Sunday, July 31, 2016

Goodbye To More Friends - John & Rebecca Dockery

Most Sundays have their own little adventures and that was true today. Because the electrical service is so unreliable many of the office buildings, nicer apartments and even Church buildings have generators. Most of the time they are set to kick on when the power goes out. Today in Stueng Mean Chey as the first speaker started her talk the power went out, but the generator did not kick on. The young missionaries were quickly up and opening the drapes to let light in, and the speaker had a strong enough voice she just went on with her talk. The bishop went out to check on things and the generator kicked on about ten minutes later. It kicked back off of the generator almost an hour and a half later. The adventures of serving in a developing area of the world.

Seventeen months ago we landed in Cambodia, that is so amazing how fast it has gone, but also it seems like a lifetime ago. We have learned so much and love the people. The next day  was Sunday, we were dropped at the International Branch and John & Rebecca Dockery were asked to give us a ride home. On the way home they gave us a tour of the city. They both worked for the U.S. Embassy and have become our friends over the last seventeen months. Tomorrow they leave Cambodia headed back to the U.S. for a new assignment in the State Department. They will be missed.

We love the efforts of the wonderful leaders, they truly try and want to do what they are asked to do. A week ago yesterday the Stake Leaders were taught about the new manual, "Teaching in the Savior's Way". Yesterday in Bishopric Training the Stake Presidency taught the Wards about the importance of this new manual. In both wards that we attended today they taught about the importance of teaching the Lord's way. That is getting the word out quickly. It is just a start and there is a lot more for them to learn from this new manual and program of teaching the teachers, but it is a start in the right direction.

They are continuing to make progress on the addition at the Stueng Mean Chey building. It is fun to look to see what has happened in the last week. It is still months away, but it is at least moving forward.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday Tasks

Our Saturdays may be our early day, but it also has some of our favorite collections of people. As we joined with our Institute class this morning we mentioned that we only have one class remaining for the current course we are studying. We presented several options for what to do between completing these lessons and time to begin the next course. The majority wanted to continue meeting weekly. We would prefer that instead of taking six weeks off. The optional course that was selected is on scripture study. We are pleased with their choice.

Saturday morning is also when we look forward to computer visits with our family. We were able to speak with almost everyone. Kaylee and Jaren were off on other adventures. We enjoy seeing each them and hearing their reports on their week.

This afternoon Elder Oveson had meetings, and Sister Oveson spent that time taking care of odds and ends that there doesn't seem to be time to accomplish. She managed to make a batch of bread dough, using half to make a loaf and the other half as Chicken Roll-ups. The sewing machine we inherited from a former senior couple was put to use to make some alterations. Sometimes it is good to have a little time to stay home.

Another important Saturday task ... writing the letter to family and friends. So thankful for all who give their prayers, love and support as we serve on the other side of the world.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Counseling Together and Raining Season

Over the years the leaders of the Church have taught the importance of counseling together. In recent training we have even been taught the importance of writing emails and letters by committee, that old adage of two brains are better than one. As we have served here in Cambodia, working together 24/7, we have truly seen the wisdom of counseling together not only about our assigned service but in all aspects of our lives.

We were recently asked if we have been married long enough that we just know what the other spouse is thinking. The answer to that is absolutely no. Whenever we get to that point we find that our communication is suffering tremendously. So an important part of counseling together is sharing and listening. We have even found that we are able to counsel with our family on issues even though we are over 8,000 miles from home. The miracle of the internet is amazing.

In September we have been invited to attend the Asia Self-Reliance Services Manager Training that will take place in Chiang Mai Thailand. We are not only invited to attend but to put on one of the presentations for about an hour and a half. Since we will be representing the other Self-Reliance Services Missionaries, we decided to ask them for some help in putting together our presentation. We sent out an email today asking for their input in several areas and we plan on sharing those responses with the managers. We hope that their comments will help the Managers with ideas on how to effectively use the missionaries assigned to their country.

A while ago we mentioned that Cambodia was in a real drought and to pray for rain. They usually have what is called the raining season that starts in April, but this year it started later than usual. Most days it does cloud over and we get some rain but we have not had the real heavy flooding rain that we had last year. That may be because we moved and the road in front of our new place does not flood like the one at our previous apartment. And the heaviest rain came in August of last year so it may still be coming. Tonights picture shows how the people here deal with the rain.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Virtual Walk Details That Google Missed

As we woke this morning and prepared to take our morning walk, we found an email had come in overnight from our daughter Marla, who returned to the other side of the world about three weeks ago from her visit to Cambodia. She told us she had found Mama's New York Deli on Google, followed the road until she found Lucky's Supermarket, then our apartment. Then she decided to take our walk, and she didn't even get lost. 

In response we asked, "How was Mama? Did you enjoy the fish and chips?" We also commented that she had learned to cross in traffic so well that crossing at the monument during her walk she probably didn't even flinch. (That is an important part of crossing in traffic here.)

Marla may have taken the Google walk, which is pretty authentic to what you see here. We were surprised at how many shops have changed from the Google images to what we see today. We thought we would include a few of the details Google missed and share our own virtual walk.

We venture out as Phnom Penh is beginning preparations for the day. We walk past the piles of coconuts being prepared for the day. We often find Tuk Tuk drivers and others trying to get just a few more minutes sleep. (We are not sure how they can sleep on these short, narrow seats.) 

The cleaning crews are busy removing trash and leaves from the park, and they, too, watch to say good morning to us. There are usually vendors who have come to sell produce the the early group in the park. There are a variety of exercise groups as well as the streams of people walking around the park. And when Marla and Brenda were with us for an actual walk to the park, they didn't flinch as they crossed the street in heavy traffic.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cambodia Job Foundation (CJF)

About a week after we landed in Cambodia we went with the LDSC couple, Elder & Sister Meinzer, to a Cambodian Wedding. It was a real eye opener to see the pageantry and the meal that they put on for a weddings here. Over the last seventeen months we have gotten to know the groom, Kong Phean, very well. One way that we have become acquainted is because he is the General Manager of Cambodia Job Foundation (CJF).

