Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Just thought I'd check in. It's about 5pm here in Battambang, and I'm at a little internet shop on the corner of some street and some other street smack dab in the middle of downtown, near the market.

The market here is smaller than the markets in Phnom Penh, but it's very similar. Lots of clothing, lots of vegetables, lots of dead things. Smelly, but invigorating. Imagine the North Market (in Columbus), but much more cramped and much more downscale.

I spent all day playing with the orphans, who arrived this morning at the Grace Brethren ministry center for medical checkups and dental work. Dr. Bob, Carol and Dr. John did vision tests, shots, weigh-ins, and all sorts of poking and prodding. Carolyn and Molly pulled teeth and did some restorations and fillings. Along with the others, I entertained the kids. We sang "This Little Light of Mine," "My God is so BIG," and many other easy children's songs. Lots of fun. I also consoled some of the kids whose experience with Carolyn was a little traumatic.

Poor Uddam. I have a picture on the wall in my living room from last year. He had a big wad of guaze in his mouth from an extraction. I took a nearly identical picture of him today. He was very brave, but he cried a lot when they were yanking on his tooth. I held his hand and rubbed his leg and carried him out when they were finished. Before long, he was playing with all of the other kids.

All of the medical professionals here have commented that our kids are much healthier than the others we've seen. Still, a few of them had some pretty extensive dental problems. One girl had a few teeth that were gone down to the nerves. She must have had terrible pain! But we took care of that. Praise God!

I miss my family a lot, and I can't wait to get them over here. I know they miss me, but I also know that they understand why they are sacrificing their daddy time. Chien told me, "You're always our daddy, but these kids don't have mommies and daddies and they need you to play with them too."

Boy, don't I wish I could take some of these home with me. Maybe some day.

Well, I'm going to head back to the hotel. I need to, um, use the facilities, and I don't want to take my chances with what might pass for a potty around here. Peace out.

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