Friday, February 29, 2008

Peam Kohsna

This is Peam Kohsna and as you can see it is a long walk up the hill. I feel for the people coming to see us. There is no shade for them to wait under and after we give out all the numbers, many walk all the way down, only to have to turn around and walk back up! The kids are having fun in the mud. We watched them roll around and then run and jump in the water. Over and over again! Alise and I will awake at 3:30 in the morning and walk up this hill to the van that will take us to Kampong Cham City. There we will catch a bus to Phnom. Alise is heading home and we hate to see her go! gail

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trip to KPC

Rick and I took a quick trip into Kampong Cham City when the boat was docked at Kroch Chmar. We tried the local van transport to go to the city in the morning. The morning being 4:00 a.m. We awoke at 3:30 a.m. and made our way up to the road to wait for the van. It was dark and I think we got every dog in the neighborhood barking. Darith was with us and he had asked the day before about what time we could expect the van. Of course, schedules are irrelevant most of the time. We were fortunate and it did come about 4:30. We made good time until we came to the ferry to cross the river and had to wait about 45 minutes. Then on to the city. We did our business and even had an eggs and bacon breakfast. Piseth had come to meet his family and came down on the boat. We decided to ride the boat back with him to experience something new. So at 10:30 we boarded the ship and settled on the top to enjoy the view. (and air) Rick was able to read alittle on the return. Other than the early morning rise, it was a great trip! gail

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Flower Power

We always are interested when Darith makes a new Khmer dish that we haven’t tasted. This particular one was quite interesting. Times of the year make a difference on ingredients that he can get, pretty much like our seasons for vegetables, etc. The flower you see in the picture is from a plant that grows in the water. Last rainy season we saw hundreds of these plants that get dislodged from the shore and float down the river. They do not eat the leaf of the plant or stem, but only when the bloom comes this time of year. This is considered a very nice meal and the crew really liked it. You can tell Piseth is ready to dig in. The mealtime joke is that if they don't have rice they will have "no power" to work! Thus the title of this blog. Yesterday, we had pizza for lunch, but I think think they worked just fine! gail

Sunday, February 24, 2008


When I am standing around the people waiting for the doctors, there are several questions that is consistantly asked. How old am I? Do I have children? How old are they? And that leads to... Do you have grandchildren? For most women here, especially in the villages, it is to have children as soon after marriage as it can happen. Birthing children is very important. I think that most assume that since I have older children they think I should have grandchildren. I smile and say someday I will! Right kids??!! This beautiful boy I am holding belongs to Chan who was visiting a friend on the ship. Chan graduated from the Sunset preaching school and now works in Siem Reap with the church there. He was blessed not long after his wedding with this son. I know I will be blessed also with grandchildren, but maybe not too soon?! gail

Friday, February 22, 2008

Prek Kork Village

Rick wanted me to send this picture on the dental chair because it showed more clearly the way it looked when he talked of "jackrabbit" drill and spittoon. I'm sure the dentists who have worked on the ship appreciate the ship's dental room compared to this. The other two pictures are where we are now. Prek Kork is about 10 kilometers from Prek Bak. We were docked at the area where all the cattle and water buffaloes bathed each evening. When we arrived, villagers were herding them to the river and I thought we were having a stampede. The doctors had to walk through this family of water buffaloes each morning to hand out numbers for the day. In the lower picture is some of the herd bathing and in the forefront is a fishing device we found interesting. Last year when we traveled by car north to Kratie, we passed boats like this all along the river and were amazed. This was the closest we have been to one with the ship. The fisherman would lower the net into the water, wait about ten minutes and raise it. The fish would be caught in the nets. Needless to say, we have been eating alot of fish lately! gail

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Calling the Hogs!

Not sure anyone in this village has seen anything quite like Rick "callin the Hogs"! The hog behind him didn't seem to grasp the full meaning of his actions. He just happened to be wearing the t-shirt when we saw the hogs and chickens in front of this house. "Wooo Pig Sooie!!!" gail

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I wrote on an earlier blog about having some technical problems with adding pictures. Any of you computer geeks can maybe help me. I am not using my laptop, but the desk top computer in office for this blog. And as you can see I have uploaded some images. So it appears my tech problem is my laptop and not the blogspot website. I am totally missing the toolbar on the post-editing screen when creating a blog. I can't seem to get any help from the Help area of the website and they don't have tech help via email. As the river becomes lower against the riverbank, we can not get phone reception from the lower level of the ship to access internet, that is why I use our laptop. Anyway, I added some pictures that I would have from the last two blogs which were about river activity and the dental visit. Plus, I wanted you to see the flowers Rick got me for Valentines Day! gail

