Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The New Blue

We've done it!

Blue Dragon has moved into a new center!

We are no longer spread out over 4 buildings along on street. Finally we have moved into a newly renovated center, with room for everything we do in 4 storeys.

Our first day, Tuesday, saw the center filled with happy sounds of laughter and games and cheering. The kids now have space to spread out, make some noise, play lego, and do whatever they want! The place is even bigger than it seemed when we first came to look at it some months ago.

Up until now, we have squeezed up to 25 kids at a time into a tiny lunch room that shouldn't have held more than 15 people. But now our kids have a huge covered balconey, with views over the Red River and a (sometimes) cool breeze. We can easily fit 30 or more kids, and up to 40 if we need to.

We have a small library, and a much larger computer lab than before. There's a dedicated art room attached to the drop in center, as well as shower facilities for kids who live on the streets.

Even the kitchen is something to be proud of: We found some second hand stainless steel benches, and use shelving out of our old buildings, to create a huge room with a professional kitchen that can be used not only for cooking meals, but also for teaching the kids about how to cook in our various nutrition and cooking clubs.

The new center means we have much better facilities for the kids, and a far safer place for them to seek help. But I think that our house is still fairly humble and homely.
Hats off to the Blue Dragon staff, kids and volunteers who did all the packing, moving, and scrubbing for the past two weeks. Everyone is still pretty exhausted... We all went the extra mile, but WOW has it been worth it!
Now for some photos...
This is looking down from the stairs; you can see the art room on the left and the entrance on the right.

A view inside the drop-in center. We still need to get some art up on the walls!

The rooftop, which is where we have lunch, drama, games, and other activities.


Mosher said...

Superb news, Mike! I take it you didn't buy the old Barracuda building then?

Just make sure I have the address before I come over again. Fingers crossed I'll get some work in Thailand next year and I can visit regularly :)

ourman said...

Congratulations great job. I know how long finding a "new home" can take.

Say hi to Hanoi for me.

Skye said...

CONGRATUMALATIONS!!!!! FInally Blue Dragon has space. I was lifting boxes in spirit. Love to all!!!!

Anonymous said...

The new house looks great!!! love from your family in Aus.