Going to Work

Another busy week of preparing more contracts for upcoming health center work to the north, and implementing our new contracts to the south.

A makeshift school room. Temperatures now are in the high 90s, with very little breeze and no windows, this building has about 30 children inside. The children at this school also is hoping for a latrine. Children here are so happy. They stare at us when we arrive. Most have never seen white people. Most never travel more than 4 or 5 kilometers from their home. This area is about 3 hours by car from Phnom Penh. If you zoom in on the doorway you can see children at their desks.
Signing a contract at Tro Penpika Primary school. While we were here, we noticed that the work on the latrine had stopped. The children still have no latrine here. We hope that the NGO that is working on it can get things back on track.
An improved sewer, an added laundry sink, and a new incinerator for the Beung Trang health center. Each health center has an outdoor latrine. This one had an inadequate septic tank, it was swampy all around the latrine. After we added a new tank, the swamp went away.

We traveled to Svey Rieng to formally start the work of building latrines, digging wells, building incinerators, and hand wash sinks for schools. We visited one of our schools and feel so bad that there is no latrine for the children. Our contractors arrived later in the afternoon and we were going!! We visited with 6 different principals and expressed our commitment to bring the things they need to the schools.

Drilling a well for Romeas Heak High School. Our contractor is moving quickly to cover our needs for the schools to the south of Phnom Penh. We are working on 6 schools, each with various needs.

Monday is Women’s day here, a national holiday. We plan to go to our projects to the north and check on our wells and other improvements on Tuesday and Wednesday. We have so much to do. We wish we could get more done in a day.

At the fish market. People here use all parts of the fish, including the insides and the head. Nothing is thrown away.

Currently, we have been restricted from having church. We hope to be able to resume worship services soon. Today we will meet with the other senior couples in our apartment and administer the Sacrament.

Wat Phnom is a key historical site in Phnom Penh. Note the serpents guarding the step. Symbols like this are on bridges, gateways and monuments all around the country.

Our week has been split between travel and office work. It really takes a lot of hours to develop the plan, and the contract for each project. We expect to be managing about 18 projects in the next week or so. Less office work, more road trips.

A delivery room in a level 2 hospital. A baby has just taken its first breath…a healthy cry… The surface that the midwife takes the towel from is not sanitary, She uses the towel to clean the new baby, and the mother. Sanitation is a concept that is not well understood even in hospitals and health centers. This hospital is now going through a renovation due to the Doctor missionaries we are working with. We are working on the restrooms to make them more sanitary, and improving the water supply which is a well. Currently they frequently run out of water, there is mold growing in the many restrooms, and there are many water leaks. Some of the patients bathe at an outdoor spigot on one end of the campus. They bring a large bowl, a towel, soap and clean themselves as they stand on the muddy ground. We will bring a new shower and eliminate the spigot. The doctor is managing an indoor remodel so they can do a cesarian section in the delivery room rather than have to put the struggling mother in a wheel chair in the middle of delivery and take her outside and across the courtyard to another building to a surgery room. People in Cambodia do without a lot of things… and they remain happy and hopeful.

Our time here is so rewarding. We love Cambodia. We love the people. We miss our family. With all of our love.

Elder & Sister Stone