How is all at home? Are there any fall colors, or Indian summers? The last four to six weeks here have seen the cows taking to the highways, cars treading water, and rowboats ruling the roads. Yes, you may have seen the news, this corner of the globe has definitely been submerged.
Cambodia has faced a bit of a unique challenge in that over the past number of years, China, Laos, and Vietnam have built hydroelectric dams along various parts of the Mekong. Water is held in reservoirs to water crops during the dry season, but with the recent deluge of rainfall the flood gates in these countries have been opened all along the river and left Cambodian farmers having to slip on scuba gear. The cows have lined the gravel high ground of the highways like welcoming committees for whichever province you paddle into. Roughly a million acres of farmland have been flooded, and 20,000 families displaced. Four of our church homes are in need of some serious repair, but are kids are all safe. So, here is how things roll…. or row… in Cambodia. When life gives you floods….. well… you go fishing.
Dr. Lina, one of our staff physicians, told me in the most casual of ways that on his regular visit to our Sroyov Home two weeks back it was sitting in about three feet of water. The church was more or less a giant indoor wall-to-wall swimming pool. The upside was that it was actually filled with fish too. Dr. Lina, grabbed a few of the bigger kids, headed to the nearest unsubmerged market, bought up some netting, return to the home, and proceed to corral and catch a feast of fish. So, when life gives you floods… you make fried fish. All of our kids that were relocated for safety and comfort are now back and getting their homes into shape.
School is also back, and in full swing. I’ve got classes for small, medium, and large, or you could say ABCs to Adjective Clauses. It is also definitely a win win for me when teaching little ones as I get to see them grow their skills, and I get my exercise. Just recently, I also had the fun and physical work out of a shopping spree. With moneys generously provided to the EVT program and FCOP by New Life Church, I was able to head with Jenny and Sam to Orassey market, our Cost Co. which also offers pork bellies, moto mufflers, and wedding dresses. No, we didn’t buy any of those on this venture. We put together ‘Practical Needs Kits’ that have gone out to nearly 100 kids so far. They include shorts, sandals, towels, and toothbrushes, as well as notebooks, and pens. Our office teams got them on the road and up to Ratankiri in the far northeast part of the country. It was fun to be a link in the chain that brought these kids some needed and fun supplies for school and home.
What else is going on with the EVT Program?
The sewing room has also been seeing a lot of action. Lida, one of the girls here from the start, graduated high school this year and is taking entrance exams for medical school this month. She has been sewing and saving through the EVT program and has now used some of her savings for exam prep. classes and enrollment fees. So, she is excited. We are also rolling or sewing toward the holiday season. Just two days ago, a dynamic family from Hong Kong purchased a wide variety the girls work, let’s say 30 kilos which was based on their luggage wait limit. They will be selling items at a school fair to raise additional support funds for our kids. Woooo Hooo…. or Ho Ho Ho. Speaking of fairs, and festivals. The girls are also sewing up a storm, creating Christmas ornaments and new bag styles for the stand we will have at a local Italian restaurant, which is hosting a three-day Christmas Festival. We did this last year and had all kinds of fun, although I think I ate all too many Christmas cookies.
Well, I don’t know if it was hearing the constant rain outside, but Eli’s got some sort of frog-kick-dog-paddle action going on. I think if we did put her in the water she would actually create a wake behind her. Last weekend, she was able to put all the needed features together to turn herself over in bed; much to her surprise. Mine too! But, she came up all smiles. Naome is also doing great. Amazingly, she has somehow managed to work through many ‘sleep-little’ nights , care for Eli beautifully, and get A’s and B’s on all her final exams. Her classmates and teachers are also in a bit of awe that she could have five weeks off from school and still come up with these grades. Anyway, she’s doing it. Akun Preasang! Thank you God!
We were into the US Embassy yesterday for Eli’s US Birth Certificate and Passport. All went well, so she should be able to put on her globe trotting shoes and start collecting visas and travel stamps very soon. Well, that’s it for now. Have a great autumn and a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Kris, Naome, and Elina