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Gail and I went for a walk this morning up Hun Chey Mountain. Well they call it a mountain anyway. It is probably no more than 500 feet tall! But the scenery at the top of the river and the valley below was quite panoramic. There was a large Chinese cemetery on the crest of the hill which I am sure had some significance to its location.
On our way back we stopped at a local dentist office, the obligatory sign with a tooth on it was out front, and we chatted with the dentist and his family. He was 45 years old and had been practicing for the last 25 years. His chair was pretty primitive and his hand piece was a “jack-rabbit” belt driven one hooked up to a car battery. He had a cigar box size case with all of his instruments in it and one anesthetic syringe. It was the most primitive office I have seen to date but he was very happy with it and life in general. His daughter spoke some English and helped us communicate along with Gail’s Khmer which improves daily
We took pictures of him and his wife and had a delightful visit. When I left, I felt a little jealous of his simple practice with no employees and probably an overhead of less than $25 a month! He no doubt had no formal education but the model of a bridge prep he had done for a patient was laying on the counter top and didn’t look half bad! Bet he learned from a real good one twenty five years ago. rick

Monday, February 18, 2008


It’s ant season. I feel that it is always ant season, but according to the crew, ‘tis the season. The bigger ones seem to stay outside which is nice. It’s the tiny tiny ones that are everywhere. I have noticed they seem to like “our food” more than the Khmer. There was a bowl of rice soup sitting on the counter for a couple of hours and not one ant was crawling around in it. But when I sat down my toasted cheese sandwich for two minutes, the little boogers were all over it. If you are wondering whether or not I went ahead and ate it, well let’s just say I have been over here long enough, so not much bothers me anymore. We are in a new village now called Prek Bak. Rick and Peseth got out the jump rope because there were at least fifty kids who welcomed the ship when it docked. However, they were shy about jumping, so I had to lead the way. It certainly was a sight to see! Ha! Gail

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Village Hun Chey

We are in village Hun Chey. Every evening is bathing time. Ladies and children come to was clothes. The men and boys bring the cows down to “cool down” and give them a wash. At the same time, families come down for their evening bath. The ship was docked next to the ferry stop, so we saw lots of activity all day long. I will try to post picture later, but having some technical problems. The weather has been very cool in the mornings, so Rick and I decided to trek up Phnom Men Chey. We have seen tourist boats driving by with this as a destination, so we thought we better take advantage of seeing it while we were close by. We had a great walk up the mountain which was really more of a hill and saw a beautiful veiw overlooking the river and countryside. Weekends also allow us to catch up on the all the things we have put off doing during the week. Rick got out the drill and hung some cabinets to finish preparing another room to serve as a second doctor's exam room. So now we have two exam rooms on same floor for our resident Khmer doctor and a visiting doctor. Hopefully, I'll figure out this picture problem because it is alot easier to blog with pics and a few words!!! gail

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bill Kidd

I have met several hundred people over the years involved with medical missions. Some of them have been extremely impressive both by their efforts and their deep spiritual nature. At the top of that list is a man we have praised before on our blog. His name is William Kidd. Bill died unexpectedly this last week in a hunting accident. We are still in a state of shock!
Bill and his wife Owanna are an incredible couple. On most of Bill’s trip, Owanna was right there beside him. Despite being in their 80's, they were here last year in the heat of the summer setting up our lab on the Ship of Life. Bill’s passion was helping set up laboratories in third world countries and training the lab tech to carry on after he went home. He did this everywhere it seems and in some very inhospitable places like North Korea! Bill was not afraid of anything I think because he had the Lord on his side.
I will never forget the twinkle in Bill’s eyes. I will never forget how he got up every morning on the ship and brought Owanna a fresh cup of coffee just like she liked it. I will never forget Bill talking to the patients in the clinic like they understood English! They didn't understand his words but they felt his compassion and warmness and the way he looks each one right in the eyes with the look of the Savior’s love.
I will never forget Bill Kidd. Owanna, thank you for sharing him with the rest of us. God blessed you with an incredible man, He will continue to be with you. Rick

