Arun Sua s’dei,
Well, I just heard from family that Monday Night Football has kicked off. That kinda hurts. Not that I had to see every game or kept track of each players stats, but I do miss hanging out with family and friends for a good game. And wow, you’d be surprised how much you can miss bean dip and guacamole along with all the other important snack treats that go along with the game. Well, whether you are a MNF fan or not, I hope you are finding fun time with family, friends, and some snacks here and there.
Aaaaaaahh…… routine, well sort of. In September, I got to get back to the classroom and my regular teaching schedule with the kids at the center. But that was not without first starting the month working as a human dump truck and grader, as well as scrubber, scrapper, and soapy mop mopper. Yes, our 45 room, women’s dormitory is now complete and after some final touches we were able to celebrate with an amazing dedication ceremony on September 19th. The event was attended by more than one hundred and fifty people including project sponsors from Switzerland and the US as well as officials from the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and many of our pastors from church/orphan homes around the country. Our kids gave a wonderful performance of traditional Khmer music and dance, and special guests offered prayers, and words of thanks and praise for the work that had been done to see the project through to completion.
The events of the morning were followed by the official ribbon cutting and a tour of the facility. The dormitory is four stories with the top floor, in traditional Cambodian fashion, being left unenclosed offering both a cool retreat and place to air dry laundry. Each of the three main floors has fifteen rooms with each one designed to provide accommodation for eight to ten women. When the dormitory is ultimately fully occupied it will be a comfortable, safe home for more than 400 young women working in local factories. It’s an amazing place. You have to see the pictures. And when you do, also look for those little girls I mentioned in a previous newsletter. They have been ‘mud puppies’ catching fish in our fish pond. They have been pristine angles gracefully dancing across a stage. And in September, they were all-weather earth-movers as well as elegantly dress, finely tuned musician.
What’s up with the EVT (English and Vocational Training) program:
Okay, so I thought August was a big month for the sewing room. But it seems the girls wanted to step it up a stitch, and in September they sewed over 120 bags including many with intricate stitch work. We are now working on bags with Kbach, or traditional Cambodian motifs, hand stitched into the items they are creating. In seeing how much attention to detail the girls put into each bag, there’s no doubt these new ones will be beautiful. I’m packing a suitcase full to bring home at Christmas. So, leave a few dollars free for last minute shopping. I’m putting a photo album together with all of the items the girls have sewn and will put that in my next newsletter as well as how we can get items to you if you are interested in ordering. Can’t wait for you to see them.
Our library too is seeing some dusting and polishing as we start the new school year. Sophoan, who recently graduate from high school, is now taking on the little kids. She will be teaching several lessons a week in the library covering everything from English and Cambodian to music and art. It’s going to be active, noisy, fun, learning packed place.
And BoOkS, bOoKs, BOOKS! We’ve got nearly 1,000 more children’s book steaming their way here. So, we will be able to extend our micro-Libraries to another ten Homes. The English teachers who most recently took libraries back to their homes that said the kids are eating it up. They are enjoying each story, and each picture, and literally each word, as the teachers are showing the kids how to the dictionaries to look up all their new vocabulary. Thank you again for all you help with this library project. You have helped to bring so much learning and so many smiles to hundreds of very happy kids.