Setting Up House

Right now I am writing this reclined on our bed, in our bedroom, listening to music, uploading photos, and watching Andrew make iced tea in our newly set-up kitchen. It finally feels like we've reached home.

Poipet and the team here has given us an extremely warm welcome - okay, a hot welcome if you include the weather!!! We snapped a few photos from the top floor of our hotel our first morning in Poipet.

During our first morning in staff devotions at the SP office, Andrew and I successfully introduced ourselves to the staff in Khmer. We're satisfied to know all those hours at the language school weren't a waste. Actually, here in Poipet, since fewer people speak English fluently, we will have many more opportunities to express ourselves in Khmer. 

Yesterday Andrew and I both were introduced to the different work we'll be doing here - Andrew to the water access for schools project, and I to the CAMA clinic I will be working at every week. 

Andrew spent yesterday visiting a school where SP has done some water pond excavation. That probably sounds a little strange, but excavating ponds for retaining water is actually valuable in a country that experiences extremes of monsoon rainy season and completely dry season. 

The above is a photo of the water drawn from the local well, unfiltered. This water would be used for washing and other activities, but not for drinking.

My first task as a nurse at the clinic was to do an ultrasound on a woman about 12 weeks pregnant. I've seen countless ultrasounds during my work at Children's Mercy, but I've never been given the opportunity to actually do one myself. It was so incredible to see that little 12-week-old baby rolling around in there.

(unfortunately, I don't have the ultrasound :)

Today we drove around to different villages, visiting the biosand filter sites. Biosand filters is a type of water filter that uses specific sand and gravel to remove bacteria and waste from water, rendering it completely drinkable.

Biosand filters, waiting to be filled with the "biosand"

SP also has a program to encourage people in villages to build latrines (outhouses) to avoid "open defecation" (aka going in the fields), which causes so many health problems and water contamination. Some of the villagers have really gone to town, going beyond the basic black plastic-walled houses provided by SP and building concrete outhouses with tiled floors and shower rooms! Here are two proud owners/builders of a village latrine.

We also moved in all our furniture last night. The truck from Phnom Penh arrived last night around 10:30 pm after being on the road over 12 hours. We are so thankful to finally be settled in what will be our home for the next several months.