December 31 2015 – sickness, death, a baby, a home grown Registered Nurse. …AND LOTS MORE.

In CategoryJohns blog

… We wish you “A Happy New Year’ for 2016 …

August was the last posting on this our Website. A lot has been happening but I have been ill – lots has been happening in our villages but I do the website – hence the four month gap.

Today I’ll give you a brief update with some photos and then in January we’ll fill in the gaps that we don’t get round to today!


Ironically one of our most AMAZING pieces of news coincides with the start of of my illness


This is Chandarith, nursing me at The Guesthouse in early September.

There are two very significant things about these photos. I was in agony but what we didn’t know was that I had Gillian Barr syndrome acquired from infected chickens.. Chandarith couldn’t have known this and indeed when I went to my favourite Doctor on Phnom Penh – Nang’s Doctor – Dr.. Tour Suy he couldn’t have known either. (It is extremely rare – I’m being well treated in Australia and I will get 100% well and return to our villages and our projects very soon.)

BUT BUT BUT the more significant thing aabout these photos is CHANDARITH herself. Chandarith was one of our very first graduates.. She was 14 years old when we opened our first school in Chuor Ph’av village. Chandarith learned fast and was able to read and write , do basic maths and science before she left us. Chandarith went to the township of Prey Veng for High School and then to University in Phnom Penh. Chandarith worked in Hotels and markets to pay her way and is now a RIGISTERED NURSE and has returned to live in and around OUR villages.

 If you look back to one of the last photos posted in August you will see a very pregnant Kamau. From about age 12 Kamau has had her very own section under the heading ‘village children’ left of your screen… I always imaged that Kamau might be our first teacher or Doctor – instead we have followed Kamau through efforts at business, then an early marriage and now a baby.. It is I think important to understand that Kamau and  now thousands of girls just like her can read and write and will become mothers who understand education… and slowly, slowly  homework and ambitions will unfold through their children.

  In August the Ambulance in a Container was was sailing towards Phnom Penh… So, whaat has happened and where is it now?

You have to understand that sadly bureaucracy in Cambodia is an old fashioned nightmare…. BUT the simplest of reasons for ALL our successes over the years is that we are tenacious! – we do not give up! – we gently and diplomatically persist.

Referring back to my illness (above), The Container arrived and I stayed in Cambodia for six extremely painful weeks dealing with 100s, literally hundreds of issues with the Importation of the ambulance – after six weeks I HAD to get to an Australian Hospital urgently.

I was the original ‘consignee’ of the Ambulance BUT I was now in Australia..

Chanthou and all our village leaders have spent much of MOST DAYS since September trying to unwind in every way imaginable the Bureaucracy that has to be respected.

TODAY – literally today we should be getting somewhere with the Doctor wo runs the Clinic you see in a photo taken YESTERDAY in Don Koeng Commune. This Clinic will be our Ambulance’s destination. It will serve 15 villages including all of ours (the 15 villages make up the Commune).

We are not there yet but with literally daily and often hourly phone calls and emails we will achieve all our goals.. You will here the news right here when it all fits into place..


Another piece of amazing news news ever-so slowly unfolding is what is happening to Soit!!


These were the the actual moments that we rescued Soit from an Island off the the Cambodian Coast. It’s a complex story told in a previous post.. Slowly unfolding this VERY bright girl deserved a special future – and hence a special future for her village..

The aim was (IS) for Soit to be given a Scholarship for her High School Years in Australia.

 We needed REAL documents and a REAL Birth Certificate and a REAL PASSPORT.. We discovered that Soit’s real name is SOKLY (so it now is!)..

She needed to learn at least some ENGLISH… so here she is on the right witha group of friends getting some simple English lessons.

   At this stage I will keep SOME of the news under wraps (secret) but I can tell you that that  a VERY wonderful International School near us in Queensland, Australia has promised her a full Scholarship with accommodation etc… we are now applying for a  students Visa.. Soooo more news soon.

This website contains thousands of photos and with each photo comes a story – please explore the website and if you can manage a few dollars to help us – find the Donate section and help us  – please.. Some people give one amount (big or small, it all helps – amounts are talked about within the Donation section. – some people help with regular smaller amounts.

I’ll add a photo of one of our very keen and dynamic Rotary members – 18 year old Tamara ….

 Raising money for all projects is plain hard work – Tamara, in this photo, is selling chocolates and raffle tickets under the banner of The Rotary Club of Beaudesert. The tin money box is specifically for Cambodia. Tamara visited and taught IN the Chuor Ph’av School earlier this year.

We’ll finish today with Nang and her daughter, Peery.

Nang died on February 1st 2015. Nang has a complete section all of her own within the site – “Nang’s Story’ .. Several months were then devoted to not just telling Nang’s story but the Buddhist traditions are laid before us. An Individual Donor has chosen to support Nang’s daughter, Peery. I will close today first with a nice photo of Peery with a candle ….

  …and lastly, this was after Peery’s first day at school.


Peery brought home a chalk board and proceeded to show her mother – Nang – how to shape a letter in Khmer.. They are both absolutely immeasurably proud – I was in tears of joy and in many ways I still am. THIS is what this is all about – the children will and do teach everyone else. Nang died two months after this photo was taken – the village looks after Peery..

Happy 2016 from John.



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