Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday Visitors

Sunday we had visitors! Troy and Tabitha were going to bring her grandparents out, Art and Bonnie, along with Dennis and Sharon Welch. Art and Bonnie have been teaching at the English school and staying with Troy and Tabby for a month. We met Art and Bonnie in Beijing at the Asian Mission Forum but they had not seen the ship, so it was great to have them visit. And of course we love seeing Dennis and Sharon whenever we can. I wanted to keep lunch simple, so we had ham sandwiches, but I did make wheat bread which I am confident in making (instead of Khmer soup) and of course Troy’s favorite cookies, oatmeal and choc chip. It was fun to have them out and visit.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Khmer Cooking Class

Saturday proved to be an interesting day. We went into Phnom Penh so I could learn to cook some Khmer dishes from the cook that is in the PIP house. Awee was going to show us how to make two soups, Fish Amok and Fried Eggplant.. Khmer style. I wanted to learn about the soup because I fix soup on Sunday nights for the crew. So in the pictures you can see the ingredients and the final products. I won’t go into all the different ingredients because some are difficult to even translate into English. I wrote and watched and came back determined to surprise the crew. So today, Sunday, I chopped, boiled, smashed, and mixed what I thought would be a type of sweet, but sour soup. It actually looked Khmer. But the first thing the guys said was it was not sour enough. I have no idea what ingredient was suppose to make it sour. I will have to find that out. Then the other biggie was I forgot to peel the skin off the green vegetable. They all laughed and ate around it. I feel quite good about despite the two minor differences. Next week, soup two. Fish Amok is way too difficult. I would never try to fix that for the crew and if visitors want it, we will go to restaurant! The fried eggplant is fairly easy and I may try that but the cook had already fixed that this past week. gail

Friday, August 28, 2009

Movin' On

The ship has arrived at Kos Khel. I drove the truck and stopped at the market to buy some fruit. Rick and I like to eat bananas in our cereal for breakfast, but the market at none so I bought apples and pears. The market had lots of vegetables so I think Linh, the cook, will find plenty of good things here to cook. We try to eat what he makes most of the time. Today he had stir fry eggplant with pork. Yesterday, stir fry pumpkin with pork and last night a chicken soup with carrots, potatoes, onions and some other unidentifiable items. It is the spices he uses that make the taste alittle different. With the chicken he uses lemongrass. It is a rather twangy taste with a hint of lemon. Not bad. Usually when he makes a soup with fish is the time when I pull out the ham for sandwiches. Tonight was a special treat with baked potatoes and canned chilli on top. In the picture with me is Kim. This is her house where the ship is docked. Last year when we were here I went with her to the school where she teaches. She told me all the students missed me and was hoping I would come back. I am pretty sure the kids didn’t miss me! gail

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Riverside and Mexican Food

As we travel from village to village, it is nice to stand outside and look at the land we pass. The villagers must get a kick out of watching us also. Kids run along the paths following us and groups gather in yards to see the big white ship go by. We have been in Prek Ambel and move to Kos Khel in the afternoon tomorrow. Tuesday evening we were invited for mexican food by our friends, Bill and Jennifer Hale who work with a church and school in this village. It was such a treat! Jennifer has inspired me to try and make flour tortillas. Their daughter, Katherine, had grown so much and it was fun to play with her. Sorry about not having a picture of them. Now they are happily expecting their second child which the doctor has said is a boy! I think we all enjoyed not only the good food, but the great fellowship! gail

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day of Rest

Today is Sunday and Rick and I spent the morning reading and catching up on some things. I was washing the dishes and had a very unfortunate breakage. The glass carafe of the coffee maker. Now to a ‘loves morning coffee’ lover like me, this was very upsetting. I just can’t go out and get a replacement and I couldn’t very well put it back together, so now I am trying to figure out what I can put under the filter basket to catch the coffee besides making one cup at a time. Never fear, I’ll come up with something. Since we are alittle closer to the Phnom Penh now, we got a few visitors. Yesterday, Chris and Casey Allison brought their two young daughters and took a quick tour. We were working clinic, so they got to see it in action. Today, Judith Mackey who is teaching English at the WEI school came out to see the ship. She had pictured something a bit smaller, so she was very happy and said she wouldn’t feel as sorry for us as she did with her original idea of what the ship looked like. The baby in the picture is not in the wheelchair because he is an invalid. This little “big” guy cannot be carried around by his older siblings, so they push him in the wheelchair! For all my coaxing, I couldn’t get him to smile.

Friday, August 21, 2009

To the City and Back

Nicky went to the airport today, so we were up early and on the Ferry at 6:00 a.m. It wasn't a bad drive in and we passed several interesting activities. One being a funeral procession for someone who must have been very important or had alot of money. My picture isn't great, but they lots of monks and this decorated wagon that carries the casket to the ceremonial tent. Out in front were people carrying the offerings of food which I guess for the family. We had plenty of time before Nicky's check-in and assume all went well because she didn't call us to come back and get her. We spent the day buying supples for the clinic. Back on the ship, Piseth and Hai were having to pull more rubbish off the anchor line to be ready to move the ship to the new location. This green plant floats down the river continualy in blobs all the time. It must end up in Vietnam! gail

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Where we are docked this week has been very cool and almost ideal weather. We have been doing something that we did at first but haven’t done in a long time. We have been setting on the top deck in the evening after supper and enjoying the sunsets and cool breezes.
Just before dark, however, we noticed large birds in huge numbers flying overhead. On closer inspection they were bats! Not little ones but big bats! Gail and Nicki walked over to the roost where the locals said they could be found and took some pictures. These guys can weigh 3 or 4 pounds easily! Kind of gives you the creeps…like Dracula is going to be standing beside you!
Tomorrow we move to Prek Ambel so we will be done with the bats. Nicki leaves tomorrow for the States. We will miss her big smiles and easy going spirit

