Sunday, August 31, 2008

Meet the Hales

Last year when we arrived in Prek Ambel we met a young American lady in the market named Jennifer. She and her husband Bill had moved to Cambodia to work with a church and start a school.
The Hales invited us to their home for a pasta dinner and some nice fellowship on Friday night. We had them to the ship on Saturday night for pizza and a tour. They brought along their 10 month old daughter and we got to play “Grandma and Grandpa” for a few
hours. I think we could get used to that!
As you can see, Bill has on an A&M tee shirt. Our Son-in-law will be in mourning over the big loss yesterday to lowly Arkansas State. Zac, Bill will be mourning with you.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Prek Ambel

We have arrived back at Prek Ambel. I like to put pictures of the locations we dock on the blog, but it also helps me remember which village is what. I remember this one well, however. There is a very large and colorful pagoda off to our north and of course the school being in front of us is an easy reminder. We also fill up our fresh water tanks here. We have had some large crowds which has kept both doctors busy. Rick has still had time to do fillings. Yesterday he saw 53 patients. I told him his back isn't going to hold out if he keeps that pace up. gail

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our New Friend... Sok Kim

The ship was docked in front of the home of Sok Kim. She is 18 years old and wanted to be with us has much as possible. She is a teacher at the local Fullbright School of English. Schools like this are dotted all over Cambodia because of the desire to learn our language. Students pay to attend. Sok Kim had pretty good English. Her pronunciation was clear and vocabulary diverse. She never went to school in Phnom Penh which surprised me. She wanted so much to keep talking to us and help her speak better. We went on a walk to her family’s land which was growing sugar cane and banana trees. In the first picture, we had just left the main road to head toward the land. Sorry to say I have no more pictures because my batteries went dead. It was a beautiful walk and the weather cooperated with cloudy skies and a nice breeze. But the real interesting visit was to her school. I think she wanted me to come several nights but since I have classes for crew members, I only went one night. In the pictures of the classes, Sok Kim is standing to the far right in one of them. Notice her blue skirt and white shirt which is standard apparel for teachers. She was over the youngest students in this school. There were five other “rooms” of kids scattered throughout the house that was converted into a school. They were grouped by age and ability. I talked with her students and made them laugh (on purpose) trying to get them to speak to me in English. I must have a made a small impression because when I walked to the market the next day, I had some more friends! gail

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


If I believed in reincarnation I would want to come back in my next life as a landscaper. I enjoy beautiful landscaping and particularly putting it into place!
Very few individuals landscape their yards to any extent. We see the occasional potted plant or occasionally foundational plantings but seldom well thought out plans.
I was pleasantly surprised to see this home where we parked our ship this week. The couple who lived here took great pride and expended a lot of energy into plants and flowering shrubs and flowers of different kinds. Very different.
The only problem with my plan is that the reincarnated come back based on how good or bad they live their current lives! I might come back digging in dirt as a grub worm! Rick

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I have neglected in sharing this nice deed that Alise Dorrity did for the ship’s guest cabins. If you remember, Alise came and stayed a month on the ship last February. When she left, she asked if there was anything we needed. We thought about it and since she could sew, we realized curtains would be nice for the guest rooms. We brought them back with us this past trip. Piseth helped hang them and work great! Not only do they have a feel of more privacy, but they help keep the rooms cooler. Thanks so much, Alise! gail

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to Canada

It was great to see Kevin Carson again in Cambodia. He didn’t stay on ship this time, but his presence was felt in Phnom Penh because of his teaching students and having some special classes on how to use drama in teaching. I think around 20 or so students attended his classes. The nutrition group already uses some techniques with the children they feed, so this was valuable to help them improve. He will head back to the cool temperatures of Canada where his family will welcome his return. Our prayer is the whole family will return next year. gail

