Monday, April 28, 2008

Snack Time

When Friday night comes around we are all ready for a movie and some kind of snack. Gail and I usually pop some popcorn and get out the old diet coke for a treat. The crew also eats popcorn and I usually make up a large amount. Last night the crew had something else in mind. They went hunting.
For what you might ask? Crickets! They are in season! They didn’t have to leave the ship. They were everywhere. After a short time, they had caught a fairly large # and the cook was sent down to the kitchen to “prepare” them. They are put in a small skillet and lightly sautéed. Not too long though or they get too dry and tough.
I almost decided to eat a cricket, but these were just too juicy! I need to find some a little less full of stuff or maybe fried a little longer! Rick

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Today started out like most other days for me in the dental clinic. After choosing 30 or 40 people to see each morning, we bring them on board and see them one at a time.
I do mostly extractions for people in pain with an occasional filling and maybe even a root canal some days. Yesterday I did 4 root canals and large fillings on one Cham girl who I felt sorry for. She was thrilled with her smile makeover!
I saw one little boy today that set me back a little. I didn’t notice anything different at first. He sat in the chair and showed me the molar he wanted me to extract and after numbing him up I noticed his feet. He was a good looking boy of 14 years old but had his feet severely burned when he was a small child. He could not remember what happened but was told that he had had some kind of a surgery afterward.
My heart really went out to him! I really wanted to be Jesus right then and there and just heal his pitiful deformed feet. I cried inside for his condition.
He told me that he does pretty well walking but has occasional pain on his left foot. His big toe, as you may or may not be able to see, turns straight down and will no doubt give him serious trouble as he matures. Sure wished I could find an orthopedic guy to help with this one. Maybe I will ask Dr Lee Sosebee what he thinks when we are home. He can’t wear shoes really. We really shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves if we have no shoes! If we have pretty normal feet that is.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Koh Tang

I think Gail has written about our Khmer New Years vacation and our trip to the coast. We took an overnight trip out to some islands off of the coast and where the water was much clearer. We didn’t know what to expect but were pleasingly surprised at the choral and variety of reef fish.
The island we dove and anchored off of was named Koh Tang. It is somewhat famous here for the small military skirmish fought there between the Cambodian and US military. You might remember a container ship named the “Marguerite”, or something like that, being taken right after the Vietnam War was wrapping up in 1975. The story here is that the US sent in 7 helicopters to free the 30 some odd crew members of the container ship and teach little Cambodia a lesson. Well, things didn’t go so well and 15 American soldiers lost their lives on this tiny island and the Cambodians claimed a great military victory! The Americans expected to face off against some spear throwing type soldiers and instead faced some heavy resistance. The crew of the ship was later released when probably some big “B-2” bomber like threats were made! I read where Gerald Ford claimed a great US triumph in the press so the homeland could get rid of the “bad taste” in our collective mouths from the Vietnam nightmare.
Whatever happened, we enjoyed a 2 day dive trip and never once saw any burned out helicopters! I kept my eyes pealed! The jungle was so dense that I doubt if you could have even walked 20 feet in from the beach. rick

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cow Wash

We see the same thing over and over again almost every day. People lead their most prized possessions down the river bank and into the river for some kind of a bath. I am not sure if it is a bath or a cooling down or what but the rub the cows down and stay in the water maybe 5 minutes or so.
The cows are a lot like most dogs I think. They do not enjoy the bath, they endure it. I told several people the other day I thought I had a great idea to make some money. Install a “cow wash” in every village. You could design it just like our car washes at home. Coin operated and all! It would save people having to walk down the often steep bank and be kind of a status symbol! You know like, “Where do you wash your cows?”
There is only one small problem. There are no coins in Cambodia. Guess we will have to wait on this one. rick

