Our contractors report completing the first well this week, another is started. Incinerators are being built at the Health Centers. We start on Monday to travel to the provinces to bid new work with our contractors. While we are traveling, we will check on the ongoing work to insure quality and details are being followed. We will spend Monday and Tuesday on the Vietnam border visiting a number of primary schools and High schools, that need wells, latrines and hand wash centers. Here, the toilet is often outside in a 3 seat latrine. Often the odor is rich. No indoor plumbing in most schools. Here, they use an Asian toilet, much different from a western toilet. As mentioned in a previous blog, the high school we will bid has only 6 seats for over 1200 students. We will bring a dozen more, with hand wash. It is a beautiful area there. The needs are always greater far away from the capital. We hope our trip there will bring bids that we can use and bless the lives of the people.
This past week, the doctors conducted First Responder Training with the police. The officers were very focused and watching all of the details of doing CPR. The training was conducted in the East District Building. The cultural hall was filled with men and women receiving training. It was great to welcome all of these people into our meeting house.
We took a trip to check on two hospitals, both of which lack proper incinerators to burn the trash created by the hospitals. There are no garbage trucks in most of Cambodia, so if one is located outside of Phnom Penh, one usually burns their garbage. In Phnom Penh, the garbage trucks move through the streets and pick up the garbage. Often it is piled out in the middle of the streets. The garbage collectors pick it up with shovels and pitch forks. There are no dumpsters in Phnom Penh. Traffic drives around the large piles of garbage. Sometimes the odor is very ripe.
Saturday, we attended the North Stake training meeting. The stake presidency are each Khmer men. They spoke and trained in Khmer, but in spite of the language barrier, we could understand their message. They were teaching the leaders of the stake how important it is to help the young people to prepare for a mission. We are amazed as we watch the local young men and women accept the challenge. We are impressed that they often arrive for their mission with one shirt, one pair of slacks and one tie. They have worked so hard to be there. Not long ago, I spoke to an Elder who said, “Elder Stone, is it possible to get a new white shirt? I only have 3, and 2 of them are too small. Could I get another shirt?” Of course, the mission came to the rescue and helped him get some more shirts and some underwear, and slacks. There are wonderful people who send our mission president money for just such occasions. There are wonderful generous people all around us. Many go about doing good quietly, without tooting their own horn. The people here are blessed to have such a wonderful mission president.
Today, we went to a baptism. A young man was baptized and the experience was amazing. We love the people and the wonderful spirit that they bring into the room. Shortly thereafter, we joined the ward that we work with for Sacrament Meeting.
If you can’t tell from our blogs, I will be succinct here. We LOVE Cambodia. We love the people. We receive joy in the children and the old people. When you smile and wave, they seem startled and wave and smile back. It is a broad smile that is sincere and warm. There is very little immodesty here. The people have a clean countenance. It is refreshing that people are not trying to be alluring. They are wonderful. I hope that all who read this will seriously consider serving when the time is right in your lives. To couples, to young people, the opportunities to do good abound. Whether in your neighborhoods or across town or far away. Serving brings joy! We love you, and miss you all.
All our love to you!
Elder and Sister Stone