Friday, June 29, 2007

Saying Goodbye to Bill and Owana Kidd

This is a picture of Owana talking on telephone but she is not saying "goodbye"! She was using our phone to talk to her kids. But today we said goodbye to Bill and Owana and thanked them so much for spending their time here on the ship. Bill taught a young man here to work in the lab and beable to run some tests. It was fun having them and I really appreciated Bill for making coffee every morning! The other picture is just a scene of contrast. An average house and in the background a Muslim Mosque. Gail

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nec Tha Scrock

This past Lord’s Day we worshipped on the ship like we always do. We sang and prayed and read Scripture and ate the Lord’s Supper together. Channy, the ship’s first mate, taught us a lesson on the plan of salvation. He spoke in Khmer but told us “foreigners” the text he was using so we could follow somewhat. People were worshipping 100 feet from us in a very different way.
The picture above is of “Nec Tha Scrock”. He was located in a small building just up the river bank from our ship. The people pray to him for sickness, successful business, and protection. They offer small plant offerings with incense as in the picture. I understand they also offer animal sacrifices to him as well at different times. What seems so paganistic to me is just a normal part of everyday life to the local people. Someday I hope to come back and tell them about Jehovah God and His great power! Rick

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dental Routine

I have settled into a dental routine that allows us to see between 35 and 40 patients each day. The vast majority are extractions but we occasionally do composite fills and even an occasional root canal. Tirah and I numb up three people in a row and when we finish with the third, the first is “ready” for business! My old staff would be amazed that we can see so many with just one chair but we are not nearly so burdened with OSHA guidelines, and we do sterilize all of our instruments!
This picture is taken of the local dental office where we worked last week. He has a jackrabbit belt driven drill, under the cloth drape, and all other essentials. Today, the mother of the local dentist came to me for an extraction. I asked her why she came to me, and she said her son was too far to walk to. Maybe he was too painful! Rick

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Still Sailing North

This village is called Poes Pi and we really tested our new gangplank. The crew had built a wooden one that they had to pull on and off at each stop. So, the captain ordered this very heavy steel one that folds up for moving. There are positives and negatives with it, but right now it is bolted to the ship. It is nice and wide and has handrails that can be put on. As you can see, the crowd above would like to try it out! Rick finished his dental work early one day and decided to help this older couple shovel dirt into bags. They take it home to use it. Rick said the older lady picked up this large bag of dirt and slung it over the back of the moto like it was a rag doll. Wow, they are tiny but strong! Gail

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ship of Life Medical

First Medical Team Joins the “Ship of Life”

People from Texas , Tennessee , Nebraska , Minnesota , Arkansas and Ireland
Joined the Ship of life team to treat 1400 patients last week.

Doctors Dave Darrah, A.D. Smith, Shannon DeSchazo, Gary Linn along with Nurses Katie Hubner and Bonnie Hoskins, Lab Technician Bill Kidd, Pharmacist Don Johnson, assistants Owana Kid, Sharron Smith, Jon DeShazo, Med student Kyle Kophanmel from Dublin, Ireland joined our medical staff for an intensive week of clinical care.

Hundreds of people came aboard at every village where the ship anchored. More then 4000 prescriptions were filled.

This team also was involved in helping our local staff hone their skills, while organizing the pharmacy better, training a laboratory technician and sharing valuable information with our local physician.

The impact they had is immeasurable. This first group was very helpful in teaching us how to better prepare and work with other teams and individuals that are scheduled to come in the weeks ahead.
Bill McDonough

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Khmer Cake and Noodles

This food may look a bit strange to us foreigners, but the picture has two very popular Khmer dishes. The one on the left that is wrapped in banana leaves is called Khmer Cake. There is really nothing “cakey” about it, and not even sweet. It is rice cooked with egg and fried. The condiments of cucumber, shredded carrots, and other vegetables usually come with it. The small bag next to it holds a spicy sauce that it is dipped into when eaten. Our night guard, Vorn, was thoughtful and bought it for us to try. Since it was purchased at the village, we hesitated to eat it. But we didn’t want to hurt feelings, soooo we pinched a fairly small piece off just to say… “Yes, we tried it”! The other dish is noodles that again are dipped into the sauce that comes with it. Since the noodles are washed in the Mekong River, we chose not to try it. But we do like Khmer noodles and our cook, Darith, makes them for us. No, he doesn’t wash them in the river! Gail

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kroch Chmar

We spent two days at the village Kroch Chmar. It was a nice change because of where we were docked. This pasture like area was a great place for the people to come, and it made for easy access to the boat. Small horses, cows, and water buffalo grazed, as well as children playing. We will move on, but I hope they understand that we will return! gail

Hendersons, Yes, you are correct, our daughter lives in Palestine, Tx and attends Court Dr. We were blessed to meet your sister when we attended. Our email is

Betty, you are still as sweet as can be!! Please have a great trip (and safe)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dr. Gary Linn aka Krupet Taminge