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bill Kidd

We wrote last fall about the loss of one of our dear friends and fellow workers on the ship of life. His name was Bill Kidd and I meant every word of admiration written about him and his equally impressive wife Owana.
Gail and I think of the Kidds often. So giving, so gentle, so genuine! We were proud to be fellow workers in Gods Kingdom along with Bill and Owana.
You may or not remember that Bill was the one who equipped and set up our ships medical laboratory. He has done the same thing in countless third world countries around the world. We have hung a picture of Bill working in our lab on the wall as a way of honoring him and his commitment to the work here. His dedication and labor of love will always follow him and encourage others to follow in the footprints of our Savior Jesus Christ. Rick

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Just a little over one month ago we were in a very different setting. We were driving through the streets of Beverly Hills! Today we are parked close to Hwy. 210 which is a long way both mileage wise and culturally from Rodeo Drive!
Don’t get me wrong. We enjoyed seeing Hollywood and Beverly Hills. We had our pictures taken with the iconic “Hollywood” sign in the background. We oohed and aahed at the handprints and footprints of the stars of yesterday. We drank $5 Starbuck coffee! We had fun.
There are no stars here. There are only footprints in the mud along the river where the people come and go to and from its life giving waters. Things are different here. Not better, just different.
Things are also the same here. The people wake up every morning and go about their lives making money to provide for their lives. Everyone spends a significant portion of their days gathering and preparing food to eat. There are children and grandchildren to take care of. There is school to attend. Although the settings are very different, the basics of life are the same.
The people here are in need of the saving grace of God just like they are in Beverly Hills. We are all simply sinners saved by the grace of God Almighty. We are happy to help; we are having fun. rick

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Tekville is a prosperous village according to some of the crew members. We arrived here last Friday and are leaving today. Evidently, someone in this community was educated in farming techniques and has used that knowledge to help everyone use their farmland to the max. Vegetables by the truckload are sent to Phnom Penh markets. Piseth told us that other people from distance provinces come to learn from these farmers. The first picture is the scene I enjoyed daily at the triage area. The two calves were quiet, but sometimes the aroma reminded me of driving past the Amarillo feed lots. Out front of the house, you can see the ship from the road. We were very close to highway that goes to Vietnam. And the last picture was a well landscaped spot that we were impressed with in the yard of house next door. On our walk, we came to a house that was teaching high school age kids English. The teacher wanted us to come up and greet the kids. We talked, but their English wasn’t good enough to understand. So, I attempted to tell them in Khmer that I understood how difficult it was to learn a second language. They laughed!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Meet Julie

Julie Broyles just arrived in Cambodia about a week ago, and she has jumped in with both feet. Not into the water, but seeing all the work going on! Julie is the new director of the English teaching program that is based in Phnom Penh. Partners in Progress rents a house in a nice part of the city where university students some to improve their English speaking skills. The WEI (World English Institute) materials are used that was created by Dick Ady. Julie was a school teacher in Texas before deciding to take on this wonderful work. I'm sure her decision was difficult, in part, due to the fact that I saw pictures of her beautiful one-year granddaughter. She is mother to three sons, two of which are married and all living in Texas. But it did help to have her sister, Rhonda Dolan, here working with husband, Rich, at the Sunset Bible School. Her parents are Loren and Penny Hollinsworth, so she is no stranger to the foriegn field. Julie came to the ship to visit and it didn't take long to realize that she had a great personality along with a beautiful smile. It will be great to have her here. gail

Friday, August 15, 2008

Green Beans and Cucumbers

Not long ago, Russ and Rosemary Burcham sent us a picture of their garden and some tomatoes they had gotten. Well, it is not from our garden, but we found some great string beans and cucumbers. When Rosemary was here, she showed Darith and me an easy way to make pickles. So now they are a big hit with the crew. Our first Thanksgiving here, Rosemary made a big pot to green beans. So in memory of that, I tried my hand at a small pot for Rick and me! Darith stir-fried the rest with pork for the crew.

