Covid

The Covid 19 Virus is settling in here. Numbers continue to quickly climb. Last evening, the government closed bars, and limited restaurants to ‘take a way’ service only. A district in Phnom Penh which is called Steung Meng Jay, is now closed off from the city. Our interpreter lives there and can not leave for 2 weeks. The entire neighborhood is road blocked off from the city. Military police stand guard on every street. People outside of Phnom Penh can not come into the city. Bridges are closed, the city is quiet and people are not going out. We can not travel now at all.

The beginning of the rainy season. The country is dry and thirsty. The water in the street was ankle deep. The rain here is cool and pleasant and refreshing. A minute in the rain and one is drenched!

We are going to have to manage our 21 projects from our apartment. Normally we would regularly visit each project and insure that the contractors are doing the quality work. We now will have to rely on photographs of the work to approve payments and next steps in the projects. We anguish over the work going on in the provinces. We have two new projects that were just approved. Somehow, we will now try to get the contracts developed, signed and the contractors authorized to commence work.

We are helping His Excellency the Director General of Cults and Religions here in Cambodia to access necessary Masks and Alcohol. We currently are working in Svey Reng Province to help him there with schools that need wells and latrines. Currently we have contractors there at a high school drilling a well and building latrines and hand wash. Work was stopped due to Covid. The government declared the school a quarantine location, and a designated place for folks infected with Covid to quarantine. Unfortunately, our work there stopped before we could finish the improvements. An unfinished latrine, hand wash and well waits for completion. Unfortunately the folks in quarantine there won’t be able to use those new unfinished facilities.

Our contractors are skilled at figuring out how to proceed with work and not violate the shut down orders. They know the exemptions. We value the contractors. Our teams are wonderful to work with. We are concerned that the recent lock down of the country may last some time. We are so anxious to keep things moving. We have a district south of Phnom Penh that we are scheduled to go visit with the OD of the Baty District Hospital. Our trip is scheduled for a week from Monday. I am worried that the trip will be postponed. Our intention is to go evaluate 14 health centers in the district and make a project that would repair walls, dig wells, provide latrines and build incinerators. The Dr and his wife recently toured there and exclaimed that the need is critical. We are anxious not to delay the visit so that we can get it started and completed in the time that is remaining in our mission.

This is the last of an old incinerator that is being replaced with a new one. The roof will be replaced and a solid brick incinerator will replace the old crumbling one. This is located at Baty Hospital, south of Phnom Penh. We have 14 more health centers in this area to visit.
Sister Stone is ringing the school bell at a school we recently visited. Tire rims are good for a lot of things!

This weekend, we spent time with the missionaries here to watch conference. We fixed them lunch, and watched it during the day. It is made available a week after the conference, to allow the local translators time to complete the job. The missionaries are wonderful. We have 8 that just arrived on Friday from the US. Their are another 12 arriving in 3 weeks. We hope that the Covid will calm down so that they can move about.

Lunch! All of the missionaries in the picture serve in the north stake. Only one is from the US, Sister Pertab, from Centerville. Saturday was her birthday, We celebrated together with her. Conference was wonderful. We have listened to much of it twice now. It is all worth a second pass. President Nelsons remarks Saturday are sobering.
Saturday afternoon conference in our apartment. The picture to the left of the TV is a print of a painting done by a missionary here. A local girl with an incredible talent. She studied a similar work of art and painted this.

We love the mission experience. We have so much to do. We are so frustrated with the slowdowns and work stoppages. We see time slipping by and the opportunities becoming limited. Please join us and pray for the country that work can continue. The people need our help. We love you all. We miss you all so much.

With all our love,

Elder & & Sister Stone

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