Over the last year plus we have been saying that we needed to go over and see the operations at CJF, but we have never made it there. Last week one of their summer interns was in our office explaining a grant program that they are running, and once again we said we needed to go and visit their offices. We finally acted on our good desires today, and what a joy it was. We saw friends that we have known in a variety of ways, including our Institute Class, and made new friends. We enjoyed our visit so much that we arranged for another visit next week along with the new Public Affairs couple, Elder & Sister Dowd.

There are several different departments or areas at their business, and since we are going back next week, tonight we will tell you about one with a lot of our friends. We are not exactly sure what they called that area, but we will call it their creative department. They come up with cards, pictures, paper sculpturing and anything that they think will sell here or in the U.S. One of our favorite Institute participants, Seyha Chung, is one of those creative geniuses. Last Christmas he brought us some little paper sculpture angels for our Christmas tree. We also saw a Nativity paper sculpture set that he has designed, and they were working on an order of those for Deseret Book right now. They showed us a beautiful computer generated picture of the London Temple that he also did. He told us that he would look and see if he could do one of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple for us to buy.

This afternoon we had a semi-monthly Team Meeting via WebEx. Chad and Marco are both in Mongolia for a country visit, but overall it still worked out alright. We also took care of some critical correspondence and spent some time on our Institute lesson. It feels like every day is just packed full, but it is oh so nice to feel needed.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

District Meeting Hop

We are thankful for the walks we take every morning. It is such a good way to start out day. As we left the apartment we could see a glimpse of red in the morning sunrise, but by the time we walked to the corner and around the block to where we could see more of the view of the horizon the colors had changed to gold. It is amazing how quickly it changes.

Today was one of those days that took us all around the city.  The project we started yesterday for President Christensen took us to three Church buildings to find missionaries as they attended their various district meetings. We issued a challenge to missionaries in four districts throughout Phnom Penh to keep a record of all the money they spend during the next two to three weeks, then return those ledgers to us or President Christensen. As President and Sister Christensen make a Zone Conference tour through the Kaits (provinces), they will give the same challenge to a sampling of missionaries throughout the country. When all this data comes back to us we will be busy with the next phase of this project, analyzing if the amount the missionaries receive each month is enough for their living expenses. It will be interesting to see how well these young people manage their money.

The district meeting circuit took most of our morning. We arrived back at the office about 11:30. This afternoon we finally got a chance to do our initial preparations for Saturday's Institute lesson. We find it very rewarding to work with these amazing young adults, and often have some of them wander through our office as they come to visit Sameth regarding PEF loans or Phanna for some Self-Reliance needs.

Our pictures today were from our morning tour of the city. We especially like the "family sedan". The man on the ladder was up about two stories as he worked with the crazy bundles of wires on the front of a building. And we especially enjoyed seeing so many wonderful young missionaries, and how excited they were to participate in the money study. Let's just say we enjoy our mission and all our adventures in Cambodia.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rainy Days And Mondays

A popular song that we enjoyed when we were younger was performed by the Carpenters was called "Rainy Days and Mondays." It talks about those are the type days that can get us down. Well we had one of those days today, but we did not have time for it to get us down, we were way too busy.

The rain part happened over night as we were supposed to be sleeping. The rain woke Sister Oveson up, but Elder Oveson slept right through it.

Note to ourselves, do not schedule Skype calls on Monday. We are suppose to Skype with each of the Self-Reliance Senior Couples once a month. Last week as we checked to see who we had not talked to we realized that we still had two more couples to visit. Looking at our schedule today this afternoon was wide open so we scheduled them for 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. What we did not realize was that the weekend and this morning would fill our day to over flowing.

This morning President Christensen called with a request for help with a special project. Sister Oveson answered the call, but as he started talking numbers she quickly handed the phone to Elder Oveson. He wanted our help to determine if the missionaries are receiving enough money every month so that they do not need to dip into their personal funds. Elder Oveson may know the numbers person but Sister Oveson knows how to take a concept and make it reality. By this afternoon we had an expense booklet put together to use to sample how much the missionaries are spending and what they are buying. After running it by a couple of others and receiving some very constructive advice, we prepared some copies for President and Sister Christensen to take with them as they go to the provinces tomorrow.

With the Coordinating Council Meeting last Saturday Elder Oveson spent his time today refining his notes and putting together some reports for the Stake Presidency. He now has access to the quarterly reports for the stake for the last ten years, so he was able to pull together some history to share. Elder Woo again emphasized the importance of Sacrament Meeting attendance. Since numbers is the language that Elder Oveson understands, now he needs to translate them into a plain understanding for the Stake Presidency.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

24th of July -- Sunday Adventures

Every day comes with its own adventures and events .... even Sundays.  Sunday is typically our longest commute, driving about 6 or 7 miles to Steung Mean Chey and back in the morning, then about a mile to Chaktomuk (plus going around several blocks because of one way roads, and we don't join the wrong-way drivers).

Over the months we have found some of our most interesting photos on the road to Steung Mean Chey, so we have learned to have the camera ready. Today was no exception, but photos can't capture the full effect. At each stop we were surrounded by swarms of Motos. As we approached the Church building in Steung Mean Chey there were huge trucks lined up along both sides of the road, leaving just enough space for the driveway approach. This has been a problem, but there is nowhere else for the trucks to park.

As we entered the chapel in Steung Mean Chey, the bishop came over to greet us, and asked if we would speak in Sacrament Meeting ... today. We said okay, then made some quick plans. Since today was the 24th of July, we chose Pioneers as our subject. Sister Oveson talked about how they don't have to walk 1,000 miles (2,000 km), but that the Cambodia saints are Pioneers. Elder Oveson spoke on Pioneers, Choices, and Faith. At the conclusion of the meeting the bishop mentioned that these members don't have to walk as far as the pioneers, so they should make sure to come to Church every week.

Chaktomuk Ward had another baptism today. This is another Young Single Adult sister, probably about 20ish. The group of YSA and youth has become strong during our 16 months here. We have been taking turns between Gospel Doctrine and Gospel Essentials for Sunday School. Having the baptism after two meeting blocks made for a long day of meetings.

Tonight as we ate our dinner of potato salad, croissant rolls, and chips we realized we had a typical Pioneer Day meal. We had our picnic spread on the dining table, minus the ants (thankfully).

