Recently we had a visit from the Vicar General of the Marist Brothers. Brother Joe McKee a native of Scotland was able to spend 4 days with us in Pailin and experience some of the many activities that the Marist Community undertakes here. He was also able to spend time with the Parish Priest Father Totet who is also the Vicar of the Prefecture of Battambang. It was good for us to be able to spend time with Brother Joe and listen to his message on the life of the congregation.
We have been privileged to host a working visit by Alice Lee (a lay Marist resident in the Sector House, Bangkok) and her friend Bernadette (from Malaysia). Alice has been instrumental in introducing a method for teaching English using phonics to help the children and young people come to know the sounds of English and rapidly begin to read. During her month with us Alice has assisted the teachers at MEC house and the Pastoral Centre to learn this system and with the help of Brother Francis has produced resources. Alice and Bernadette have also helped with the renovation of the MEC house with painting and new notice boards.
Alice and Bernadette have also spent some time getting to know some of the local families and helping with their care.
Brother Francis spent some time getting to know the head monk at the local Buddhist Temple at PaHei and as a result young monks are now attending the MEC house to learn English and Computing. Alice and Bernadette have introduced the monks to the Phonics system and Phally has been teaching computing
A group of our young people recently attended a weekend to learn how to teach traditional dancing. On their return they have begun to teach some of the Children from the nearby villages the basics of Apsara dancing. This requires many exercises to be able to manage the difficult movements required in this ancient, traditional form of dance.