Grand Opening for Barber Shop

6 August 2012

Our barber training program was started almost two years ago but in a location where there was not much customer traffic. When room became available in our office compound, we built a barber shop next to our office. Today was the grand opening of the new facility, celebrated with a blessing, some games, and refreshments.

The hope is that the new barber shop, right on the street, will attract passersby. Today DDP staff gave out coupons for free haircuts to pedestrians and motorcyclists as they passed.
The new barber shop at DDP

The opening ceremony began with a talk to the trainees by Charlie Dittmeier who encouraged them to help DDP achieve its vision (back wall) by their hard work and learning a skill.
Charlie Dittmeier addressing the barber trainees

We had a large gathering of DDP staff and students and friends who came for the ceremony. The students began three weeks of holiday--for teacher training--today so they were able to participate.
DDP staff and students and friends

After the short talk, the group moved into the barber shop where Charlie explained the idea of blessing and asking for God's protection and help.
Blessing the shop

All the trainees and their teacher and the Job Training Project staff lit incense to create a spiritual atmosphere within the shop.
Lighting incense

Cambodian people are used to blessings for new homes and businesses so this blessing was normal even though it was Christian rather than Buddhist. Here Charlie prays for a blessing on the building and the shop.
The blessing ceremony

Next was a blessing for the current group of barber trainees, and this was followed by a blessing for their instructor.
Blessing the students

Finally the group moved back into the entranceway of the main building where everyone received a blessing as did the new building which recently became part of the DDP setup. Then the group enjoyed games and refreshments.
Concluding the ceremony

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