On The Road Again...

This week Andrew and I have been researching - not on the same subjects, of course, but we've been spending a lot of time trying to find solutions to our individual projects.

Andrew has been busy designing a water system for a new school. He has found it challenging to design a system that is economical and practical in a rural Cambodian setting and accomplishes what he wants for it. He's been able to get out of the office to visit metal shops, construction supply stores, and random strangers' homes who happen to have cement water tanks in their yard visible from the street. Andrew stopped by one of these tanks and talked to the renter about how the landlord used the water tank to store well water, which he then sold to the community.

I have been researching something so much more glamorous...Microsoft Access. (Please note the heavy sarcasm). All humor aside, one of the tasks I've been asked to do is design a database system that can track the patients who are seen in the new thyroid clinic that just started this week. I've never done that before, but thought, hey? How hard can it be? I spent half the week learning one system (Open Office), a free software that has a database component. After finally designing the tables and forms I wanted and doing a happy dance in the clinic office, the program crashed, my file was corrupted, and I cried.

Not really - as far the crying. But I did then take it upon myself to learn the "real deal", Microsoft Access, and then design a database based on it. And oh, the relief when the program stayed good and happily processed any random bits of information I put into it.

So that's been our week. We're thankful that we feel more energetic, that we are continuing to settle into our new home and learn our way around Poipet, and that we haven't crashed our motorbike (yet).

Right now, we are indeed back on the road again, this time to Phnom Penh, for our final Japanese Encephalitis vaccines. And then as soon as those are done, we get to start on the rabies! Which, apparently, is a huge concern here, as no one really controls their animals and rabid dogs can roam freely, terrorizing the countryside. It's a 6-hour drive to the capital, but as we are in a taxi flying down a wonderfully paved road, we can't complain too much. We just couldn't find the seatbelt buckles....

Cheers from Cambodia,
Andrew & Whitney