Another week has gone by here during the dry season. The rain stopped months ago, the green grassy areas are now dry and brown. The ponds and lowlands have slowly shrunk and dried up. The sun beats down and the days seem much warmer. It will be many weeks before the rainy season arrives.

Traveling by bus in Cambodia. Every chance to make a dollar on the route. Inside people are crammed in. 3 or 4 to a seat, people are squeezed together. The bus usually is buzzing down the road to make time. Often passing 2 or 3 cars at a time, swerving to miss the oncoming traffic on the narrow two lane road. There is still room for more luggage on this bus.

This past week, has been exciting as we submitted and received an approval on another project. We worked on getting a vaccination appointment, and by a small miracle, received the opportunity. Here, one gets a vaccination card that indicates when it was done. It allows greater travel opportunities, and may prevent us from going into one of the many forced quarantines occurring around the country. There is a system here using a QR code. Each building has a QR code at the front door. One is required to scan the code upon entry. If someone tests positive, they recreate where the person was, close the building or business, that they entered and scuttle those in the building into quarantine for two weeks. We see people being quarantined in school buildings and in other large buildings, not necessarily having sleeping or proper bathroom accommodations. We are anxious not to have that opportunity. For us, getting the vaccine may help us to move about the country more freely.

The instructions are the same for everyone. Hold your harm this way. Always your right arm. Roll up your sleeve, a quick swipe of the alcohol swab, and a poke! The 6 senior couples were invited to get a Covid19 shot at the Ksach Kendal Hospital. We arrived and were graciously taken care of by the staff. The hospital is site of one of our projects. It is here that the needles are piling up, with no place to dispose of them. Garbage is also accumulating due to the lack of an incinerator. Our contractor is due to arrive any day to build the incinerator, and install some sharps pits. A sharps pit is a concrete pipe that is 1 m long and about .75 m in diameter. We have a lid put on one end, and bury the pipe in a vertical position, a slot is in the lid that allows the sharps (used needles) to be disposed of. Eventually the pipe will fill up and the next pipe will be filled. A safer way to dispose of them than throwing the needles into the weeds.
Check in at the hospital, questions and signatures.
A new incinerator at the Ampil High School. Note the cook pot in the foreground. The crew will arrive at the site, bring their cooking gear, and sleep in a make shift hut for the week or two that they will be here. The other day, they brought a duck, and tied its leg to a bush, it was their dinner at the end of the day. The crews are quiet and shy. If we speak to them and talk to them about their work, they relax and smile and begin to talk. Hard workers, kind and polite. Semi-skilled construction workers work 10 hours a day 7 days a week and usually get about 5-8 dollars a day.
Note the poles surrounding the work site. They use them so that they can drop a string and create a vertical line to work from. I have not seen a square or a level yet, but everything is built remarkably to square.
Waiting the 30 minutes to insure there is no reaction to the vaccine.

We are getting reports from our contractors of the progress that they are making on the many contracts that are in place. We leave on Monday to go check on the projects and to record what has taken place. We are delighted with the reports of the progress. We are anxious to begin new work and will look for the opportunities that are in front of us.

Crew just arrive, setting up the work site to build an incinerator.
The same site just a few days later, nearly complete, ready to add the chimney. To burn trash, one takes the garbage up the steps, opens a metal door and deposits the rubbish into a burn chamber. The fire is lit, and if properly done, the garbage burns quickly and completely. Minimal smoke, and less pollution.
Starting to drill a well at a primary school. Note the pond. The school and a health center use that water. Our contractor found water about 60 meters down, we will test it this week for purity and will turn the well over to the school. Currently the school has latrines, but they have to buy water to use to flush the latrines. The well will bring fresh water to the latrines and water to be consumed.

It is exciting for us to see the work progressing. Contracts are turning into reality. The humanitarian effort here is blessing lives young and old. We are thrilled! The humanitarian funds of the church are blessing lives. We are blessed to be a part of it. Heaven is in the details. God is watching over His children.

We love you all. May God’s blessings be in your homes and in your hearts. Take courage when hard things come along, as they surely will. He hears your prayers, he knows your heart. All things will work out in time.

With all of our love….

Elder & Sister Stone