Dear friends and partners, I am sitting here in my office listening to the patter of rain – rain and more rain – this summer has been the summer of rain. First, our time in Canada this summer left us 7 days of sunshine in one of the coldest, rainiest of summers in a long time but we enjoyed all that Canada had to offer. It was very good.
Dear friends and partners, What an exciting month it has been for us. The response to the shopping bags – our eco warrior system for the environment plus work for so many of our women ended up in us selling 1200 pieces in the first month. I pray that this trend may continue for many months.
Dear friends and partners, This month is May – a month where we celebrate workers with May Day and we celebrate mums with Mothers Day. As a mum, I am so very blessed – a beautiful daughter that is a delight and who delights in life. I don’t worry very much about how to feed and clothe her, or how to educate her – how to enable her to experience all aspects of life – the good and the bad. I have choices in all aspects. As I said, I am so blessed.
Dear Friends and Partners, Yesterday was one of those days that make everything worthwhile. I went to see our programs in Kompong Thom. Apo, my manager there, took us to see a village called Preah Nongkor. My first impression was one of total dismay. The dirt track we traveled on kept getting smaller and smaller. We were surrounded by scenes of utter desolation. The fields were dry and dusty and the homes of people were small and decrepit. I thought, oh no, how can it get worse. We visited a few families and the stories were all the same. Husbands were gone to work on the Thai border; there was no work near home. The fields were empty and dusty. The old folks and a few moms were struggling to keep it all together. The children were malnourished and dusty. It was all a bit too much.
Dear friends and partners, Happy 2009 to all of you – we are always fortunate for New Years is celebrated at least three different times: The internationally celebrated new Years, Chinese New Years and in April; Khmer New Years. As with all new years’ celebrations – we think of the year that lies ahead and the new things we would like to start.
Dear Students of Shellhabour Anglican School, Thank you so very much for your very kind donation. We are going to put in 5 wells – these are very important for our families so that they can grow food all year round. Our families could only grow rice one time a year – now they can grow 3 times a year and also grow vegetables. Their children, who never had enough food before, will have full tummies and will be able to go to school. Thank you so much for that.
Dear First Graders of SAS, Thank you so very much for all your support of our work here in Cambodia. This year we will use your funds in different ways. First we are going to use some of your funds to buy electric sewing machines for some of our sewers – 10 of our ladies live with AIDS – but are doing very well because of medicine. This disease sometimes makes people afraid of them and it was hard for them to find a place to live and to be able to take care of their children. They came to work for Tabitha a year ago and have earned some very good money and have been able to get a place to live and to get their children back. The only problem is that their machines are pedal machines and they need to have electric machines so that they don’t get so tired. You have made these 10 women very happy as we bought them new electric machines.
Dear Friends and Partners, The time is fast approaching when we will celebrate our favorite holiday, Christmas. It’s a time to remember the birth of a child so long ago. A time to remember what the gift of life is all about.
Dear friends and partners, My daughter Miriam and I have just finished a mother/daughter lunch. It’s a special one because on Saturday, Miriam turns a double digit (10 years old) – which makes us a double digit family. For some unfathomable reason, it seems to be of great importance to her – for me, it just makes me realize how fast this girl of mine is growing up.
Dear Friends, Yesterday was another magical day. I went out to Tanong Village in Takeo to see the impact of our seven field wells. These wells service 28 families – families whom we were told two years ago by the commune chief – don’t bother - they are very lazy and very stupid people. Just the words needed to challenge our staff as those words were used on them for so many years.