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pioneer Celebration In Cambodia

Last week we told our Institute Class if they came on time they would get a special treat. We only had four of them there when we started, we shared some of the candy our daughters brought us. As we taught the lesson we told them about the treat we gave the four and promised them they would get it next week if they came on time. One of the real sharp Returned Missionaries said we should let them try to see if it was worth being on time. That did not work with us, if they want to try them then they have to come on time.

Today we were blessed to talk with all six of our children, most of our son-in-laws along with all but two of our grandchildren. These video calls are something we look forward to every week.

We also had to go and get groceries this morning and we made a quick trip to the Mall, the grocery store at the Mall usually has a little better produce. Another thing that we try hard to get done each Saturday is our email to family and friends, which did make it out today.

Elder Oveson had a Cambodia Coordinating Council Meeting to attend this afternoon from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. Sister Oveson decided to go to the Chaktomuk Ward Pioneer Celebration. Apparently some of the past Senior Missionary Couples must have taught the members about Pioneer Days because they really enjoy celebrating it here in Cambodia. They had a devotional in the Chapel, but then they moved to the Cultural Hall for the activities. They danced the Virginia Reel, Hip-Hop, and Khmer. They had musical numbers and a fashion show. It looked like they recruited other Young Adults to help out in their program, which is good because they are such a small ward.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Days Are Full and Weeks Fly By

Time seems to be ticking faster each week. Our schedule is consistently filled each week, we really don't have to go looking for what we will do each day. We are enjoying being busy and productive in our service in Cambodia.

This morning as we took our walk we happened to cross the street from the monument to the park just as Sisters Larsen and Sheffield, the sister training leaders, arrived for their walk. We had a great visit as we made our way around the park, then said goodbye as we headed back toward home. As part of their assignment they will be traveling throughout the country with President and Sister Christensen in a few days to assist in training at Zone Conferences. They are both just a few weeks away from completing their missions, and this trip will be a great way for them to wrap up their service to Cambodia.

Internet connections in the mornings seem to be better at our apartment so this morning we stayed home to make a Skype call to a new Self-Reliance couple who are serving in Taiwan. Elder Larry and Sister Rebecca Chen are in Taichung Taiwan helping get the Self-Reliance Services and Perpetual Education Fund to move forward. This is their 4th mission together. About 30 years ago Elder Chen was the mission president in Taiwan. Since then they have served in a temple presidency and an Inner City Mission in Salt Lake. Their home is in Murray, Utah, in the stake area of our daughter, Becky, but they attended a Chinese Ward in Salt Lake. They are a great addition to the Asia Area Self-Reliance team! There is another Elder and Sister Chen who began their service in Taiwan just about the same time, however they don't speak English, so we will just have to hear reports about them from others.

Our day was busy with Skype calls, reports, lesson plans, and visits from from friends who happened to come to the service center. We decided our Friday night date was dinner at Brooklyn Pizza. The drive gave us a chance to get a few traffic pictures, which is one thing we miss (or don't miss in some cases) with the shorter commute now. The recycle cart contained about six small children. The food cart was moving faster than traffic, but she took a break to flip the food. We thought of Brenda as this row of monks walked past as we parked at the office this morning. And the light store (one of many in Phnom Penh) is for Israel.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Why We Have Computers And The Internet

As we started this week today looked like a fairly mild day, one Skype call with a Self-Reliance Missionary that is a dear friend, that was it. As the week went on today got fuller and fuller and fuller. First was a Self-Reliance Operation Meeting (Perpetual Education Fund training), for an hour. Then we added a Google Hangout call with our family members to discuss some important family matters. Today while we were on the video call with our family, the Asia Area Manager asked if we had time to Skype right after the Operation Meeting. Then the Operation Manager asked if we had time for some training via Skype this afternoon. Add on top of that working with the IT in Thailand to get our laptop so that it liked logging into two very important websites that we use on a regular basis.

The bottomline is that today would have been a very boring and mild day if we did not have computers, the internet and if we did not get to work with others here in Asia. More than once we have heard leaders in the Church say that computers and the internet are part of the tools provided for the Church to move forward in our time. For years Elder Oveson thought they were around to making accounting so much easier than the old ledger books. It is nice to have a more enlightened understanding of some of the wonderful inventions that we are blessed with today. Man has been here on this earth for a long time, but it has only been over the last 150+ years that technology has blossomed. We do not feel that it is just accidental or coincidence that has happened. We need all of these tools if the gospel is going to go to all of the world as we have been told it will. Of course Satan will always try and take wonderful and beautiful blessings and make them foul and awful. That only works if we allow that, we can still make technology what it was meant to be. (Hopefully that was not too preachy, but this is a missionary blog.)

This blog is about our mission and our adventures in Cambodia, but there is an important part of our lives that we left back in Utah, our family. We try not to be like the parents that feel their children can do no wrong, but we do want share when we are proud of them. Over the last week we have watched our children deal with family matters that we would be handling if we were home. Some day we will leave this earth life and we know that they will carry on just fine.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Just Another Day

Our days and weeks have been so different recently. There may be similarities such as waking up early and taking a walk before getting ready for the day at the office. Then there are differences such as taking a few minutes to call to wish a six year old grandson happy birthday. He was pretty excited about all the Star Wars lego sets he has collected, yet he showed us pictures of the sets he still wants to add to his collection.

There was a Asia Area Self-Reliance Missionaries meeting scheduled for this morning. We have had enough trouble connecting to these meetings that we decided we should try to link in early today. It was a good thing, too, because our personal computer simply would not log into the program, requiring our back-up plan to use Sister Oveson's computer and borrow a mic and camera from Sameth. We counted it a success when all the invited participants were able to log in and we were able to hear and see them. These meetings are helpful to our team as each can share what is working in their country, and ask input for how they might resolve things they are struggling with. There is a new Self-Reliance couple in Taiwan, Elder & Sister Chen, that introduced themselves today. This is their fourth mission, their first mission was twenty years ago as a Mission President and his wife.

