Sunday, August 7, 2016

What you do speaks so loudly...

Visiting the other children who got moved to a different orphanage is always a different experience to where I am posted regularly.

I got here and even though I come alone with no translator, we still manage to communicate. The kids were excited to see me. And even more so, ALL the kids now recognise me and call my name. To be honest I was trying to keep my distance from this group as I couldn't possibly allow myself to fall in love with more children as I wouldn't be able to support them all. But these kids are pretty cool and I like hanging with them. I don't do big things for them as I don't have the funds for that,  but small things I can do. The other day I bought 60 ice creams and took them back for them. They were so grateful and excited by an ice block each.

The kids I know from Tam Ky, I just sit in their room as they do their thing and I thought to myself that I'm just wasting my time sitting here, not communicating with them, just observing what they do. But really, it must make some difference and when I say I'm leaving they get sad. And when I tell them I'll be back tomorrow they get excited.
Yesterday, I had two Aussie magazines with me that the lady next to me on the plane gave me. I took them out and we spent hours going through them. It was funny watching them compare the make up and fashion. Taylor Swift was on the cover of one and they love Tay Tay so everyone wanted to see her new boyfriend. I came back days later and some other kids were going through the magazines.
It was so simple. But in a place where you aren't allowed to leave and there is literally nothing to do, the magazines proved to be a hit.

It reminded me of the small things. And how these small gestures are actually greater bigger ones.
The security guard at night, I either caught him drunk and happy or in a good mood as I bought his son an ice cream too and he allowed me to take 12 kids out for dinner! I couldn't believe it!!!!! I told them all to hurry up and get out before he changed his mind. :)

We went to a street food lady where they ate bowls of noodles, laughed and joked with each other and then we went back. He only gave me 45 minutes with them. I wasn't going to argue, beggars can't be choosy!It was the best feeling sitting back and watching the children eat and laugh and joke with each other. I had a lump in my throat the entire time. I took a stool and sat behind them, kind of separately. And straight away, they noticed and they all shuffled their stools and moved me to be in the inner circle with them.

The pimple that grew.....

Ngan has a growth on her face. I saw it 9 weeks ago when I was here and thought it may have been an infected pimple and left it, thinking it will heal on its own. Well, I was wrong. It's grown and its oozing a milkish pale yellow fluid.

The nurse just laughed at me when I said she needs a Dr. She said it's gotten smaller so don't worry about it. I said it's actually grown and she needs a Dr!!! Fell on deaf ears and so I took it higher to the Director. Showed her a picture of it and then she allowed me to take her to the Dr.

Ngan got excited when we told her she was going into the car for a ride. Poor girl thought this was going to be a fun adventure.

She loved sitting in the surgery waiting room as there was a TV and she kept inching closer to it to watch. In the dentist chair, she fought at first but then was really good at opening her mouth and letting the Dr see. It's definitely an abscess growing from her terribly decayed teeth and infected gum.

Ngan will need a hospital visit and surgery to fix it. Thank goodness to mission: nampossible donations who could do this for her. I cannot imagine how painful this abscess is....

Every summer has a story...

As always when I come for summer holidays we go swimming. 34 children A DAY die from drowning in Vietnam. Getting them used to the water is good for them.

A head of local government asked me why I 'waste' my money on taking the children out and why I don't do bigger projects with my money like install more clean water tanks, buy more cows etc.

I replied that I did not 'waste' my money.

I told him I balanced my spending's on buying cows, installing clean water systems, paying for children's education, vaccination programs etc with taking the children out and showing them joy.

Who else does that?  I explained that children's self esteem and emotional state is just as important as everything else. When they get back to school from holidays and everyone is talking about what they did over the break, at least all these kids can now join in and say 'yeah! I went swimming and ate at restaurants too!' and feel good about themselves. They are ostracised enough and labelled as orphans, give the kids something. C'mon!

I don't need to write loads here. The pics say it all.