Dated on 30 May 2000, Phnom Penh
/ School-opening rush took a rest /
School opening rush that began in February this year came to an end.
Now, all of the office staffs are devoting themselves to compile all
achievements of this term into a report.
Appearance of the city looks almost unchanged to us. But here and
there, strikes and demonstrations, such as those of the sewing
factory are going on repeatedly. A monument for the memory of victims
who were killed by grenade during their meeting was built just in
front of the Diet building. The city authorities have crushed it
again and again, nevertheless, every time the monument was crushed,
citizen held protest rally and rebuilt it. Following the actress
murder case, a hearsay reached my ears that a wife of some high
official got angry when she noticed her husband's love affair with a
teen aged Karaoke-singer, then she poured nitric acid on the girl and
burnt her seriously. The suspects are not arrested yet in both
Pressmen reported that 543 million-dollar aid was adopted in the
conference of supporting countries for Cambodia. But they kept
silence on the happening in which Cambodians living in Paris threw
raw eggs at Prime Minister Fun Sen who attended the conference and
pressed him to follow the cause of justice in Cambodia.
Although there has been disharmony among the Cambodian society,
people believe firmly that if some of the preconditions of foreign
aid, such as the protection of civil liberties, the forest
conservation and the prohibition of illegal arrest etc., even partly
come true, their country must change for the better. I would like to
applaud their earnest optimism. However, the political circle, which
keeps watch thirstily for the coming election is showing its squeaky
/ Of course, gift is welcome, butc /
Once a school is completed, opening ceremony is jammed full with
smiling faces. In the happy ceremony, children can enjoy small gift
of writing materials, the gift usually contains notebook and "ball
pen". If "pencil", eraser and sharpener are indispensable.
Recently, one lot of satchel for school children was sent to "sabay"
voluntary shop in Kashiwa-city. This is the gift from a donor of
school. In the local area of Cambodia, children have nothing to carry
stationery in, so put it inside of their shirts or pants, sometimes
put into thin plastic bags. How grad they will be when they receive
the gift! The quantity of satchel s enough for 460 children, packed
in 6 cartons, weight about 100kg. Mariko-san simply can't handle them
alone. I f one person takes on 10kg; it will take 10 persons to carry
them all. I could imagine how staff members of Kashiwa got confused
in front of the cargo filled up the narrow office space. I consulted
with embassy about its transportation. They said that civil
supporting action should be self-help, and introduced me a forwarder,
but estimated freight amount was terrible. Sometimes, freight of the
gift cargo will become a headache of us who are working like a beaver
to collect 10yen-20yen funds in the sales of recycled cloths and
hand-made articles. The material aids let us consider many
/ Seila visiting Japan /
A working bee in the Phnom Penh office, Miss Seila is going to visit
Japan. She will attend the events of ASAC and deepen her knowledge
about our activities. She is now studying Japanese to prepare a brief
speech in the lecture of Mariko-san which will be held in Noda-city
on 23rd, July. I hope all of you look forward to seeing her.
Mariko-san is also coming home with the achievements of past one year
and her own healthy condition recovered in hospital.
/ A little boy from Dang Tung under operation /
On the day of Wat Serey Chey Mean Leak primary school's opening, a
little boy who was running about in a crowd caught attention of the
people. His T-shirt was almost bursting on his belly. Our staffs
rushed out and got him. This parentless boy aged 12 has been brought
up by his illiterate grandmother. He has been suffering from
constipation and his potbelly was just before explosion. After the
opening ceremony, the boy was brought to the Red Cross hospital in
Kampot district, but the doctor there couldn't do anything before
giving up. After few days, he was sent to the Royal pediatrics
hospital in Phnom Penh, and hospitalized on the same day, then
underwent operation on the next day. The name of disease was
HIRSCHSPRUNG. Mariko-san couldn't understand medical terms, but came
to know that boy was fitted up with the artificial anus. The boy
could start eating with milk and rice gruel and his grandmother was
trained for sanitation. He stayed in the hospital for ten days and
spent several days in our office, then became homesick and returned
to the country. During his stay in the hospital, he was nicknamed
"SOMNAN(lucky)". It pleased him very much, so he abandoned his real
name. Mariko-san is still anxious about further prospect. Does he
take medicine or not? Is the plastic attachment of the artificial
anus kept clean or not? Is the money which she gave him surely
consumed for his foods or not? And that's not all, Dang Tung district
is the most undeveloped area in Kampot province. In the old days,
there were mine fields in every quarter. Now, except mountainous area
where Pol Pot set their southern base, mines were almost removed. But
very poor villages with many illiterate people remained there.
Perhaps there is no medicine to irrigate his postoperative wound and
even water is not sufficient. Under these surroundings how does he
survive? This question makes me feel groomy. Could it realy be a
right way for him to undergo operation? I'm wandering about to find
correct answer. Anyway full amount of medical fee was covered by the
/ What did you take for lunch? /
Every time I went back home, I was told that you gained weight, you
look healthy. I must disclose my inside story. These days, more
number of temporary volunteers is assisting our works. To my regret,
I couldn't provide enough dishes in the restaurant for them. In order
to get out of the pinch, I decided to take lunch in the Cambodian
style delicatessen. The expense is 1,000 to 2,000 Rile per dish. I
will introduce you the menu of one day as below. By the way, nobody
can guarantee the safety of water.
* Grilled eggplant with dressing
Peeled and grilled eggplant and boiled small shrimps mixed with fried
pork. Dressing is oyster sauce.
* Vietnam Soup
Sour soup based on lime. Ingredients are chopped river-fish, water
lily stem, gourd-melon, green tomato, pineapple, fried crispy garlic,
coriander and chili.
* Lotus saute
Young thin lotus chopped into large pieces and sauteed with pork.
Seasoned with salt, pepper and fish sauce.
* Vesitable saute
Onion, sweet pepper, sweet peas mixed with pork, sauteed and seasoned
with fish sauce.
* Papaya pickled in sweet vinegar
Ingredients are young papaya, carrot, ginger, radish, cucumber and
* Deep-fried salty horse mackerel
Deep-fried small horse mackerel previously preserved in salt. Soak it
in fish sauce with a garnish of shredded green mango, garlic and
chili, and then enjoy it.
I assure you it's an excellent appetizer!
Can you imagine how much above mentioned dishes cost you? After
lunch, we all ASAC's@nine members enjoyed plenty of tropical fruits
as dessert on that day.
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