Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The ship hasn't sunk...yet

Well we are all still alive in Hanoi. Michael has been gone a week and things are still as busy as usual, even without him around to give us new projects to manifest and implement. On the weekend a few of us were fortunate enough to attend the first guitar recital of three of our kids; Ha, Nam and Ngoc. These three boys have been taking Classical guitar lessons since my arrival here in March. The guitar lessons were a part of our weekly music program which finished 2 months ago. However we decided to continue the lessons for our budding guitar players.

Ha, Nam, Ngoc, myself and two other volunteers all met beforehand, huddled in the dry of our house while the summer storm passed. We then rode together to the venue, the boys on bicycles and the three of us putting along behind them on our Minsks (big smoky Russian motorbikes that lots of foreigners ride in Hanoi). Our boys were the first to perform. We were so proud and they played so well together.

(Ha, Nam, girl, Ngoc)

We also had the pleasure of celebrating Diep's 18th Birthday this week. A Special day! Some of you may have already heard of Diep. Diep is one of the reasons why Blue Dragon is here today. Michael met Diep when he was a shoe shine boy 4 years ago, befriended him and Vi and began sharing breakfast with them daily. Watching Diep grow up has been a pleasure for all that have know him. Diep has been working as a trainee social worker for Blue Dragon for over six months now. The kids all love him, his soft nature and huge smile warms everyones hearts.

Michael was very sorry he was missing his baby boys 18th birthday so we prepared a filmed message before Michael left. The film featured a motorbike which was supposed to be Dieps gift which is then stolen by our local Xeom driver ( all staged of course) whilst Michael is talking to the camera ( the kids were hysterical when watching it). After the bike was "stolen" Michael was left with a white envelope in his hands with Diep's name on it which I was able to give him after watching the film. The contents of that envelope will buy Diep a bicycle so he can get around alot easier.

(Diep enjoying his Blue Dragon Party)

We had a lovely party at the Blue Dragon Centre with alot of the kids and all the staff. Later three of us joined Diep, the other Boys who live in the BIG ROOM and some more older Blue Dragon kids ( all 18 and older ) to sing Karaoke and share a couple of beers in true Birthday style. Tarah, Eric and I were so impressed with how considerate and respectful all of the boys are, and full of such positive, fun energy. Once again we were so proud of the boys, they are growing into such wonderful young men!

Michael mentioned in his last update that Chinh, Can and Hue were starting at a new school, well they have been studying there for a week and a half now and they are LOVING IT!!! Chinh and Can live in Blue Dragon houses and they are always beaming when they return from School.

Well friends, its over and out for this Wednesday afternoon. Tomorrow we have another fantastic morning of Drumming!!! Hopefully the sun is shining.