It has been a long time passing that we were able to leave our community and meet with others in large groups but finally, the COVID restrictions are lifted and we can go out again. A few days ago our children were invited to a birthday party in the community at the home of Dara and Phari Chhoeun for their daughter Lycheang.

The kids had a good time at the party and were (surprisingly) well-behaved on one of their first times out.

The food was delicious and our children ate their fill.

Then yesterday the Red Cross put on a program for the HIV+ population and several of our older children were invited to attend.

Here they received positive news about the future treatment of HIV and a possible cure. Not sure if it was meant as an incentive to keep taking their medicine or if there really is a breakthrough that I don’t know about.

During his speech, the Governor of Takeo, Ouch Phea, praised the Wat Opot group for the work we did during the COVID epidemic. Nearly 200 victims were cremated in our crematorium because no other place wanted to run the risk of getting COVID.

And while the older children attended the Red Cross meeting with Mr. Somoeun, the younger children were given the opportunity to climb Chisol Mountain with Mr. Dara and the four new volunteers Käthe, Jenny, Salome, and Johanna.

If elephants were available to take me up there, I would have gone along… but not quite recovered enough to give it a try.

Many of our 33 children are on home leave until January… the first time in two years that we could allow them to go because of COVID restrictions. This means the children who have nowhere to go can be given special attention for the next few weeks… maybe a trip to the animal sanctuary.

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