Today seemed to have more emails to write than usual, and as always there were little things to finish up.  As we left the office we were grateful we didn't  need to pile in to the work "bus" (meaning the back of a truck with side rails with thirty or forty coworkers) for a ride across town to go home. We are happy to have a little mini van and a very short commute. All the extra busy days in recent weeks seem to have caught up with us, or maybe it is just that we slowed down and it caught up with us. We were both very tired today and were happy to be at home this evening with nowhere we needed to go tonight.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Goodbye Elder and Sister VanBrocklin

We love the young and dynamic leaders and Church employees here in Cambodia. In most areas and cultures it is hard to get anyone to really want to do presentations. Last week when we mentioned that we were scheduled to do the Service Center Devotional Training today, Phanna almost begged to do it instead. He was supposed to do it last week, but with Human Resources (HR) in town the devotional got canceled, so he really wanted to do it this week. He taught the group the difference between being a Manager and a Leader. It was a very good presentation.

As we got to the Service Center this morning we realized that we had left our cell phone at the apartment. Most days it never rings so we figured that we were okay without it today. About 11:30 Sister Thurston came up to let us know that Sister VanBrocklin was trying to get ahold of us. The VanBrocklins leave tonight and they were trying to make sure that we could help with rides or luggage as needed tonight. We reassured her that we had their back and would help in any way we could.

We had a Summer Intern from the Cambodian Job Foundation (CJF) come to visit us to explain a program to help individuals open their own little business. CJF was started by some Senior Missionaries after they went home but now it is basically run by our former Mission President and his wife, David and Kathryn Moon. They have a deep interest and concern for the emerging economy here in Cambodia and want to help those who are willing to work hard and show that they can succeed.

Most days we just eat lunch at our desks, but since we needed to get our cellphone we went home to eat today. On the way back to the Service Center we stopped by the Mission Office, we had not been by in a couple of weeks. After a quick stop at one of our favorite bakeries it was back to work for the afternoon. One of our Institute Class members came by to see us and talk. He has been attending the class the whole time we have been teaching, about sixteen months. Right now he is actively seeking a good job because he has finished all of his classes to graduate, but still needs to finish his final project to graduate.

This evening was one of those tough ones as we said our goodbyes to the VanBrocklins. We have served together for almost seventeen months. When we go home we plan on getting together with them periodically since they live in Centerville. They have been great missionaries and great friends.

Monday, July 18, 2016

We Are Blessed With Family and Friends

We seem to be on a roll with unique schedules for our days. This morning started with our normal wake-up time, followed by internet phone calls instead of our walk or going to the office. We had called a family counsel, which turned out to be a good chance to have everyone together even though we were miles apart. It was good to be with our family and to feel the combined support.

The office was quite an interesting place today. There was quite a variety of people who came through and stopped to visit at our desk. One visitor was Sitha Heang who is visiting from the U.S. Last August Sitha and her family moved to Utah for her husband to pursue a Master's Degree. She has come back with their two children to visit family.

Before Sitha left our office, Elder and Sister VanBrocklin came to give their replacements, Elder and Sister Dowd, a tour of the Service Center and introduce them around. The VanBrocklins are down to their last 24 hours before heading home to Utah. We will miss them, but we also are looking forward to getting to know the Dowds better.

Visitors left and we managed to retreat to the conference room for a Self-Reliance Team staff meeting. We have found those to be very important in moving forward with what needs to be accomplished in Cambodia for the Self-Reliance Services.

As we finished our short meeting and headed back to our desks we found more visitors. Elder and Sister Jones, the Family History couple, had stopped in. We had a good visit and shared treats and language study tips. They are just getting started on learning a bit of the language, so we shared some of what we had done when we were new to Cambodia. We hope what we shared will be of help as they work on increasing their vocabulary and Khmer language skills.

As we headed for home, Rathana who works at the front desk and attends our Institute class told us she had brought some Curry soup for us and Elder and Sister Thurston. The Thurstons, whose apartment is just across the hall from ours, had taken it home for us. This gave us the opportunity to get together with them for dinner. They have been our neighbors for over two months and it took having someone make Curry for all of us to manage to eat dinner together. We had a good time, and we all enjoyed that we didn't have to cook dinner for the night. For dessert we made sure to share from our stash of chocolate, which Brenda and Marla brought when they came to visit.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Blessed Are The Flexible

Over the years we have been told, "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." That has been very true in our lives and we have learned to flow with what we need to do, even when that was not our original plan.

We may be on the other side of the world but there are times that we still need to fulfill our roles as mom and dad. Yesterday we had some issues come up in the family that we are trying to help find answers how to proceed. Once again we are thankful for the miracle of the internet and being able to know what is going on and ask for advise and help. This morning before heading to church at Steung Mean Chey we had a phone call over the internet with a family member getting some advise. With thirteen hours difference between here and Utah there are a couple short windows when we can make those calls. We are to sleep most of the time they are awake and they are asleep while we are up and going.

The Steung Mean Chey 3rd Ward is more like a branch than a ward. They have the small number of members in their ward, about 250 but most likely less than 200 because of those who have moved and their membership has not. Most Sundays there are about fifty in Sacrament Meeting, today it was only about forty. Only the 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric made it today, he ended up conducting and giving a short talk in Sacrament Meeting, taught Sunday School and Priesthood Meeting. He is a great man and handled it well.

Elder Maurer and Elder Stringham got new bikes this week. Previously the mission has provided bikes, but most of them were in serious need of major repairs. It was decided that each of the missionaries should purchase their own bikes, hoping that they would take better care of them if they owned them. These two Elders were very proud and pleased with their new rides.

After lunch we needed to spend some additional time on issues back home so we did not make it to the Chaktomuk Ward today. Sometimes you have to flow with what feels right and needs to be done, and know that is what you are suppose to do.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday Again

Saturday again, which means we have navigated our way (mostly successfully) through another week. We have now been on our mission for 17 months, and only have 6 months remaining. We feel we have accomplished a great deal during our time here, but there is so much ahead of us to be completed. We suppose that is just how it should be.

We were awake and up before the 5:00 a.m. alarm this morning, starting our day with our weekly Institute class. We never know what to expect with this group. There are usually close to an equal number of brothers and sisters who attend. Today at 7:00 when we started the class there were 3 sisters and 1 brother.  It made us wonder if our numbers would have dropped so much this week, but by the conclusion of the class there were 22, and only 5 of them were brothers. We had a great discussion and felt the Spirit as we talked about our need to be prepared as we see the signs prophesied that precede the 2nd Coming of Christ. We always try to bring out how the scriptures apply to us today.