Another Little Girl

She was very much like many of the others I have seen here. She was just a teenager with really poor teeth. In fact she had me extract all 6 of her front top teeth on the day she came in!
Fortunately for her, we had a holiday break coming up so I decided to make her a removable partial denture so she could at least smile. I don’t think she would eat very well with it but after all smiling takes precedent over eating! At least for teen aged girls I think!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dive Trip

Just a couple pictures from our dive trip. We saw some nice islands, lots of ocean, and some wonderful underwater sea life. It definitely is another world under the sea, that God created. The first pic is of ship leaving port of Sihanoukville, and the second is our first dive site calle Three Bears. It was very relaxing and a unique experience sleeping under the stars. There was a constant breeze, so very comfortable. But we are back to work now and the first day I had to assist Rick in the dental room because his assistant had to go to a funeral. I got to practice giving post op instructions in Khmer. Piseth was listening close by to make sure I didn't tell them crazy! gail

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Beach Bums

After a four hour bus ride, we arrived in Sihanoukville. Of course the first thing we did after getting our things in guest house was to head for the beach. Troy, Tabitha, Rick and I settled near the food, while Emily lounged on the beach. A great start to a wonderful trip!. gail

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More Visitors

Before the holiday some friends were crossing the bridge outside of Kampong Cham and saw the ship. Andrew Hayes (missionary in Phnom Penh) along with Sok Kun from Dallas, TX and his brother Moses from Phnom Penh stopped by to visit us. We had met Sok Kun in Dallas were he attends a Church of Christ Khmer congregation. He had escaped Cambodia during the Pol Pot regime and settled in southeast Dallas. Now he tries to return as much as possible to help his Christian friends and family. He mentioned moving back at some point in the future. He has a great smile and wonderful attitude. I know he has a son attending Harding University. It was a great surprise to have them stop by and say Hello. Three other people who were passing by on the bridge stopped for medical care. Two men from Belgium and a Khmer-French women had been to Ratanikiri and the women had gotten bit by an insect that caused her arm to swell. Couldn't help her much except for some cream, but Rick ended up putting one of the man's bridge back in his mouth!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


We took the bus today from Kampong Cham into Phnom Penh and celebrated Rick's birthday by eating out at FCC. It was a balmy night, so we walked toward the PIP house to see all the people celebrating the New Year. There are large park areas in front of Royal Palace and near several memorials that were packed with people. The water display was just recently built and the park renovated from a empty dry lot. We appreciate all the birthday greetings that we had gotten, thanks! In the morning, we head south to the ocean with Emily Pownall. Troy and Tabitha have decided to go too! gail

Joel and Chloe Bond

This young couple came to visit us three days before Khmer New Year. They are from Perth, Australia and have come to Cambodia to offer their skills to help the needy. Chloe is a nurse and she helped with triage while Joel did alittle bit of everything! They have come to join some "mates" of theirs from Australia who work with an orphanage, schools and church. It was a joy to get to know them and hopefully they will able to join us again later in the year. gail

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Phearith, Rick and I are the only ones on the ship now since it is a holiday. We will stay for a couple more days then head to the city and the Captain will return to watch the ship. Our plan is to take Emily to the coast for a little R & R. Sihanoukville is a develping beach city that has some nice questhouses and hotels. But, while here, the guys decided to try fishing. Rick had brought back with us his rod and reels. As you can see, Phearith has got a big one! Well, it was fun anyway! gail

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Khmer New Year

Khmer New Year is upon us and that means “birthday”. The Khmer don’t celebrate individual birthdays; everyone turns another year older during this holiday. But it actually is Rick’s and my birthday on the 13th and 15th of April. So today Darith baked a chocolate cake and I iced it with the famous Wilton icing. Darith had been interested in learning how to decorate a cake so we started out with this simple style. Tomorrow the crew will depart to their homelands to celebrate with their families. Phearith and Sokun will be left with us to guard the ship. Wednesday, the changing of the guard will come with Sieng and the Captain returning so we can have a break. Rick and I are taking Emily Pownall to the coast with us. Although today I just happened to call about the bus schedule and found out that no buses are running due to the holiday! Ha!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

