Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I have spoken about the chewing of beetle-nut here before. At the pizaar in Knek Leung they were selling it everywhere. I quizzed the young seller about how to place it in your mouth the correct way. She told me that you wrap it in these green leaves with some kind of pink creamy stuff which somehow activates the active ingredient. I put a round piece of it in my mouth for just a quick second and boy was it nasty tasting! It sure must give you a nice buzz for people to put up with the taste. I guess we could say the same thing about beer or cigarettes or a lot of things though! rick

I rather liked the pig’s head. The market is always an interesting visit. gail

Monday, October 29, 2007

Market Day

We stopped this past Sunday at Knek Leung for water. We have been having problems finding good water sources but we found a Vietnamese woman who would sell us water from her home at Knek Leung.There is a large open air market here and we went for a Sunday Morning stroll for a change of pace. Seems like a long time since we have been off of the boat. We saw many men with horse drawn carts bringing their produce to the market for sell. Upon close observation it became obvious that this man had hand-made everything to connect the little pony to his cart. The halter and complete harness were made of cord and rope and automobile tires. He even made the cart! These people do not have much but make good use of every available thing they do have. They closely scrutinize all of their trash before discarding it for any possible use. If we did that we wouldn’t have to go to Wal-Mart near as often. Rick

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Storm Clouds

Life has many ups and downs with sunny days and others with ominous clouds on the horizon. It seems that we have very few storm clouds in our day to day lives now but we do enjoy watching the storms come in almost everyday now.
It rains almost everyday now most often in the late afternoon. We can see and smell and feel them coming. The wind picks up and the air gets cooler and the clouds start to roll in. Gail took this shot of a rather scary looking storm cloud a few weeks ago. If we were in the states we might be looking for a funnel to drop out of this one. But not here. There is no such thing in Cambodia as a tornado. We do have torrential rains though. We were caught walking to church last night in one. We got pretty wet but everyone else did too. Rick

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dental Stuff

My son says I use too much dental jargon in the blog. He says most don’t have a “clue” what I am talking about. Well Greg, I will try to do better but I have an obligation to the few dental professionals who read our blog to show some interesting things.
Today I saw something I have never seen before. A maxillary cuspid, upper eye tooth, Greg, laying completely on its side! I see, and remove, many partial roots that are laying sideways and have a perio, gum, Greg, attachment only on one lateral surface. I’ve seen this at home several times. This 60 year old man came in with this unusual presentation. The only thing I can figure is that it was horizontally, sideways, Greg, impacted and when the other teeth were lost, it slowly floated to the surface. There could have been a large infection that uncovered it also but that is only speculation. Have any of you seen anything like this before? Sorry about the fuzzy picture.
The other interesting thing was that the root had a 45 degree curve in the apical one fifth. It was like the tooth was trying to “dig” back into the bone for a better footing. I thought it was pretty cool! Sorry Greg.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Friend in Need!

Is a friend indeed! I have a friend in Dr Harvey Matheny. Harvey read about my need a few months ago for dental 2X2’s. He immediately e-mailed me that he would help me out. He asked if there were other things I needed and he also purchased some much needed surgical dental burrs and shipped it as well. What a blessing to receive these supplies! It was like Christmas as I unwrapped the items! Thanks so much Harvey. It is so nice to be thought of.
Another friend, Sam Carpenter, had sent a small amount of 2X2’s earlier and they were used up quickly. The 2 cases Harvey sent will last me for at least one month. I will bring more back from the states when I come in Jan. rick

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sad Eyes

That was the first thing I noticed. She had sad eyes. It wasn’t only that she was here for a toothache and needed an extraction. There must be more than that. She was only eight years old and she had very sad eyes.
She lives with her Mother in a remote village on the Mekong River fairly close to the Vietnam border. Her Father died two years ago and her Mother probably will soon. They all are HIV positive.
Although I have no doubt seen many HIV positive patients in the past, she is the first to tell me she is. Most of the previous ones did not know they had the virus. Some know but do not tell. Her Mom is taking retroviral meds but she is not. She has not seen a medical doctor in over two years. Mom says she will try to see one soon.It breaks my heart to know that she probably has very little chance of long term survival. I remember so well when my daughter Brittany was eight. Life was exciting and fun and she had many friends and always had a smile and a twinkle in her eyes. This little girl has no twinkle. She has no smile. She only has sadness in her eyes. Rick

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Arrival at Sandar

We have arrived in Sandar which is a village that is close to the Vietnam border. This is the farthest south that we will go. After three days here, we will turn back north. As you can see from the pictures, the reception committee grew as we docked the ship. The river is about as high as it normally gets during raining season and you can see the problem we had here with the gangplank. But the crew came up with what you see in the last picture. So far, no one has had to use the life buoy! The kids always enjoy sitting on the gangplank and sometimes I have to play the bad guy and shoo them away. Especially when they start jumping on it! gail