One of our favorite Saturday morning activities is our calls to our family. The three year olds are always excited to report on their week and the fun activities they have enjoyed. Kate told about her preschool activity which had a driving course set up for their tricycles or cars. As she was driving the wrong way in traffic the "policeman" (teacher) pulled her over and gave her a ticket. We can't understand how kids in preschool can come to understand this rule but not most drivers in Cambodia.

Elder Oveson had his Stake Meetings to attend while Sister Oveson stayed home to write our email home and some Preparation Day responsibilities here at our apartment. When you count our calls home, grocery shopping, laundry, email to friends and family and a few minutes to relax we get about a half of a Preparation Day every Saturday. It is nice to feel busy and have something to do, even on Saturday.

Our picture for today is just another random collage of things seen in our everyday lives in Cambodia.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Farewell Dinner For Elder & Sister VanBrocklin

This morning we had to take our Corolla out to the Toyota dealership by 8:30 a.m. Since it is impossible to know how long traffic will take we gave ourselves forty-five minutes. Fortunately it only took a half hour, but the Office Elders who were taking the other Corolla in had already come and gone. We had the BYU/UofU Tuk-Tuk pick us up there and take us back to our office.

We have been working on a PowerPoint presentation about Delegation for a couple of months, with the help of the other Senior Self-Reliance Missionaries. Today we did the final touches that our Area Manager wanted and it was sent out to all of the Self-Reliance staff here in Asia. It feels nice to have a large project done and to feel that we gave it our very best. We definitely learned more about what delegation is really all about by doing this project.

This afternoon the Toyota Dealership was supposed to bring the new Avanza to us at our office. At first they promised it would be there by 5:00 which switched to that they would be there by 5:30. The biggest advantage to the new vehicle is that it is six inches higher off of the ground, it seemed like we were always bottoming out in the Corolla. The new vehicle does not have all of the bells and whistles and is actually the bottom of the line, but we did not expect to have a car, so we are happy with anything.

Our dear friends, Elder & Sister VanBrocklin, will head home from their mission next Tuesday night, we have been here together for sixteen and a half months. We will truly miss them. Most of the Senior Couples here in Phnom Penh (Elder & Sister Jones were not able to make it) and Elder & Sister Curtis from Kampong Cham, went out for a farewell dinner this evening. We went to the Patio/Elephant Sky Bar and Grill, the view is wonderful and the food is good.  It is always wonderful to be with the other Senior Couples.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Random Days Are Normal

We realize it has been a week since Brenda and Marla left Cambodia and were almost home. In that week there were some major changes made to the Phnom Penh airport. There has been construction and renovation taking place around the airport the entire time we have been in the country. The change this week closed off the former Arrivals area. There had been some very nice open courtyards and beautiful landscaping, which are now behind temporary construction barrier walls, and arrivals now exit into the food court area. The Departures wing is very nice now, so there is hope that the entire airport complex will look amazing one day. We just hope they work fast enough for us to see the finished project.

Short work days and short weeks have come more often lately. Today was another unusual schedule for us, with our morning beginning with two Skype calls that are easier to accomplish from home. We talked with Sister Roberts in Hong Kong, then the Asia Area Self-Reliance Manager, Chad Furness, in Taiwan. We enjoy working with all the Asia Area Self-Reliance team. It is exciting to be in the middle and report how others are doing, then receive assignments to take back to the other couples. The Delegation PowerPoint project with the team is so close to being complete. When we have the final polish we have been requested to send it on to headquarters because this is something that needs to be taught to more than just in Asia.

After our calls we had to drive across town to an appointment at the Toyota Cambodia dealership. The Corolla we have been driving for the past 16 months is being traded for a Toyota Avanza. We will make the trade tomorrow.

After a quick lunch at Mike's Burgers and a stop at Bayon Market for a few things, we finally made it to the office at about 12:20. Even though we may have spent less hours at the office we still managed to get much accomplished.

Our photo collage for the day is some of the fruits and foods of Cambodia. Even with so many amazing tropical fruits we find here, we can't help but miss the Utah fruits and vegetables such as peaches and tender corn-on-the-cob.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Introducing Elder & Sister Dowd

We were back to our office this morning, but that did not last for long. The interpreter and assistant for the LDS Charity (LDSC) Couple came and asked us if we would go with them out to a meeting. He had setup an appointment with the Director General of the General Department of Immigrations. LDSC had drilled twenty wells in the home province of the General Director so he has been an important contact for them. It is always good to know somebody in high places. The office building that they are in is only a year old and the furnishings are absolutely beautiful.

This afternoon we went to the Ophthalmologist for a follow up exam on Elder Oveson's right eye. The staff at the clinic were nice and dressed very professional, but it was also apparent that despite their best efforts they are behind other parts of the world. They needed to dilate Elder Oveson's eyes for the exam, but the drops stung more than he has ever felt before. Apparently in the U.S. they use numbing drops before the dilating drops. Then for the exam the light on the scope was so bright that it was impossible to keep his eye open. Still the doctor said that the eye has not gotten any worst and should be fine.

This evening the new Public Affairs (PA) couple, Elder & Sister Dowd, arrived. They are from the Dallas area in Texas and replace our friends Elder & Sister VanBrocklin, who go home next Tuesday. There was also a new Vietnamese Sister Missionary that arrived on the same flight with them, Sister Cheney from Kaysville Utah. The Dowds are the fourth new Senior Couple in the last four months. The next one will probably not come until November when the Leavitts go home. It is always fun to go and welcome a new couple to the country. The group went out to eat at Eric Kaiser, one of our favorite bakeries that also serves a good sandwich.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Most Unusual Tuesday

Today was a very different Tuesday than usual. The church employees had Human Resource visitors from Hong Kong for this whole week, and today was a big all day meeting for them. We knew that would make our corner of the office extremely quiet but we still planned to spend part of the day at the office, then attend the District Meeting with the young missionaries. This afternoon Elder Oveson had scheduled a follow-up appointment with an eye specialist.

So we got up and took our walk (which was pretty normal), but before we headed to the office we noticed an email scheduling a monthly phone visit with Elder Boam at Church Headquarters for 8:00 a.m. We figured this is an easier call to make from home. We enjoy talking to Elder Boam, giving monthly reports on the senior missionaries in the Asia area. We are learning so much from each of the Self-Reliance couples and are happy to pass it along, then we learn more from Elder Boam as to our responsibilities as communications couple.

