Saturday, September 29, 2007


As we left Prey Eng, there was a very strong storm. I took this picture as we were pulling away from the bank. In the distance is the skyline of Phnom Penh. As we sailed down the river we passed this floating village. I couldn’t imagine how they were faring during this downfall as we were safe and comfortable on the ship. How blessed we are. It has been raining almost everyday now, but the season is suppose to be over by end of October. gail

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Prek Eng

We just started working south of Phnom Penh on the Mekong River. This first village was Prey Eng. It felt like the suberb of Phnom because we are so close. I started wearing some scrub tops that Cathy and Sandy left me. In the picture it looks like I'm pregnant, but I assure you I am not! ha I think when we get back to states I may get a couple of sets of scrubs. They are cooler and I feel more like a nurse in them! ha gail

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Camp Counselor at TNT

We had a nice visit from John Rice who has been in Cambodia conducting a church camp for 80 kids in the village of Tum Luk Tom. This village is where the orphanage run by Kimson and Sokha is located. Sam Carpenter, who was founder of the orphanage, asked for John to come over and give this opportunity to these children. John works with camps in the states and said it was a great week and he felt it was very successful. Before he left, he wanted to see the Ship of Life so he drove out with his translator, Pesay. I invited them to stay for lunch. Not sure if he was up for stir fried frog, so I made some tuna salad just in case!! gail

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gene, Mike and Diane

What a treat to have more visitors on the Ship. Gene Linn along with Mike and Diane Folkerts came for one night and then helped with the clinic. It was great to get to know these wonderful people. Gene is from Texas, so he and Rick had some good laughs about how great the state is! They have been teaching at the PIP house with the WEI program. gail

Friday, September 21, 2007

Under the Monivong Bridge

We are heading back to the Mekong River and have to pass under the Monivong Bridge to get to Phnom Penh. It was a close call, but we made it! The rains here have made the river so much higher we were worried about getting under. Rick wasn't so sure either! The Captain had to stop and back up so the crew could lower the communication tower alittle bit more before we safely went by. It was an exciting moment! Oh, it was also raining and lightning the whole time! gail

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Traffic Chaos

Well, we thought we had left traffic problems behind in the states. But last Saturday night we were in standstill traffic for two and half hours. We were going back to the ship and forgot that sometimes at night the driving does get alittle crazy with all the traffic leaving Phnom Penh. I am sure you can not see that clearly in the picture of the cars lined up, but they were for miles. Rick walked to gas station not far away and bought me some ice cream, so we survived! Ha gail

Monday, September 17, 2007


Some may remember us talking about Channy our engineer. He seems to always be smiling and full of happiness. He is a Christian and shows the love of Jesus in his everyday walk.
He also falls in love with some cute girl at every port of call! He never talks with them but just admires them from afar it seems. What he needs is a good Christian mate to spend his life with and then he will be complete. We are praying for Channys future wife in whichever port she may be! Rick

Friday, September 14, 2007

River Irrigation

We see some pretty sophisticated irrigated gardens along the river in some communities. Here at Talun, the side of the river was covered for several kilometers with raised beds and irrigation. I think these people do quite well in supplementing there rice harvest. rick

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sunbeams from Heaven

We always enjoy blue skies and rainbows, but on this day we saw sunbeams from heaven as a storm approached us. We see storm clouds gather almost every day in late afternoon and Gail snapped this picture of sunbeams. Hope you can see them. rick

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Water Scape

I have wanted some type of a plant or at least something green on the ship for some time. I told Marie Claire we should get something at least one year ago but things kept getting in the way. Well I passed a landscape dealer a couple of weeks ago and bought a multi-colored bougainvillea. I have no idea how to spell that…I sure hope spell check does!! So far the plant has thrived on the ship. We placed it on the back upper deck where Gail does triage every day. Although you cannot see it very well the colors are red, orange, and a light yellow. Now I feel like Kevin Costner in the movie, “Water World”. He had a plant on his ship also. rick

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Walking The Plank

We are now in Talun. A large crowd showed up to welcome us and watch the docking procedures take place. We have a pretty sophisticated gang plank now compared to out original wooden one. It takes about 30 minutes to get it all set but it is nice and secure for us and our patients and guest. Piseth is guiding the placement from below as the Captain and Channy work with the pulley system on the upper deck. rick

Friday, September 07, 2007

Boat for Sale

I was interested the minute we docked at Potiban in the little boat on the shore as we pulled up. It was obviously made from the trunk of a large palm tree. The lady said she would sell it to me for $10 but I wasn’t sure I could keep it from tipping over or not! The small end also needed a little work before it could be used. The owner said that the inside of the log was simply shaved out to leave the relatively hard outside part. A bunch of kids jumped in it as I was looking and let me take their pictures. Rick

Thursday, September 06, 2007


We are leaving Potiban tomorrow after clinic, and it has been a beautiful setting here. I don’t know the type of trees in the picture, but they created some nice shade for us. Each stop is different. Not only the way the ship sits next to the bank, but also the people. Here the people were calm and not aggressive even when they knew they would not see the doctor. So often people will keep trying to get on the ship hoping to see the doctor. We can not physically see everyone and the doctor does a good job at the number he does see. But it is interesting to watch the crew as they work around the ship and people will talk to them trying to get help. The crew member then will come to me and tell me about someone’s problem. They know we can not see everyone, but their compassion for the people wants to make them try and help. Then I’m the bad guy! Ha! Everyone is looking forward to the weekend because we do need a mental and physical break. We are close to Phnom Penh again and most of the crew will head for the city lights. We sat and watched a beautiful sunset tonight. Make sure you take time to enjoy some of God’s creations! gail

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A New One

I thought I had heard them all in the dental setting but this last week there was a new one. A twenty something year old young man came in with an extremely pronounced “eye” tooth that he wanted removed for cosmetic reasons. There are no orthodontist here so I usually do this when the teeth are totally blocked out and no chance for alignment.
I removed the tooth with some difficulty and gave him post op instructions.
The surprise came when he showed up about 15 minutes later and wanted me to put it back in! I think he saw the big hole left and although it would not be evident in a few weeks, he had remorse for his decision. I told him it was too late as it was in the bottom of the trashcan! He shrugged his shoulders and walked away with the Oh-well look on his face. Never had anyone asked to put it back before. Rick

Monday, September 03, 2007


I can just hear the conversation. “Honey? It really is dark back in our back bedroom. Think we could have some skylights installed?”
I am sure that they must leak with the torrential downpours we have during the rainy season but a little water does not seem to make people upset too much. I am sure the natural light coming in makes up for the little bit of wetness during the rain.
I thought some of you builder types might like this picture. Rick

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Royal Treatment

We like to give our guests the best experience possible when you come to visit the Ship of Life. When we started to take Jerry and Mary Alice Cantrell back to Phnom Penh, the speedboat would not start to take them across the river to where the van was. So we started walking down the path to the ferry crossing. It was a pleasant morning and what a great way to experience the countryside! Ha! It went well and we were back in the city with no other problems. It was great to sit and visit about past mission trips the Cantrells and we were happy to have them. Thanks for coming! gail