People News

Rick is modeling and holding t-shirts given to us by Minea. She opened a small cafe near Wat Phnom and we were able to eat there. In return, she gave us these shirts that she had made for her grand opening. Minea was one of our translators on the first mission trip to Cambodia. Since then, she was baptized and has been maturing in the faith. Her job was not so great, but good money. She worked in a restaurant/bar for an American. She had this opportunity to open her own and we pray for her success. She supports her two sisters so they can attend school. Those of you who know Pisey, who has done some translating for us, helps her in the evening. He is working at a bank now. Veasna is still attending Sunset Bible school, but has left the PIP house weekend guard to assist some other Christians working in the area. His wife, Lena, is pregnant. Channy, who left the ship, took his place as weekend guard. Please pray for Channy. He left the ship to help translate for some Koreans, but evidently did not realize what he would be doing. He said they were teaching error and he could not translate during the worship service. That is a pretty bold step for someone who needs a job! And then there is Piseth! He is still on ship (thank goodness) and improving in English everyday. Those of you who know him will be proud that he gave a very good lesson on the Good Samaritan last Sunday night. He studies his Bible daily and is a very caring person. He has a great future and I know he won't be on ship forever. Last but not least, Somnang, out IT man and translator for services at the PIP house. He is an amazing young man and has had more opportunities with education than the others. But now that he is ready for the workforce his delimma includes working in jobs that would involve corruption. All of these young Khmer Christian people stuggle daily with choices for their future. It is not easy to be a Christian for them. Most of them are responsible for their family and jobs are hard to come by. I know many of you have been impressed by their attitudes. gail

Sunday, April 06, 2008


This past week we had some visitors from Phnom Penh come visit the ship. Since we are moving south, we are closer for people to have easy access to the ship. First, Nita Mansholt and Mryna Rockwell visited. They are both from Oregon and have been teaching for the past three months. Nita has been here several times but this was Myrna's first visit to Cambodia. They both hope to return. Then a few days later, Jeanne Galvin and Rebekah Dolan came. Rebekah is daughter of Rich and Rhonda Dolan who are working with the Sunset School of Preaching. She is about to return to states to attend A & M University in Texas. But first she is going to have a great time visiting friends and family and traveling to some great places. We were all wondering if she needed a valet! This was Jeanne's first trip to Cambodia. She lives in Jacksonville, FL and works as an independant contractor for the Symphony. That was how she was able to leave work for a month and help out teaching. We are short on teachers right now and she gave her time and finances to come help. She is only 29 and the students loved her blonde hair and blue eyes! I'm sure if possible, she would love to return! gail

Friday, April 04, 2008

Where does this come from?

Have you ever been eating something and wondered where it comes from. Coming from a city family, I know alittle about gardening but certainly don't have a green thumb. In Cambodia, most of the food we eat is fresh from a garden and not from a grocery store. When this item in the picture showed up, I was totally curious. Of course, looking closely I recognized the shape at the bottom since I love to eat them. Cashews! They grow on trees and the Khmer like to eat the fruit besides the nut. I didn't care much for the fruit as it was pretty bitter. After a year, I am still seeing new vegetables. gail

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Promised Pics

As promised, I am able to put pictures on blog, so here are some from the weekend of coloring contest and movie day. The kids are well-mannered and are such a delight to watch. It certainly reminds us of simpler times. gail

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


We hated to see Russ and Rosemary go, but we know their family missed them and they had to get back to tend their garden! They promised us some great vegetables if we came to visit them in Kennett, Mo. A common scene around the ship, or anywhere, was Russ videotaping and Rosemary talking into the mic! The people of Kennett are sure going to get their fill of Cambodia. The crew loved it though. They felt like they were being filmed for network TV. We love you two and pray for your return! Rick and Gail