We finished that call just before 9:00, and instead of heading to the office where we would be working all alone, we worked from our apartment watching a BYU Idaho CES training, followed by a Church employee Leadership Patterns Devotional. We had been assigned to watch both of these for our Asia Area Self-Reliance team training. These were both very insightful!

After lunch we finally made our way to the office. Since everything was still very quiet we spent time working on our Institute lesson for next Saturday. We had been there about a half hour when Elder and Sister Jones, the new Family History couple, came in  along with a visitor from India, looking for  Tay, the Facilities Manager, who was in the big meeting. We were able to share some useful information with the Joneses. They were just ready to leave and come back another time to find Tay when people came out of the meeting for a ten minute break. It is all in the timing!

And the afternoon eye appointment? We followed the instructions to find the medical office at the Children's Surgical Center North of the city, across the Japanese bridge, missed the street, turned around and telephoned the number on the instructions. We finally found the little alley and the clinic just to learn the doctor was in a meeting at the Ministry of Health and Medicine. We rescheduled for tomorrow, but the office we really were to visit is about half as far. Now we have another adventure scheduled for tomorrow!

Our photo for the day includes several children sleeping in the park (our favorite is the young boy holding his money), the wedding tent across from the park, and a giant clock we drove past at Wat Phnom on our way to the appointment adventure.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Our Random Day & Pictures

Several months ago BYU-Hawaii reopened their iwork program for Cambodia, it had been closed for several years because many of the students that went there never returned to Cambodia. There are now a number of students that are working towards being considered to go there, but they have to meet certain requirements. An important one is to understand and speak English well enough to do well in the classes that are only taught in English. The applicants have two routes that they can take to prove that proficiency. One is to take three on line courses and pass them, or take what is called the Michigan Test. Today there were three potential applications that took the Michigan test and Sister Oveson was the proctor for the test. We know all three very well, two are in our Institute Class and one is a recently returned missionary that served here in Cambodia. They have to pass the test with at least a score of 75%. Whenever anyone asked how the test went, we replied for us it went just fine, we were not nervous at all.

It felt like we were more back into our standard routine today. With only being in the office on Thursday and Friday last week it was hard to get into any type of regular schedule. Today we had our Self-Reliance Team Staff Meeting, we felt like we were more helpful and that we made a difference in many ways. It is interesting to see how many come and ask for help, especially from Sister Oveson. Today it was laminating and figuring out how a toner cartridge went into a printer. We also were able to read our scriptures during the day and work on our Institute lesson for this next Saturday. Our volume of emails likewise greatly increased today. It feels real nice to be needed and appreciated.

It has been a while since we posted a random Khmer collage, but yesterday we got some great photos. In the bottom left corner is a moto with a slab of meat, no wrapper just open to the elements. Then there is the delivery crew taking a couch somewhere so they sat on the couch to get there. It is amazing that we do not see more people fall off of trucks and trailers, the way they sit and stand up in the back of them. The little guy on the bottom right says "Who Strong?" And then there is the beautiful furniture probably headed to a store to be sold.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Back to Our Sunday Routine

It was good to be back to our Sunday routine of attending two wards. We missed them, and we were asked in both wards where we were for the past two weeks. Transfers brought two new faces to Steung Mean Chey 3rd ward. Sister Clark has Sister Peng from Battambang as her new companion, and Elder Maurer now has Elder Stringham from South Jordan as his companion.

Having been away for two week it was interesting to see the progress on the remodel and addition to the Church building. We will have to see how it looks in six months from now when we finish our mission.

As we headed to church there was a funeral procession headed into a wat. It took long enough to get the camera that we only got one photo.

Chaktomuk Ward didn't have missionary changes, but we learned today that we missed a baptism. We attended the Gospel Essentials class for Sunday School. The teacher is a recent convert, and we are impressed with how he presents the lesson. This class includes the few Young Men and Young Women of the ward, as well as all the YSA and recent converts. There were 24 including the six missionaries assigned to the ward. That is more than would have been in the Gospel Doctrine class today.

With Brenda and Marla here last week we decided that we would change "our" Fast Sunday to this week. Over the years we have felt the spiritual and temporal benefits of fasting. Since we attend two wards we pay Fast Offering to both, we are sure that it is used wisely.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Little Joys of Life

There are some things in life and the gospel of Jesus Christ that bring joy every time that we are able to be part of them even in a small way. One of those joys currently in our lives is the privilege of teaching Institute on Saturday morning, we are so blessed to be associated with and learn with this group. They always keep us guessing who is going to show up for class and when. As we arrived at the South Stake Center this morning at 6:30 a.m. one of our favorite class members got there at the same time. She came to help us set up the room. When we started the class today there were only seven that were on time. But by time we finished we had twenty-six that came today. What is even more important was the spirit and willingness to learn that we felt from the class members. We hand out slips with scriptures and quotes in English and the class members are always willing to do their best in reading them, and they always do great. We absolutely love this class and the wonderful participants that come and make a difference.

Elder Oveson had Stake Presidency Meeting to attend this afternoon. He missed last week because we were out of town, and he is trying very hard to fulfill the assignment given him through Elder Funk concerning the Phnom Penh South Stake. The stake is only two years old and they have not had any examples of how stakes and wards are suppose to operate, so it is still all new to them. The key is patience and just keep teaching.

Phanna called and asked if we could meet to talk about travel budgets for next year. Since we were planning on going to a Self-Reliance Devotional at the North Stake building we agreed to meet him there around 4:00 p.m. They got the budget completed and submitted to Chad, but just before the devotional was supposed to start Chad called with questions. Once you get Elder Oveson and Chad on the phone it is hard to get them off, they had a lot to talk about. Elder Oveson came in just as the devotional started. The speaker is a member that is a Chief Operating Officer of a shipping document company, that is a member in the North Stake. The attendance was good and the participants seemed eager to learn.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Zone Training With Young Missionaries

We have had so many busy days with our daughters Brenda and Marla visiting we almost feel like we need a vacation to recover from their vacation. We received word mid morning that they finally arrived home, and we are thankful for their safe journey. We feel very blessed to have had them come visit. Now we need to get back to work.