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Clothes Project

When we got back to the ship,Piseth informed us of the new project that the crew had taken on. We have an offering collection jar that we leave available for anyone after services on Sunday. Evidently, there got to be an amount that we needed to decide how to use it. So the idea was to purchase used clothing and have available to distribute to people that we come in contact with while in the villages. A large bag was purchased from the market in Phnom Penh and we separated them into piles for girls, boys, women, and men. Here I am sitting in the middle of some. We laundered a portion of them and Nicky and Piseth handed some shirts out to some of the kids that hung around the ship the week we were in Kohthom. This week, we had several adults that came in and we discreetly shared a few articles with them. I think it was a great ideal and service to the people.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gift of Food

We are currently docked at the village of Potiban. We have been here before as several patients have shown me their previous “excavation” work.
As is often the case, we are right in front of a Buddhist Pagoda. We have seen many of the monks for various things and Tuesday one of the men who administer there brought us some food and fruit as an expression of their appreciation. The main meal was a crepe type thin stuff wrapped around bean sprouts. I was afraid to try it but Nikki did. I told her she might be hugging the toilet for a couple of days but she is fearless. That only means she hasn’t hugged the toilet for a few days yet! Gail and I did partake of the fruit platter that came with the meal.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Uh, Oh, Toothache!

I am not sure everyone was excited to see that Dr. Rick has returned. This little girl was not so sure about what was going on. She happened to be one of several kids that day, and some of them I could hear that they were not happy about the dental visit. But Dr. Rick perseveres and takes care of their tooth ache. After arriving at Poutiban, Rick decided to try and climb a palm tree that some kids were climbing on earlier. He didn’t up as far as they did!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Passing the Baton

It seems we are always just passing by each other to and from the Ship, but it was great to spend a couple days together on the Ship before Bill and Marie-Claire left for Burma. They kept things moving while we were in the states and it was nice to come back and have work going so smoothly. I especially like the new fan that was mounted to the outside wall in the triage area. The floor fan that I move in and out was on its last leg! Marie took over my English class but she also used her French because the Captain, Doctor and Sam Ath all knew alittle French. Well, I told them now that I am back the French is over! We love and appreciate Bill and Marie-Claire for their dedication to the work of helping the poor and sick and telling of God’s love. gail

Friday, August 14, 2009

Meet Linh

Linh is our new cook. After Darith left, we had hired Sophal. The way he talked on the telephone made us realized we probably weren’t going to keep Sophal very long. Talking on the telephone is a sign that friends, family or the city life is being missed! And sure enough, when Rick left for the states, he left the ship. So Marie-Claire and Bill had the honor of interviewing and hiring a new cook. Oh, yes, training him also! Well, they did a great job. Linh is proving himself in the kitchen and getting along with the crew. So much so, that Rick is afraid he is going to gain weight because he likes his dishes..even the Khmer dishes!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Medical Student Visits

Since July 10, Nicki Boisvert has been helping in the medical clinic on the Ship of Life. Nicki just graduated from Marist College as a pre-med student, but instead of beginning medical school immediately she has chosen to defer one year. She has received a Fulbright grant to work and study in Trinidad the “Cultural Competency in Medicine” specifically HIV. She is with us another week and it has been great having her aboard. She has also been helping with the English classes and just about anything else we ask! It is great watching her try all the different Khmer food. So far there is not too much that she doesn’t like! Her heart is in missions, so we certainly pray for her future in medical school.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

KohThom A

It doesn’t take long to get back into the swing of things here on the ship. Our sea legs are back even though the rain hasn’t caused much swaying so far. The winds have been awesome. It is actually cooler here than in Arkansas! Rick is going strong with forty patients a day so far. My good fortune is that Nikki is helping Piseth with triage, so that allows me to get some office work done. Next blog, we will introduce and tell you about Nikki. The village we are currently working is the home of our night guard, Sokun, so he is enjoying visiting his mother and brother. His sister, Awee, is the cook at the PIP house in Phnom. The people are happy to see the ship arrive, well almost all. The little girl in one picture didn’t want us to get to close! Gail

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alaska Team

As we returned to Cambodia we crossed paths with a team who have been on the boat for the last two weeks. Five of them are from Alaska and the other two were from Texarkana. Dr Bruce and Dr A D Smith were the two docs on board along with lots of good help. They saw over 2000 patients during their two week stay. Just got a message that they arrived safely back home. Thanks everyone!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Back East

We are on the Ship of Life! We sure hope all our readers come back and see what is happening in Cambodia! But first things first. We were so blessed to attend the 48th Asian Mission Forum in Beijing, China. Wow, imagine over 100 Christians worshipping and fellowshipping publicly in China. Sunday morning involved a Japanese national missionary speaking and asking his Chinese brother for forgiveness for the atrocities that occurred during the war. Many tears were shed. We have been fortunate to attend three of these meetings now and have come to know and appreciate other missionaries around Asia. We did a little sightseeing, also. We went to Xi’an and saw the Terra-Cotta warriors of ancient China. Very amazing. We had taken an overnight train from Beijing and so when our guide met us we asked if we could have coffee before we started the tours and she said “sure, would you like Starbucks?!” Duh! What a start. In Beijing, we saw The Forbidden City, the Great Wall and of course, the Olympic Village. Now they allow visitors to walk down into the “Birds Nest” where the track and field events were held and walk were the track was. An incredible experience in so many ways. Now it is back to work! gail