Really the first time the team got (at the end of a hard day) to look around the village they had been working in. Lily was born in this village and gave the KIDS team a guided personal tour.
The team seemed to enjoy the walkabout and took lots of pictures and spoke with the locals. It was tremendously hot but a good time.
I met up with the Team and the end of the day on Tuesday having missed a couple of days of their work in the villages, but unfortunately the clock cannot be turned back so lets move on.
Kampong Cham, a sleepy river-crossing town renowned for its bamboo bridge built each year when the Mekong is low to give access to the Island where tobacco is grown.
Lily is the Khmer lady whose travel agency made all the arrangements for transport and accommodation for the team, she was born the this area and the team was to visit her village the next day (for a second time).
Lily’s village is about 40Km from Kampong Cham on the road back to Phnom Penh, but maybe 5Km of the road way out in the countryside. The team found themselves with much work to be done and led by Dr. Rich (Viper as named by the team) they went on to produce the goods.
Many children needed to be treated and had turned up to see the dentist. There is little or no provision in rural areas for proper dentistry as was seen in the children treated by KIDS team. Many extractions were needed and a number of severe infections identified and treated accordingly. The team is also seen as a provider of other services, first aid etc, as Khmer generally have little knowledge of self-care in these circumstances.
Fortunately a trauma nurse in the form of AIDA was available to give advice and simple treatments. Nice one HOTLIPS
This amazing lack of basic knowledge is not unfamiliar to me, I was a registered Nurse of 30+ years, as I give advice to locals in Phnom Penh all the time on things that a child would know in the west.
Everyone was working so hard but they still had time to smile.
Steve also known as HAWKEYE, is Bobs friend from Dental School over 40 years ago and they have not seen each other since graduation, although they did keep in touch. Steve was practicing in Sydney, Australia and Bob invited him to come on the mission. What an asset and I’m sure the student learned a lot from his experience. Thanks for coming STEVE !!
Steve also brought along one of the teams MASCOTS, Skippy called Kevin all the way from AUS’ to keep STORM company…
and STORM, how the kids loved him..
We left Phnom Penh on Sunday heading for Kampong Chhnang, or so I thought. I was following the vans with the team on my motor cycle but unfortunately lost track of them in the traffic, Khmer drivers only have two speeds, stopped and flat out. So I headed for Kampong Chhnang which I was later to find out was 60 miles in the wrong direction as the team was heading towards Kampong Cham.
So I found myself in a town I had never been to before at dusk without any telephone numbers or contacts and a hotel booked in a town 120 miles away. LMAO
I knew the team would be leaving the hotel at 5am the next morning going to an outlying village where they would be homestaying. No way I could get to Kampong Cham by that time along one of the worse highways in Cambodia (in the process of being relayed).
I search in vain for a number to contact someone. I new Bob had called me on someones phone a few days before and after many searches and calls I eventually contacted Lily and arranged to meet the team in two days in Kampong Cham. Just goes to prove check your facts twice, three times, four times before you travel.
First time I have gone AWOL without charges to follow…lol
Will be doing a complete write SOON with pictures.
Been on the road and have many pictures to process.