Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bantey Srey Temple

We recently made our third visit to the ancient temples of Cambodia. The most famous ones by far are Angkor War and Bayon. Everyone loves these temples universally because of their awesome size and multiple carved heads of the Buddha.This trip we visited a new temple called Bantay Srey. It is called the “Pink Temple” because of the pink hue caused by the reddish sandstone used in its construction. Although it was small in size it was great in detail as far as the intricate ornate carvings. It was built for the teacher of one of the kings and is just delightful to visit. Our guide for the week was Sy (lower picture) and he gave us wonderful insight into all of the temples and the people who built them and used them. rick

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Another Women on Board!

Alise Dorrity has joined the crew of the Ship of Life for the next month. She has jumped in with both feet running on her first day of clinic. It will be a delight to have another women at the table since Rosemary and Russ left yesterday. I will get her to write down more info about her to share with you. We are now in Kampong Cham which is about a 2 hour drive north of Phnom Penh. We won't be in Phnom Penh much when we are this far north. So Alise will really get to see some village life. gail

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Burchams Leave Us (for now)

Two of our favorite people on this side of the world are Russ and Rosemary Burcham. Russ is a retired dentist from Kennett, MO. He and Rosemary have spent several weeks on the ship the last month and are a delight to work with. After not practicing dentistry for 15 years, Russ said one day last week, “I can still do it!” I told him it was like riding a bicycle, nothing to it!
We have had the opportunity to work with the Burchams several times the last few years and always have a great time together. Tonight we watched, “Night at the Museum”. We laughed and hee-hawed all the way through it! rick

Monday, January 28, 2008

Apex Location

This week I was able to pull out my latest dental toy and put it to good use. My brother, Roger, brought me one of his good used apex locators this last week. These little jewels make finding the length of a root canal a breeze! This young lady received a root canal, post build-up, and all acrylic crown in just over an hour. Thanks to the help of Northen Family Dentistry in Fort Collins, Colorado! rick

Friday, January 25, 2008

Russ and Rosemary Burcham

While we were off riding elephants, Russ and Rosemary were commanding the ship! We really appreciate their availability to come and work in the clinic in our abscence. Russ and Rosemary have been to Cambodia several times, but they usually have been teaching in the English school. So this was a chance for Russ to work some dental magic with Rosemary assisting. They will stay with us most of next week before leaving for Burma with Bill and Marie-Claire. It is nice to have them at the dinner table with us! gail

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Elephant Ride

Well, our trip to Siem Reap is coming to a close. We are riding this elephant up a hill to watch the sunset on the temple Bakheang. It was a great way to end our time with the visiting team. This morning for breakfast we were able to meet a new couple working with the church here in Siem Reap. Greg and Sheila Hamblin came last December and are quickly involved in learning the language and getting acquainted with their local christians. We pray for their work in that area. gail

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Two Brothers

One of the highlights of this team being here is having Roger, Rick's brother, coming as team leader. Roger graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1979, and Rick graduated in 1981. There were many table conversations about dentistry and arguments over procedures and equipment; but they never worked in the same operatory until now. On the Mekong River in Cambodia, Rick and Roger sat knee to knee helping the helpless. No doubt this has changed their relationship as brothers to a closer bond. We say goodbye soon to these wonderful people and pray for their safe travel. We also pray that this experience has affected their lives as they return home to work in their respective communities for God. We hope they all choose to return again. gail

Monday, January 21, 2008

On to Siem Reap

It is always a great opportunity for visiting teams to see the culture of the country they are working in. We were blessed to be able to accompany the team to Siem Reap and see the heart of Cambodia, Angkor Wat temple. These are amazing structures that have lasted through time and have been restored mostly through the efforts of the French people. The weather has been tolerable with some cool breezes. I have added a letter that Roger sent to him mission coordinator that just has some facts of the week. They have made it an easy week for us and we appreciate their efforts to come here and be with us. gail

Hello Pastor Frank, and all those that support our team,
We have just finished our week of clinic. It has been a tiring, but rewarding
5 days of clinic. We had two dentists from Timberline, Dave Earnest and Roger Northen. Rick Northen is also a dentist, and he helped in the dental clinic. Nancy Northen helped as a dental assistant and also helped with the cleaning of the instruments. Brent Eskew helped in the dental clinic and was a big help. Ron and Kristi Norman helped in the optical clinic along with Phil and Claire Smith.
Rick and Gail Northen were our hosts. They pretty much run the entire Ship of Hope, and do a fine job. I have never experienced a better organized host and clinic operation.
The total number of patients seen for the optical area was 252 so many glasses were made and sunglasses given out. In the dental clinic 269 patients were seen and many bad teeth were extracted. The medical doctor saw 328 patients with the pharmacy filling out prescriptions for all of them; so numerous medical issues were helped.
We are leaving tomorrow to see the wonders of the Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap. We will also visit the capitol city of Phnom Penh. Roger Northen