Gary Linn is a dentist from Abilene Texas. A dentist is called a krupect taminge in the Khmer language. Dr Gary worked very hard in our dental clinic this last week treating close to 200 patients!
Dr Linn attended the same dental school as I did, Baylor in Dallas TX, and graduated 5 years after I did. I was impressed with his ability to accomplish extractions on small children without much trouble. Of course the injection is always the main problem and he told me he just “snuck up on them”! I must be a poor sneaker. Maybe it was all those years practicing in a retirement community! The “old folks” couldn’t hear me coming I guess.
Dr Gary, thanks for your tireless work and constant smile. We hope you can come again some day. Rick

Monday, June 18, 2007

Triage Team

This past week we had a great group of ladies helping us with triage. Katie Huber is a RN and veteran of medical missions and has been with us in Cambodia before. She is one of the sweetest Christian women you will ever meet and is also wonderful with people.
Katie had two newcomers helping her, Bonnie Hoskins and Sharron Smith. Bonnie is also an RN and this was her first medical mission trip. She and her husband have spent time in the Philippines and Germany in mission efforts. She plans to come back with her husband next year and stay several months.
Sharron Smith is married to Dr AD Smith. This was her first medical team effort although her husband has been on many. All of these ladies worked very hard in the heat and sweated much for the cause of Christ. We could not have been successful without their having worked up each patient. Thanks much ladies!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Jon and Shannon DeShazo

The DeShazos are one great couple. They have been coming to Cambodia since 2003 and seem to have fallen in love with the people. Shannon is completing here Residency training in Omaha, Nebraska and John is in the IT business.
Dr Shannon came with a medical team in 2003 for the first time while still in Med School. She has come back every year and twice has stayed for one month to do nutritional studies on the children. She is helping us to evaluate our nutritional feeding project and how we can maximize their nutritional needs. John is incredibly supportive of her work and this year was in charge of crowd control for our recently completed mission. We anticipate a long relationship with this wonderfully committed couple.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Doctoring On the Mekong

This week has been a great experience for all of us. We have had some wonderful MD's with us this week. Pictured above are Dr David Darrah and Dr Shannon DeShazo. They have worked tirelessly all week along side Dr AD Smith and Dr Watanak in seeing several hundred patients a day. More later.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Busy Days

We passed alot of corn fields coming to the boat from Phnom Penh. We have not been in this part of Cambodia, so it was an interesting drive. Long, too. But, we settled into routine of seeing over 150 patients a day. We pretty much go to bed after supper. But the Khmer boys relax in the club lounge after dinner and enjoy watching movies. Gail

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back to the Ship

Is is so great to be back! We arrived with the team that will be here a week. I just wanted to get this quick blog about our arrival posted and we will write more about who is here and how it is going. The night before we left we had dinner with Troy and Tabitha, Teo (who is leaving to go back to Romania) Emily and John and Shannon who are here for medical team. Gail

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ship of Life Clinic Report

We just received a report from Dr. Wattnach Chea who is our Khmer clinical physician on board the ship. The Ministry of Health has requested a periodical report about what types of problems that patients are being treated for. This will give you some idea about what is being done. Please keep in mind that this is with only one Khmer doctor on board. Dr. Dave Darrah is now aboard and this next week is our first medical team that will be on board working. There were 1627 patients treated during April 5 to May 13.
1253 for medical complaints
374 for dental treatment
4208 prescriptions were filled
Of the 1253 medical complaints, the following is a breakdown of diagnosis: 152 gastritis; 125 upper pulmonary tract infection; 99 lower pulmonary tract infection; 55 hypertension; 31 urinary tract infeciton; 29 endometriosis; 11 diarrhea; 7 typhoid fever; and of the 735 remaining includes ulcers, malnutrician, goiter, burns, common colds, constipation, anemia, chronic fever, hernia, epilepsy, knee and joint pain, vein inflamation, hepatitis and other minor injuries.
These don't sound any different that problems that a U.S. clinic would come across. The big difference is that these people have probably have these ailments for months and years because there is no doctor available. Hopefully, the Ship of Life can help! Gail

What I Will Miss Most

Gail and I landed in Phnom Penh about two hours ago. We are excited to be back and continue our mission. Just looking at some pics from the weekend makes me think of what I will miss over the next four months.
Number one of course is my children! They are such good kids, well above average! Ha Ha. I also miss good ice tea....along with a good ole fashion All-American hamburger. Sure had some good ones last weekend in Big D.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Cambodia Bound

After making our last "run" to WalMart we are ready to depart once again to Cambodia. What a wonderful time we had with our two children and their significant others. We not only gained a new son but we became even closer to our future daughter-in-law. We may not have any grandchildren yet but our family is growing!
It will seem like only a short time before we come home in November and celebrate the holidays and marriage of our son to his fiancee Janice.
We will be crazy busy the next few weeks! When we arrive we will host our first large team with every bed filled on the Ship of Life. I am really excited to be a part of this ministry. Helping people to heal physically and spiritually is a wonderful thing to do and everything we expected it to be. Please pray for our safe return. We love you all. Rick

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wedding Day

The day finally arrived! June 2, 2007, Brittany was married to Zachary Leslie. The emotions were so overwhelming with the wedding and seeing all of our family and friends. But we survived and the day was beautiful. We are quietly sitting in a hotel room in Dallas now waiting to return to Cambodia. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activities that will have sweet memories! Thank you for sticking with us since we have not posted blogs. I guess it is time to get back to business! ha For all the friends and family who read this blog... thanks for your love and participation in this wonderful occasion! Gail