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.
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.
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 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.
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