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dental Team

It was a new experience having three dentists are the ship. There were two chairs set up with four big guys and one small lady! Ha! Rick, Dave and Roger tagged team with Brent and Nancy assisting. It was great to watch. Peseth and Sok Vy are crew members who helped translate. The young man in the picture with brown shirt is a local dentist in the village of Kachou who came in and was able to watch and even pull some teeth. This young man was trained traditionally with no formal training in a school. Dave, Rick and Roger taught him some skills on injections and extractions. I guess we worked Roger too hard because I caught him laying out after the last clinic day. gail

Saturday, January 19, 2008


We really appreciate the three young men that helped us this week. They mostly stayed in the optical area, helping the team. The first pick is Paul Nim and Polieng. The other young man was Touch. The picture below is Dr. Dona with Kristi and Claire. I think the crew really enjoyed the team because they all got glasses!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Walk to the Market

Yesterday morning the group took a quick trip to the early morning market. We left the ship about 6:30 to wander up to see what was for sale. This village had a very small selection of fruits and vegetables, but at least they got to see some village life. Notice the tall fellow in the middle picture! Roger stood above the crowd! gail

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Pics

Ron is checking eyes here with Dave trying to figure out what he is doing! ha Dave is a funny guy! He is giving us all lots of laughs! gail

Working Hard

The team is doing such a great job this week. Next I will put a pic of all the people waiting to come on ship. Claire says she hates to see so many not get helped, but unfortunately that is the case here. Phil is working with patient in first picture, and Roger and Nancy have a good patient with mouth wide open! The week is passing so quickly! gail

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Eyes Galore

Here is the group! We are having a fun yet busy time. The people love having the opportunity to have their eyes checked. It is so exciting to see a young boy walk off the ship with glasses on smiling that he can see far away. He points and laughs, it is so great. More pics to come!!! gail

Monday, January 14, 2008

Colorado Team

We are excited to have this new group visit us this week! Mainly because one member is Rick's brother, Roger. Their flight arrived Sunday morning on time and after a two hour van ride, some of it over bumpy roads, they made it to the Ship of Life. We figure to help them over their jet-lag it is best to put them work right away. So bright and early Monday morning they began working in the clinic. Team members include Roger and Nancy Northen, Brent Eskew and Dave Earnest who are working with dental. Ron and Kristi Norman and Phil and Claire Smith are working with eyeglasses. This is our first team to work with testing eyes and dispensing eye glasses. We look forward to a great week. I tried to put some pictures on and am having trouble. Hopefully, next blog it will work. gail

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back to the Ship

After a safe arrival and a good night's sleep in Phnom Penh we headed for the ship. We drove the pickup because Rick would have to return to pick up our first team that would be arrival on Sunday. How do you like Rick's backing the truck onto the ferry? I must say he did a great job. Of course you can tell I was out taking the picture! ha! It was good to see the crew, and I think they might have even missed us! gail

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Safe on the Other Side

Other side of the World! Here is the plane that brought us safely to Taipei. The head winds were very strong and made the flight alittle longer. No problems on to Phnom Penh and to the PIP house. We had a good nights sleep and now running around Phnom Penh like we never left! Except we looked and realized Rick's driver's license was expired! Leaving for the ship soon and are anxious to see the crew. We have two new members that we have not met yet, so that will be nice.. gail

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

San Francisco

We had a wonderful last couple days before we fly back to Cambodia. I was able to hear some Khmer language when we visited the group in church. I actually understood some of it! ha Then Jim and Mandy showed us alittle of San Francisco before leaving us at the airport. Our flight leaves at midnight and while waiting, we can enjoy the perks of the Eva lounge. We've had several inquiries of people wanting to visit the ship, so we are anxious for this new year to meeting lots of new friends. It was good to see old friends at the Medical Mission forum in Dallas last Friday. Wallace, we didn't have a Wendy's frosty, so maybe when we get back! ha gail

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday Worship

Yes, these people are Khmer, no, we are not in Cambodia! We were fortunate to worship with the Cambodian people of Woodward Park Church of Christ in Fresno, California. We have been here for a couple of days visiting Jim and Mandy Gardner and were able to worship with this congregation where Jim is pulpit minister. The Cambodian group meets at the same time as the English Christians have bible school. There is also a Laotian group of 150 that meets at same time. This is definitely a mixed cultural body of Christians! It was great to see the Gardners and meet many of their friends here in California. gail

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Reflections 2007

What a blessing to be a part of the Ship of Life this past year as it sailed on the Mekong River. We look forward to another year as we depart this week to return to Cambodia. We want to thank of people who came to work with us last year, the people who pray for us, and the people who read this blog and let us know that it helps them keep up with our work. No doubt 2008 will be a great year! Praise God! Rick and Gail