Monday, February 11, 2008

Joe and Areva

Joe and Areva Chesser took some time from teaching at the English school to visit the ship. They have been in Phnom Penh a month and plan to stay another. It is so great to meet them and share our work with them. They now live in Cape Giraudeau, Missouri, but were once Arkansans from Mt. View. Joe shared a lesson with us for the Sunday morning worship. The second picture has Jeane Gardner with Alise and Areva in front of a flowering plant at the PIP house. Jeane and her husband Phil have been here also teaching. We were blessed to have met Phil last year when he came, and were glad to meet Jeane this year. They will return to state sometime this month. The singing was awesome with all of them and the group from China. It is a little different on the ship with the Khmer crew singing! gail

The Incredible Edible Spider

When visitors come to Cambodia there is one thing that fascinates everyone. The eating of spiders. At the bus rest stop on our way to Phnom Penh, Danielle, Megan, Laurie, and even Alise had to have a look see. Alise bought one and put in plastic bag to keep for later. Megan is thinking maybe this is not such a good idea, and Laurie regrets putting it in her mouth. But she did say the legs were crunchy and not too bad! Ha! gail

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Work and Play

With the Chinese New Year, the crowds have not been as large as usually. It does give us a less stressful day and really allows us to see most all people who come. So that is nice change. When the day is over, there is time to play hackysack. This is a game where you kick a shuttlecock or hit is with your hand around to the players. The first picture is Peseth and Seang getting the morning patients lined up for the handing out of numbers. Then that afternoon, Peseth, Sokun, Danielle, Laurie, and Rick are trying to hit the shuttle! gail

Friday, February 08, 2008

Pirates from China!

Ok, maybe they aren't the pirates of the carribean, but the ship was definitely alittle crazier with this group on board! Ha! We had a great time getting to know these four Harding grads who are teaching English in Wuhan, China. In first pic, Laurie Padgett and Megan Gilbert are assisting Rick in dental room. But I think it was Danielle who actually removed a tooth from a patient! Next pic is Jeremy Painter and Danielle Huguenard packing meds for us. They are on holiday, Chinese New Year, traveling through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Three of them graduated last May with Greg from Harding. They will finish up this June and will have to decide to stay another year or return to states to get real jobs! HA! It was been a blessing for us to take their time to visit the Ship of Life. The crew really enjoys visiting young people, especially "pretty girls"! gail

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Alise has enjoyed watching the children play while waiting in triage area. She felt sorry for them because it gets long and boring so she decided to buy some crayons and paper. Now she watches over them as they color! The crew have been trying to fish over the side of the ship. The captain actually had one on his line but it went under the ship and got hung up on something. Peseth, being the youngest, went down to try and free the line and reel it in. But no luck.. maybe a big one got away! gail

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Trash Pick-up

As we were walking through town, we kept passing these rubber pots. Finally we realized that they were used as trash receptacles. It was good to see that they were trying to teach people to throw trash in cans and not on the street. Everywhere most people just throw their trash on the ground, in the river, anywhere! The crew laughs at me when I go ballistic at one of them “forgetting” and throwing paper or bottles in river. I doubt we will make an impact on this country anytime soon about litter, but I can make an impression on the crew. I tell them I will throw them in river if I see it again. They just smile! Gail

Monday, February 04, 2008


A couple of years back, Rick decided to start collecting pitchers. It has evolved into teapots because that is what they have here. You may wonder how he ever began this hobby. Sorry, but I can not answer that for you. I use to collect mugs wherever we went, but then it got ridiculous when I had no where to display them. I am slowing bringing some over here to use, but for now they are boxed up. So, I keep reminding Rick of that dilemma as he continues to purchase these that are in the picture. A few people (Mandy) have questioned him about the manliness of this hobby. You have to understand our house is full of proof that Rick loves to hunt big game animals in the wilderness. I guess one day our kids will have to decide what to do with all of these teapots! But for now, tea anyone? gail

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday Stroll

Today is Sunday and we attempted to go to church at a nearby village across the bamboo bridge. However, we could not find a tuk tuk to take us. Motos are not easy to ride in a skirt and we didn't really want Alise to have to ride a moto. So we came back to ship and listened to Jim Gardner speak on joy from the book of Philipians. It felt like old times on Barcelona Road! Well, all most. After that we trekked up the hill again for a stroll and then to lunch. The crew should be wandering in as the weekend comes to a close. Tonight, Rick will bring the lesson and Channy will lead singing. We really do have alot to be thankful for and be full of joy! Thanks Jim. gail

Saturday, February 02, 2008


One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life;
‘Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

____Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I do not know much about this author but without a doubt her words are among the most true and profound ever written. Read her words again very slowly. Everyone should heed these words of wisdom no matter what stage of life you are in. rick