Just Some Pics

Here are some more pics from our walks. This little guy was eating from Grandma’s bowl of rice. And yes, he does not have pants on. Children not potty trained don’t wear anything, saves on diapers. Rick is checking out the bananas we purchased. And then the fish I was glad Darith did not purchase. He went to market next day and bought a fish they call “snakefish” and cooked it for lunch. It was much better! With french fries we had Fish and chips! Gail

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fuel Stop

It was time to take on more fuel and it always seems to be a major ordeal. Unfortunately, we can’t just pull up to a pump. We contact fuel companies in Phnom Penh who have trucks that can bring the fuel to us. The most recent company that has had the lowest price is called PTT. They come and we have a hose that is connected to their truck. In past purchases we weren’t sure what we received is what we paid for, so now we have our own meter to double check. Rick is watching over it. Inevitably, the crew gets gas on their uniforms and all over the back deck, but the tanks get full and we are on our way. You can imagine this is a large part of our budget! We have two generators that rotate running 24/7 to provide electricity for everything from air cons to Rick’s dental compressor. The gas guzzler is the engines that move the ship from one village to another. This year we are moving down one side of river then return on opposite side. Not sure if this helps with gas, but it’s a plan! Gail

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Takin a Walk

Now this is Cambodia. After dinner tonight, we decided to take a stroll. Our choice was to turn left on the road or turn to the right. We opted to the left and came across a banana seller and fish seller. The bananas had just been picked and laying out to sell for tomorrow. We went ahead a made a purchase to have some delivered to the ship. The fish came riding by on a bicycle. Darith was thinking of buying some for breakfast tomorrow. The smell is quite strong so he decided to just wait and eat when not on ship. I appreciated that decision. gail

Monday, August 11, 2008

Takin' It Easy

This is not a scene on the Ship of Life. This is Roger, Rick's brother, in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He doesn't realize there are lots of hammocks around here, but it is too hot to lay around in one! We had a wonderful family gathering at his and wife, Nancy's house this past summer. And we are blessed to have them return to Cambodia next January. gail

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Prek Samrong

This is Prek Samrong. This is the first village since coming to the Bassac River. We were thankful for the grassy land because is has rained everyday, and a muddy bank would have been even more messy. The negative is that there is no trees for the people to wait under except up by the road. Yesterday the sun was out and the cows came to help mow the grass. But today, they have to hand out numbers in the rain. We will stay here all week and depart on Sunday for Sitbo. Since we are in this area longer this year, the time in the villages have gone from two days each to four days. gail

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More Pics

Here is a couple more pics as we moved the ship to the Bassac River. We have to go under the Monivong Bridge and the second picture is a crew building a new bridge next to the current one. It will be interesting to see the traffice flow because the roads will not be enlarged! The community in the other pic is mostly Vietnamese. As least that is what the crew informed me. They called it "Vietnam" when we went past. gail

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Contrasting Life

As we sailed from the Mekong River to the Bassac River, we go south of Phnom Penh city. As you can see in the one picture, many high-rise buildings similar to that are being constructed all over the city. Progress is on the move as foriegn countries come into Cambodia for whatever reason. But the simple life on the river remains unchanged for the time being. In the area near the PIP house, five new apartment buildings have been built this year. We are seeing a price increase in many things. Of course, just like you, gas is major, but here the rice increase really affects everyone. When you eat rice three times a day, that is a big issue. The current Prime Minister was reelected for another term and I pray he uses his vast power to really help his people. gail

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tight Squeeze

Here we go again under the Monivong bridge. We are headed back to the Bassac River and the river is high! But we make it! Meet our newest crew members. Bunhai is the younger of the two and he is our new electrician. Sokha, in the background, has many years experience working the docks and boats at the Sihanoukville Port. His expertise is going to be valuable as our new engineer. Marie Claire is back in Phnom, so since we are so close to the city we are headed in to join them for dinner and catch up on her trip to the states. gail