| Sep 10, 2012
We spent today in the MTI Phnom Penh office learning more about the history of Cambodia and the poverty that exists today in the country. Specifically, we learned about the tremendous health need and how MTI is making an impact in addressing those needs. Roslyn, Sorn, and Stephen were our MTI experts. We listened to their stories and those of the team who have traveled here. I was touched by both. Roslyn is from Australia and has studied public health and felt compelled to leave her country of “comfort” to address real needs. Stephen, an American, who has been involved with sophisticated and expensive health solutions in the US, felt called to work here, where a dollar can help so many more people in need. Previously, Stephen lived and worked in South Africa. Sorn, as I’m sure is true of any of those who have lived through the Pol Pot regime, has a heart-wrenching story about his experience in this country. It’s awesome to know that each of them could be living and working in more comfortable situations, but have chosen here because of their calling to serve those in need.
I am thrilled to work with my MTI team members, who are eagerly learning more about what we do and asking great questions. Today was Ted’s birthday and I’m surprised that he chose to spend it in this way. I love the hearts that compel them to do this. At the same time, on the opposite side, I’m reflecting over the Khmer Rouge and the evil that can also exist for people of common culture to torture each other. Amazing to consider both on the same day.
Today, I saw a group of monks in their bright orange robes seemingly amused by my morning jump roping. My little "jump rope gym” was a small open room in the hotel, that magically transformed into quite a fancy store every day when we returned.
Out the other side of the hotel, we can see a construction site where men are building brick structures while very small young children play barefoot in their construction site. Phnom Penh, like many large cities in developing countries, is a ridiculous blend of fancy SUVs, motorbikes and scooters, heat and dirt, and street-side wares. I love the patience that people have for each other in traffic in spite of the lack of rules. There is little horn honking and a lot of a “dance” of each vehicle getting to where it needs to go without all of the signs/lights and traffic rules that make that possible in other large, more developed cities. Tonight’s dinner was marked by a giant downpour and streaming river in the street, followed by humid warmth, geckos and a call to prayer sound.