Monday, January 01, 2007

I'm back

I have been out of contact even more than usual these last few weeks... Apologies to people who have been (and still are!) waiting for email replies. This time it isn't just the usual busy-ness, but also a lack of internet connection in Vietnam.

So a quick summary:

CHRISTMAS was wonderful. On Sunday 24th we gave out gifts to 66 street kids at soccer, and held a party for kids living in our residence in the afternoon. We also had a HIV/AIDS workshop scheduled for the day, so the morning tea turned into something of a party too. And then on the 25th... Blue Dragon was sorta-kinda closed, except for a huge party in the Botannical Park. The staff had organised a great morning - it was so much fun - but just went too, too quickly.

Some of our staff have been organising PRISON VISITS for our kids. Many of the children in our Hanoi program have relatives in prison; some have both parents behind bars. The prisons are often far from Hanoi (as most of our kids are not originally from Hanoi anyway) so the children only get to visit once a year. So far the visits have gone well; a mix of joy and trauma, so it's great that our staff are there to help.

And I have just been in HUE working on our ANTI-TRAFFICKING program. So many heart breaking stories. One of the boys we reunited with his family has a younger sister named Cam. She's about 10, and wears a permanent grin on her face. But when I started to speak to her, everyone in the room immediately cut in - "She cannot speak! She's dumb!" and used sign language to tell her to back off and leave me alone.

Grrr...

For a "dumb" girl, she ended up having a fairly decent conversation with me! She most certainly can speak, but has some speech impediment that is probably physical and probably can be improved.

But this lack of education, and the poverty that has prevented the family ever taking their daughter to a doctor, is the fuel for the child traffickers. These are the issues to be confronted. And they will be...

I am back in Hanoi now, vigorously resisting the temptation to write a blog with my new year resolutions.

To all of you out there in the land of Blog... Have a glorious year. Take some risks, buy less, and do something for your neighbour.

1 comment:

April said...

Buy less- but do something for your neighbor- what if you buy something for your neighbor, does that count for, or against me? ;o) Happy New Year