netting frame for my third love - passionfruit! Nicole gives helpful advice as puss Feisty offers moral support.
Kids club this afternoon. Many of these little ones come from very poor homes. We are looking to getting a big pile of kids clothing in the near future to bless their sweet little hearts.
Susie, Julia and Nicole this morning, just handling the shock of winter
In Cambodia, the masses move by motorbike. We were aware that a law change was coming into effect on January 1 - that helmets were to become compulsory. But, this is Cambodia and laws are often as optional as stopping at a red traffic light ...
But lo - helmets are now everywhere. On main drags, compliance would have to be in the 70% realm. On back streets we are still tracking at over 50% - a phenomenal change from the perhaps 5% of helmeted motorcyclists of just two weeks ago.
Another spin-off is the blossoming of motorcycle helmet shops. They have sprouted up all over the city. It would be good news indeed if this law takes root and the horrendous motorcycle injury rate here starts to move downwards..