Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Can you keep a #secret ?

Let's go walking...

Hey there. Don't mind me. Just taking my phone pal out for a walk. #sodamncute #missionnampossible #thanksfordonating #volunteering #charity

I get by with a little help from my friends...

When you have one carer to 10 babies, you recruit helpers! One is bottle feeding and the other is changing a nappy! These guys may be #orphans but they are also a #family who care and are always looking after each other. #kidslookingafterkids #loveeachother #compassion #nurturing #missionnampossible

Every reunion is a type of heaven...

It's been 10 weeks since I gave this Princess a hug. She was listening to my voice and holding onto me as I spoke to her. She even babbled back in Vietnamese tones!!! That's something new my Sen has learnt. #reunion #love #youdontneedeyestolove #charity #kindnessmatters

Game On!

Games night:

I would go stir crazy in 42 degree heat with 70 % humidity with 55 others in a place with nothing to do!
I brought colouring in and blocks and games and we had a night in at the orphanage.
It makes my heart sing when I see they all engaged and getting along.
I brought 'trouble' tonight to teach them. It proved to be a hit and with my very limited Vietnamese and their non existent English, we managed to get the rules understood. Without even allowing them, I actually lost and they thought it was hilarious. They loved it so much they asked me if they could keep it overnight. I allowed them as long as it came back to me tomorrow with every piece intact. And true to their word, they did.
Next games night: twister!!!!

The writing's on the wall...

Brought paint to the kids today. One decided to graffiti something about me on the wall. #graffiti #kidslove #orphanage #charity #volunteering #missionnampossible

You're a diamond dear, they can't break you...

This is Grandma. She fought in the Vietnam War and consequently lost her leg. She has no husband and no children. She lives here at the disability shelter. She loves to sing and is always asking me to sneak her in a beer. #hero #strongladysheis

Love me! Protect me! Inject me!

 91 #vaccines were administered this morning. Thanks to all who donated to #missionnampossible to get this #vaccinationproject going after the death of three of our beloved boys earlier this year. #vaccineswork #charity #donationspaidforthis #orphanage #vietnam #healthiswealth #chickenpox #MMR #meningococcalbandc

Let your smile change the world...

His smile is infectious. He is kind and he cares for his fellow residents. He is happy to sit on the sidelines and approach an activity only when offered to join in. When the bus comes to pick everyone up to go out of the shelter and eat at a restaurant, he smiles widely, jumps on the spot and claps his hands. Then he turns to me and hugs and squeezes me very tightly before he gets on the bus. After the meal out, he shakes my hand before he gets back on the bus. And still, after years, we have never spoken a word to each other. My mute friend and I understand each other perfectly. #nowordsneeded #missionnampossible #love #charity #charitywork #volunteer #vietnam #communicationthroughgestures #nonverbalcommunication

My ability is stronger than my DISability

This is my friend Cong. He is in his forties and his body is literally stuck in this position. His brain works fine but because his body doesn't, and his physical disability also affects his speech, people disregard him and ignore him. When I walk in now, he says 'Na' for Anna. He gestures for me to go over and sit with him where he smiles continuously. If you spend time with him, he can actually accomplish some things with your support. Check out his block construction. He was so proud. Spent 45 minutes on it. #communicationthroughgestures #love #kindnessmatters #missionnampossible #itsthesmallthings #volunteer #charitywork #vietnam #justbecauseiamdisableddoesntmeaniamweakinanyway

You are never fully dressed without a smile...

She is a tiny 2 year old who has had open heart surgery. This little fighter has a myriad of health concerns, yet still smiles courageously. #missionnampossible #orphanage #openheartsurgery #healthiswealth #smilee #smile❤

Clean water is the first step to lifting communities out of cycles of illness and poverty

Many many thanks to Rotary Glenhaven who have helped me install clean water systems for two school in the Tien Phuoc District of Vietnam.

The preschool has 300 students a week, where 100 pupils attend each day. There are also 22 teachers who work here.  It has been open since 2009 and they have been boiling water up to now to cook with and give to children.

Ms Lan is the Director of the high school that opened last year which also received a clean water system. The school has 164 students from Grade 6-9 as well as 22 teachers.
There was no water at this school. Children were bringing a bottle from home each day. This was the only source of water they had. Water here is mainly used for toilet and practical tasks in science etc. The school has access to a well and by installing the clean water system, the well is now used as a community tool as well so another nearby nursery school and community school can also access.

Too much fruit causes health....

This is how we #buyfruit in #vietnam. #sideoftheroad. Notice Mrs Hanh is also on the phone conducting #business for her restaurant at the same time.

Good Food, Good Mood.....

#dinnertime for me and 35 of my special people after fun at a play land. Thanks to donations to #missionnampossible this outing for the #orphans was possible. #joy #summerholidays #nemnuong #35kidsate800meatonsticks #vietnamesefood #vietnam #charity #charitywork #myhappyplace #lovethesekidssomuch


It's all about #inclusion and #breakingstereotypes here. These boys loved creating, sewing, gluing together this Russian doll activity set. Thank you for this @sandandstories - your art and craft donations from that long ago are still going strong and helping these children! #charity

Listen to people who encourage you to do what you know in your heart is right

I came back to check in on my little 14 year old friend who is severely disabled and as Drs in Oz tell me from the pics I have shown them, has the worst bed sores they have ever seen in their careers.

Despite having nothing here 9 weeks ago and having to think back to old school days to help treat these bed sores, I am pleased to say that the carers have actually done what I told them and used the supplies I bought. The sores were looking much better and were reduced to about half the size of when I left. Take that to everyone who told me I couldn't help or make a difference or even bother!

However, the sore on her elbow has grown, and is infected. I'm not sure why this one is looking worse. I can warrant a few guesses: one is that, to help the sores on her bottom, they balance her on her side and on the sore elbow. Or two, they did run out of the meds I left them and no one bought them anymore. They prioritised the ones on her bottom and left the elbow one.

I went to peel the very soaked gauze off her elbow to inspect and as I did, another little friend of mine, who is mute and intellectually disabled sat next to me and watched. She would be about 13 years old.
As the gauze came off and I saw the horror it was hiding, I began to dry retch and my eyes were teary.
My little friend began to pat me on the shoulder and kept pointing to the sore elbow.
I had to keep going. I didn't have any gloves, no protection. I got straight into it and cleaned the pus as best I could. Every time I would stop, my new little friend would pat me on the back, do a 'thumbs up' sign and gently nudge me back to the elbow. Admittedly I would look at this mess and was thinking that this was beyond my capabilities and I didn't even know if I was doing the right thing! But my little friend was encouraging me to keep going and I could not just stop.

It took me about half hour to get this elbow clean and wrapped and this little girl sat by me the entire time, giving me the encouragement and the courage to just keep going.
When I was finished she clapped so much and smiled and kept giving me the thumbs up. She even took all the rubbish and dirty gauzes to the bin for me.