Thursday, April 29, 2010

Muddin Time Again

It is not the rainy season.. yet. However, there have already been some very hard rains. The second time it rained, we were next to a slope of pure mud. Unfortunately, we had to walk up it to get Michael to the airport. We all took extra shoes and rags to wipe our feet. The villager who lived at the top allowed us to use his water to wash our feet. The roads were the next challenge. But after several uncertain spots we made it through to our destination. And it is not even the rainy season…yet. It would not be so challenging except our little truck is not 4 wheeled drive and, worst of all, it is very low! When we come to deep ruts or even water puddles, we are always afraid we will, “high center” the truck and we seriously stuck. We did get stuck last week several times but got out relatively easily. We do some “muddin” but not for fun!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sarah Kate and Sim

When Sarah Kate came to work on the ship, we knew that a translator would be needed to help her in clinic. So when hiring, we looked for someone who could also help them learn the Khmer language. Sim was the person offered the position and seems to be doing a great job. At 3:00 every afternoon, Sarah Kate lets Dr. Tha finish up the patients as her and Walt have their language class. I try not to give Walt a too hard of time when I hear him speak Khmer with his Texas drawl!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Boys Gambling

One afternoon while waiting for the ferry to come to take us across the river, we saw a group of young boys with their heads down playing some sort of game. We asked what was going on and it turns out the boys were gambling. Ugh! We thought they started way too young. But then they went on to say that it was allowed because of the upcoming Khmer New Year. I wonder about that one because it is a common sight all over the country to see men in a tight circle playing cards or throwing dice. Men who don’t look like they have two reils (pennies) to waste. I guess it is no different all over the world, people looking for easy money.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Grandma and the Bike

We are always on the lookout for people who seem to be in serious need of help. We try to help them in some way to have a more secure home or perhaps give them some rice to eat and sometimes we help them to improve or enhance their business. This last week in Kampong Reab we met a lady who seemed to need a little support.
She was like several others before. Her husband had died and her daughter and other family were no longer around and she was trying to raise her 7 year old granddaughter. All of the villagers knew her as the “skinny poor lady”. Sarah Kate and her translator Sim went to visit her and found her in dire straits. She sold bunches of older looking bananas for 2 or 3 cents profit each! We suggested she try to expand her offerings but she did not have any way to the market which was several miles away. It was determined she needed transportation so we bought her a bicycle. She can use it to go to the market and her daughter might even be able to ride it some to her school in the future. We also gave her some rice which is always needed. Rick

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Meet Borin

We have a new crew member, Borin. This is his family that live in Phnom Penh. Borin is working as our clinical assistant which means he pretty much runs triage. With me leaving for the states, he will also do some laundry and cleaning. It seems difficult for us to understand that he would leave during the week and several weekends a month to work and not be with him family. But this is very common for those who seek jobs. As you can see in the picture, he has a great smile and teaching him about the ship was easy to do since he was eager and understanding. He rode back to the ship with us one Sunday and we saw one mode of transportation that he had built for him to carry his wife and daughter around town. We were quite impressed with his unique tricycle.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Last Day with Michael

The day that Michael Wainscott left Cambodia we took him to our favorite hamburger joint. It was great to have Andrew and Natalie Hayes join us along with Walt and Sarah Kate. The restaurant considers itself an art gallery that displays local Cambodian art around on the walls. It is always interesting to see what is showing. But of course we couldn’t let Michael get away without him first riding an elephant at Wat Phnom. No one was around when we first went up to tell the man we wanted to ride, but after Michael got on, it seemed to draw a crowd! We thought that they should have let Michael ride without a fee because people then became interested. The last picture is Michael with Sim and Dr. Tha. You can see how he “stood out” from the Khmer! Ha!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Alternative Medicine

A few weeks ago we were introduced to some interesting new medical techniques. A friend had asked us if a Cambodian Doctor, who was a recent convert to Christianity, could join us on the ship for a day. We said yes and when he arrived, we learned he was trained in Chinese Acupuncture treatment.
He seemed to be quite competent and the patients were eager to see him for his expertise. After several patients had good results, Walt decided he wanted him to work on his “bad” back. Walt is from a family who has embraced alternative medical of many kinds for many years. He was very comfortable with have needles inserted in his back! I watched his procedure done and I did much more squirming than he did!
Afterwards Walt told us all that his back was much better and it seemed to help for several days afterward. The Khmer Doctor gave the crew his cards and several seemed to want to see him in the future. Who knows…..I may even join them. Rick

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Internet down

Please check back with us at end of week. No Internet thanks!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Michael Wainscott... soon to be DDS

Michael was with us this past week on the Ship of Life. He had some experiences only he can tell you about! Rick enjoyed showing him techniques of pulling teeth and giving injections. We took Michael to the airport last night for his flight back to Memphis. Unfortunately, Monday moring he has to be in his endo class. This is when jetlag can tear you up. It was great having him here and we hope he had a good experience plus open his eyes to a different culture. Needless to say, he stood out (tall) among the people when we walked through the villages! Thanks Michael for coming!