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Proud Moment

This past Monday we called our son, Greg. We timed our call just right because he had just recieved his acceptance letter from the University of Arkansas Law School. We were surprised he had recieved it so quickly, but then we knew they had probably wanted the best! We are so blessed and proud of our son for his achievements in education and in other areas of his life. Mainly, his fiance, Janice! Their wedding day is approaching and it is harder to be away from all the planning, but we are sure Doug and Marilyn have it all under control! Greg and Janice have a wonderful future together, and this next step in education will allow Greg to have a career in which he can serve the Lord. greg's mom

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Planting Seed

I still am amazed to watch how hard the Khmer farmers work to produce a small crop. You don't see tractors plowing these fields. The cows are still used in most homes and when they don't have a cow, men pull the plow. There are tractors here in Cambodia. We have seen them more up north in the large planatation areas owned by foriegn companies. This field was next to where we were docked in Samrong Thom. The farmer started early in the morning plowing the rows. He then flooded it with water from the river. The second picture is when he is throwing the rice that will grow. As seedlings, they then remove part of each plant and replant in larger field. All done by hand. I pray we are planting seeds for the future harvest of the Lord. gail

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jumpin' Rope

Rick and Peseth got out the jump rope again and had fun with Branson at Banteay Dek. The kids came from everywhere and there was a great area to jump. Every village is different. This one, the kids came and were involved very quickly. And yet in a village on the Bassac, Rick and I got the rope out and not one kid would jump. I even tried to jump some to show them how it was done, even though I wasn't the greatest example. It is always fun to watch their faces... it seems they are thinking.."these people are crazy" Ha! gail

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Father/Son Mission Experience

Robert Reagan, 13 year missionary from Chiang Mai, Thailand, wanted to give his son an experience for serving others. We had talked of our respective works during the Asian Mission Forum. Robert thought bringing his son to the ship would be fun and yet an experience for helping others, and of course we welcomed his idea. It was great watching Branson take blood pressure and temperatures in triage. He helped Peseth with come cleaning duties and Siheang in the pharmacy. He even assisted Rick with an extraction! (even though it was rather simple!) His young enthusiasm was an uplift to our spirits! If this experience affects his life in some small way, then what a wonderful blessing it is. Rick and I probably got the better end of the deal in the long run, because we had some great conversations with Robert and he shared some ideas that could be a benefit to our work here

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Banteay Dek

We are now 20 kilometers south of Phnom Penh on the Mekong. This is the first village since our holiday break. The rains have been daily and the flooding is affecting this area. The Ministry of Health wanted us to come this far south because they knew the flooding could be a problem for people in this area during this time of year. I miss the trees being close to the river. The people have no shade as they are waiting to get numbers or come onto the ship. One morning the air was actually cool and the wind is starting to shift from the north. That will bring cooler air down, usually more into November and December. Of course that is when we head back to the states, so we miss what is considered the cool season here in Cambodia, when the temperature can get down into the 70’s and 80’s. The breeze has been pleasant and really helps in triage area. So no complaining!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Goodbye For Now!

Billy and Jeanie Moore left last Saturday for the states after directing the WEI school for the past six months. They have taught English every day and helped direct all of the activities at the PIP house. It is never fun to say goodbye to people who have blessed the lives of so many. They have plans to return, so we pray that they will sometime next year. As Christians, we’ve heard it said that it is easier to say goodbye because we have faith that if we don’t see them again this side of heaven, we will some day in heaven. It is a comforting thought, but I would like to see them here again next year! Gail

Monday, October 15, 2007

Suki Soup

Troy and Tabitha has us over for dinner and what a treat it was! A new experience for us. The pot in the center is hot seasoned water. The meat and vegtables are skewered and set in to cook. You put togethered whatever combination you like. Then she had several sauces to dip in. It was delicious, lots of fun, and the fellowship was great!
Thanks T '"n" T !

Saturday, October 13, 2007


For some reason, people have come to the side of the ship

to fish. Maybe it is just to stay in the shade. I have no idea if they are even catching any fish, but as you can see, there is lots of trash to catch. I don't think I will ever get use to seeing all the trash people throw in the river, streets, roads, just about everywhere. Sometimes we come to a village that seems to not just throw their trash in front of their houses. But not far away is a field full of trash. We take our trash from the ship and burn it and then bury the remains. Hopefully the government one day will help educate the people. gail

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fellow Missionaries Visit

Since the ship has been here in Phnom Penh for the holiday, we have had several visitors. In the first picture is Nathan and Cheryl Wheeler, and Andrew and Natalie Hayes. They are a team working together here in the capitol. Nathan has already delivered a sermon in the Khmer language at the Phnom Penh church. We pray and thank God for these young couples dedicated to the work here. In the next picture is the new guys on the block. Rich Dolan has come to be the dean at the Sunset school of preaching. His wife, Rhonda, is a veteran missionary since growing up in Thailand where her parents, Loren and Penny Hollensworth, were long term missionaries. But before coming here, they have worked with the youth in Broken Arrow, OK. Their daughter, Rebekah, has given up her senior year in high school to come with her parents. She will stay for nine months then return to begin college next fall. I think she is going to end up at Texas A&M! They are a wonderful family and we are all blessed to have them working here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Good Book