Today was Zone Training Meeting with the young missionaries, we decided to attend and bring treats for their break. We picked up Big Apple Donuts this time.  It is pretty amazing to watch these young missionaries lead out and teach each other the skills they need to be successful. Discussions today included a change in procedures with their daily schedule, bicycle policy, dress standards, mosquito protection, as well as food and nutrition. Each apartment received a blender to help encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables, even if it is in smoothies.

We had to leave zone meeting early and head to our apartment for a scheduled Skype meeting with Elder and Sister Harrison in Malaysia. We had a great visit and we are amazed at how much we keep learning from the other senior couples throughout Asia. We hope they enjoy the visits as much as we do, but these calls give a connection and support to others with the same calling. Each country is so different, yet so many needs are the same. One common need is for the people they are teaching to learn to better manage money. Much of the Asia Area seems to be cash-based cultures and have not learned to save or budget.

Back at the office we had a few report deadlines today, and we also needed to finish putting together our lesson plans for tomorrow's institute class. Being in the office for two days doesn't quite make up for being out of the office for over a week.

Friday is usually when we go out for dinner, but tonight we just wanted to eat at home. We have eaten out more in the last two weeks than we usually do in two months. We made a quick stop for groceries and had a simple salad for dinner, and were glad to spend the night at home. The bonus was the beautiful sunset from our apartment window.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Back To Work & Their Long Flight

We did not make it out on our morning walk today because of getting to bed so late last night. It is surprising to look how much we were able to wedge into the time that Brenda and Marla were here. Still we almost felt a little guilty for taking the time off, but we were reminded even the General Authorities and Area Presidencies take a little time off.

Usually by the 7th of the month we already have a really good idea how the previous month went for the Perpetual Education Fund payments, disbursements and incentives. Today we had no idea at all until we pulled the reports and got them on to the Excel spreadsheet. Overall it turned out to be a good month, probably because there were not any week long holidays last month. There are no holidays in July and August so we can hope for even better for those months as well.

We had Skype calls scheduled with the Self-Reliance Missionary Couple in Thailand and Sister Roberts in Hong Kong. We enjoy those Skype calls so much and we always learn something new to share with others that we work with. Even though all of the countries are in Asia each have their own unique problems and issues that they face. Elder & Sister Ricks in Thailand told us today that the Priesthood Leaders have asked them for help in teaching budgeting. Most of the people live hand to mouth and even a little hiccup puts them over the edge.

We also had to spend time today working on our Institute lesson for Saturday. We try to spend enough time so that we are prepared enough that the spirit can work though us to give them the message which they need. That is always so important, the minute that we think that we are such great teachers then we will lose the class. It is so very humbling to work with those who attend every week.

One of our Institute Class members came in today because she is working on her application to attend BYU-Hawaii. There are a number who are trying hard to be accepted to attend there, it will be interesting to see who really goes.

Brenda and Marla are now more than half way home. Their first flight to Shanghai China was about four hours, but then they had a six hour lay over. We FaceTimed with them this morning and they told us how tired they were already. The second leg was a fourteen hour flight to Chicago and then another six hour wait in the airport and finally the last flight of three more hours home.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

All Good Things Must Come To An End

We have been blessed to have Brenda and Marla come to visit Cambodia the Kingdom of Wonder for the last eleven days. But all good things have to come to an end and their visit came to an end this evening.

This morning was spent packing up everything that they had bought, and that we had accumulated and purchased while they were here. On the way here they claimed that half of their baggage space was used for us, but on the way back we are only about 35% of the space. That shows that they bought plenty for themselves including Ukuleles, shirts, elephant pants, dresses, and gifts for family and friends. They will have fun unpacking because everything is just packed, so they will have to unpack and then get together to exchange items that were in the suitcases that they took home.

We had a Skype call this morning with Elder and Sister Little in India. They have been on their mission for about seven months and they are so fun to talk to each time. Today they told us that they are at the point that they like or enjoy their mission, but they have not reached the point of loving their mission yet.

We also wrote  letters to our grandchildren which Marla and Brenda ate taking home to them. Even though we get to talk to them every week we hope that they enjoy getting a note from us every so often. We definitely enjoyed getting letters and pictures from them which our daughters brought with them.

There were a few last things on their vacation To-Do List that we had not accomplished, like getting red Dragon Fruit for them to try, and buying some dried fruits to take home. If they missed anything we are not sure what it was, they have had some full and fun days.

Their flight was scheduled to leave at 12:15 a.m. so we got them to the airport a little before 10:00 p.m. We have been told on International flights to be there early. Only passengers are allowed in the terminal, so after they were inside we came back to our apartment. Tomorrow we are back to the office and to our missionary work again.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Visiting Cambodia Children's Fund and Choeung Ek

In the past ten days we have visited much of Cambodia, this week we visited most of the tourist spots in and around Phnom Penh. Today we continued our excursions by visiting CCF (Cambodia Children's Fund), being guided by our friend Chamroeun  Kang. This NGO (Non Government Organization) was started in 2004 by Scott Neeson, former president of distribution of 20th Century Fox. He produced such films as Braveheart, Titanic, X-Men, and the first three Star Wars prequels. This is a truly amazing organization focused on raising the children of Cambodia from extreme poverty and living on the dumps of Steung Mean Chey.

CCF has made a drastic difference for the Steung Mean Chey community, and for Cambodia. They have given many children the privilege of getting an education, having health care, and better nutrition.  (You may be interested in learning more about CCF - Scott Neeson Story.)

After our tour of the CCF Community center, school rooms, the dental office, and the facilities around Trash Mountain, we returned to Phnom Penh to visit the original CCF headquarters.

Our afternoon took us on another excursion to Choeung Ek Genocide Center, also known as The Killing Fields. This is where about 20,000 people were executed under the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot.  Such a tragic period of Cambodian history. Rain started to fall just as we were finishing our visit. (The Killing Fields)

As we drove back to the city we stopped to pick up the skirts we ordered last week. We hope each of our daughters are as excited about these skirts as we are.

We finished the day with dinner at Titanic Restaurant. This gave our world travelers one more taste of Khmer cuisine before packing up to fly home tomorrow.

