Kratie- Day 1

On the road again, heading north to Kratie. Bunly, our translator and CMEH Foundation in country program director drove us to Kratie in his uncle’s lexus Rx300.  Yes, we traveled in style.  Bunly did not relax once the whole 5 hour drive. As he gripped the steering wheel and hit the horn, standard Cambodian driving technique, we sailed along the country side.  It is harvest season for the rice farmers; a good harvest  is expected this year as there was plenty of rain.

Upon arriving in Kratie, the dreaded pill count began. We count our large bottle of pills into packets of 30 or 60 to distribute during the clinics. Tedious work! It was interrupted by Dr. Bill  Housworth, our new in country program development contact. He and his family have lived in Cambodia for 8 years and developed a top notch pediatric hospital program in Siem Reap, which is near Anchor Wat.  He has now taken on the large task of doing the same in the Kratie area.  We are hoping to work with him and get his insights on how we can incorporate our interest in diabetes and hypertension into his program. Our mutual goal is to move the quality of medical care forward in this country.  After a great meeting, it was back to the dreaded pills.

For dinner we went to a favorite restaurant we call the “kayak place”.   It also doubles as the local place to go on kayak trips to see the fresh water dolphin.  Most businesses here have more than one focus and this one attracts European and American tourists. Cheryl had a fresh salad which made Megan shutter afraid that she would come down with some form of travelers’ diarrhea.  Do not trust the ice!  Fortunately, no ill side effects.

Our other favorite restaurants, all named for some local event we’ve witnessed over the years are the “rat”, dolphin, “snake” and of course Red Sun Falling which is named after the amazingly beautiful red sunsets only seen here overlooking the Mekong River.

After dinner, more pills and a good night sleep.  We are 14 hours ahead of the USA with totally flipped sleep/wake cycles.  By the way, Bunly, after the harrowing drive, slept around the clock for 11 to 12 hours.

Tomorrow is planning our clinics for the week! We are excited to work with Bill and Lori Housworth.