I am currently reading a book written by Steve Ambrose named To America: Personal Reflections of a Historian. In the book, he writes many things about previous wars and events and the people who were in them, of course. He wrote something about the common soldier during the Civil War that I found very interesting. He said “The common soldier cared primarily about “personal and family matters”. He wanted to hear gossip from home, how the crops were doing, what is sister Sue up to, and so on. He told how more soldiers died from sickness than bullets, so personal health was very important. He concluded by saying “The weather and the incoming mail, or lack there of, were always subjects of the greatest importance!”
When I read those words, it struck me how much I feel the same here. Gossip from home, how sister Judy is doing, how Mom’s crops (flower bed) is doing, the weather, and incoming mail of any and all kinds are what we enjoy most while away. Steven Ambrose is a wonderful historian and I recommend him highly, especially to my friends Gabe and Brittany who read so well! rick

Weigh and Measure

Troy and Tabitha Snowbarger are working with the nutrition program that PIP has here in Cambodia. They are doing a great job and have some innovative ideas for the program. They keep up with the growth of the children that was first establish by Dr. Shannon DeShazo. Since we are in Phnom Penh and have a few days off for the Pchum Ben holiday, I decided to accompany them to Kompong Chanaang to help measure and weigh some of the children. Before we left the house, the ship's nurse/pharmacist, Siheang, came by to drop off a list of drugs we needed for the ship. He asked what were we doing and I told him. He asked if he could come along and help. I was very impressed for him doing this on his holiday. He was great with the kids and really helped. Actually he helped more than I did, since I pretty much just stuck stickers on the kids' foreheads after they were weighed and measured! gail

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I have enjoyed watching several major league baseball playoff games the last few days. They come on live early in the morning before daylight and last until noon or so. I have decided that since my Rangers are not in the picture as usual, I am rooting for the Rockies and Cleveland and for Colorado to win it all.
Other than baseball, cable TV is a terrible bore to me now. After living without it for the last 4 months, I can do without it. I have learned to read and recently have even attempted fiction! Haven’t tried a romance novel yet though and will try not to. Rick

Monday, October 08, 2007

P’chum Ben

We are in Phnom Penh for a week off due to the National Religious Holiday called P’chum Ben. It is the most important Buddhist holiday for the entire year. The entire country shuts down for the 10th thru the 12th of October and many others for a much longer time. There are actually 15 days of the entire celebration.
Anyone who is a Buddhist participates in this holiday even if he or she never goes to the pagoda any other time of the year. Most will return to their homes and go to the pagoda with their parents to offer sacrifices and offerings. My understanding, which is poor at best, is that the sacrifices are for the souls of recently departed loved ones. Their souls must be released from bondage in order that they might be reincarnated to their next life. Some others practice a more animistic version where the sacrifices are made to appease the spirits so they will not negatively affect theirs lives in the future.
For whatever reason, however, I am thankful for the break. My old back and several fingers and elbow were beginning to revolt from the repetitive nature of extracting teeth all day every day! Today I did nothing. Tomorrow I may do the same! rick

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Water Slides

It has been raining almost everyday, but today the rain stayed for most of the afternoon. It did not deter these boys from having fun. A muddy bank provided a fun slide into the river. I was tempted to give it a try but thought better! gail

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Interesting Lunches

Darith is our wonderful cook who keeps us well fed on the ship. We go over the meals for the week, but I pretty well let him make dishes he knows the crew will like. The local vegetables are also a factor in what he prepares. This past week he created two dishes that were knew to the menu. He made a soup that included bamboo. Now I know that bamboo is used in a lot of ways, but I didn’t know we could eat it too! In the picture, he has let the bamboo soften before he adds it too the soup mix. I’m sure there are varieties of bamboo, so maybe you have to know the correct type to cook! Well, both Rick and I tasted it, but we decided we had enough fiber for the day. The other dish was a soup with mashed fish as main ingredient. I don’t mean alittle mashed, I mean like mashed potatoes. Needless to say we avoided this dish altogether. I guess it could have been delicious. What was more interesting is what accompanied the fish soup. The other picture looks like flowers on a plate with raw eggplant. Well, that is what it is…a flower they call Morning Glory. Most of the time when they eat vegetables with soup, the vegetables are not cooked much. Even the green beans are slightly heated. It definitely is healthier! gail

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Birds

We are anchored at Kbal Koh. It is close to Phnom Penh so there are more non-needy here than I like but we are moving south slowly away from the city and the farther we get, the poorer the people are.
Some places we go seem to have a lot of birds. Not sure what kind of birds they are but they fly like our Martins at home. They seem to be eating mosquitoes so that is always good!
It is almost October! I will once again miss the Autumn temps and the changing of the leaves. We have neither here. Jungle foliage is all we have and it is always green! Kind of getting used to it though. Don’t have to worry about raking leaves or bulky coats! (we tried posted picture of the birds, but have error) Rick