Monday, July 4, 2016

More Sights To See In Phnom Penh

We decided today we would go and see the Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Since the parking over there is not real great we decided to call our friend Haem Seyha and have the BYU/UofU Tuk-Tuk take us over. The place where he let us off is about a block from the ticket office for the palace and pagoda, so as we walked down a street peddler selling water came up. After we told her we did not need water she told us that the palace was closed until 2:00 p.m. so that the king could pray with his monks. So we continued on to the National Museum.

We spent about an hour and a half looking around, there were a lot of artifacts from the Angkor Wat area, including parts of murals that had been stolen and brought back. We were not able to take pictures inside, so we cannot share them with you. We also tried to find a shop that we had been told about over by the museum.

The girls had some items that they still wanted to pick up at the markets, so we made our way back to Central Market. We found most of what they still wanted and they even got some better prices than last week. We asked Brenda and Marla where they wanted to go for lunch and they wanted to go back to Mama's New York Deli, partially because of the Dr. Pepper. With another brief stop at the Russian Market we were ready to head back to our apartment.

This evening we went to a cultural dance performance at the National Museum. We had gone to this program with the other Senior Missionaries a while back and really enjoyed it, so we thought that Marla and Brenda would like it also. The nice thing was the program was different so it was great for us also.

After we got back Elder & Sister Thurston came over for a while. They are such a fun couple and we were all laughing so hard that we hope that we did not disturb others in the building.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sabbath With Our Daughters

With having Brenda and Marla visiting our Sunday was somewhat slower than our usual two wards routine.  The International English speaking branch meets at 10:00 a.m., allowing us to get a later start.  Summer brings interns to Cambodia for several weeks and others leave for the summer, making a big change in the people we see in the branch. Today the entire branch presidency was away, so President Touch Sophornn, the first counselor in the stake presidency, presided and conducted. Since he is one of our friends he came to greet us and ask Brenda and Marla to say the prayers for sacrament meeting.

After the meeting block we went back to our apartment for lunch. Since we really didn't have other activities planned for the day we decided to stay home and watch a movie. We had never seen "Inside Out".  We enjoyed the importance of the family that is portrayed.

For dinner we made Mango Chicken and Rice. We were too late for the best mangoes, but we were able to find some that worked okay.

The girls wanted to get pictures and videos of the traffic around the monument, so we took a walk to the monument before sunset. They are more brave now at crossing the road in traffic and Marla even took the lead for some of the crossings. We told her this is a skill that she will not be able to use when she goes back home.

One little quirk we have found in our apartment building is the elevator. There are times as you enter the elevator and press the button for the desired floor the doors just open and close multiple times and does not really go anywhere. Tonight we boarded with a group going to the floor below ours. The elevator worked just fine to that floor, but refused to take us to ours. The other group tried to help, but to no avail. We finally walked the last flight.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

It Is Nice To Be Back In Phnom Penh

The first time that we went from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, fifteen months ago, the road was under construction and one way was more than eight hours. Today the road is basically all the way done, they are putting on some finishing touches, and it only took five hours and fifteen minutes with a stop for lunch along the way. We were able to go about 80 to 100 kilometers per hour most of the time, that is only 50 to 62 miles per hour, which is slow for freeways in the U.S., still it was great for Cambodia.

By driving to Siem Reap Brenda and Marla got to see how most of the people in Cambodia live and their livelihood, raising rice. Just like in Phnom Penh there are some very nice homes, but most are very modest and small homes, many without electricity or running water. Many of the homes in the Kaits (Provinces) that are off the main road have electric lights powdered by car batteries.

There are a lot of children out in the Kaits and they even go to school on Saturday. A little after 11:00 a.m. we saw the children from a school streaming home for lunch on bikes, motos and walking. And just before 1:00 we saw them heading back for their afternoon session.

Marla and Brenda enjoyed seeing the locals attempt to translate instructions, names of businesses and greetings. Their favorite today was on a church gate out in the middle of nowhere, it simply said, "Wellcam." They were doing their best to make everyone welcome.

When we got back to Phnom Penh we went to visit Sameth, Thida and Yuri. We wanted Brenda and Marla to see the homes where modern upper-middle class Cambodians live. On the ground floor is a great room (which is the garage, living room, den, and TV room), a bathroom and kitchen with a fridge and stove. On what they call the first floor are two bedrooms and a bathroom. Then there is a flat roof where Sameth and Yuri grow their garden.

It is nice to be back home to our apartment in Phnom Penh. Siem Reap was a great adventure, but we were done with it. Tomorrow is Church and then we have some additional adventures planed for next week.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Exploring Siem Reap Cambodia

Having spent the day yesterday touring, climbing, and exploring the temples in and around Angkor Wat, we decided today needed to be a little less strenuous. We started our outings by meeting our driver (President Loy of the District Presidency) at 9:00 this morning and took a more leisure pace for the day.

Our first stop was the silk farm in Siem Reap. Even though we have been to Silk Island and seen the silk production there, we felt this was a more complete experience in understanding the production of silk. We spent a little over an hour in which time we were able to see each stage of production, from the life cycle of the silk worm, to the production of silk fabrics. We highly recommend this to anyone who might decide to travel to Cambodia to experience the Angkor temples.

Upon the recommendation of our driver, our next stop was to Artisans Angkor where we were able to see how they produce many different forms of art such as painting silk pictures and tiles, creating porcelain treasures, ceramic statues, and wood & stone carvings. All of it was very fascinating. As we finished our tour the rains started to fall. It only lasted a few minutes, just enough to clear the air and bring up the humidity level.

It was lunch time, so we asked our driver to take us somewhere that we might have a choice of Khmer or Western foods. We found ourselves at Neary Khmer where we all enjoyed our food selections.

With the afternoon ahead of us and no more ideas on our own, we asked our driver for suggestions. He took us to the village where there are stilt houses and rice fields. About November the water level of the lake will rise about 30 feet or so, up to the level of the houses on top or the stilts. Now the lake is low so there are many who live on the ground level. This flood plane is a good place to grow rice as it is close to the lake. They are able to have 3 crops of rice in a year in this area.


As we finished this last visit we opted to return to our hotel for a little relaxation. Marla had some homework to do and needed to work on lesson plans for her school class this fall, Brenda took a nap, and we were able to do our scripture study. Tonight we had one more trip to the night market for dinner and a few last shopping items. This has been a great vacation, but we are looking forward to returning to our home in Phnom Penh.