Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bursting with talent

Over the past year, Blue Dragon has been offering nutrition clubs and cooking classes tailored particularly for our girls. The program began with donations from the Thai Embassy in Hanoi, and has grown into something pretty special.

Last Sunday was the final cooking club for 2007, and to showcase what the girls have been learning, they held a cook-off. All of this was organised by our Social Worker Phuong, who has run the club every weekend for the past 8 months. I was lucky enough to be one of the judges…

Each girl in the club has her own story. There are some pretty down and out tales to be told; some of the members live in frightening conditions. But on Sunday, they stood in their aprons behind the dishes they had carefully prepared, while 6 judges sampled their fare. It was all very dignified and stately.

The winner on the day was the team that prepared an Irish Stew. The three other teams cooked a shrimp hotpot; spaghetti bolognese; and risotto. Plus desserts!

And on Monday night, almost 50 of our kids joined with the KOTO trainees for a Christmas party in the beautiful KOTO restaurant. It was fascinating to observe the similarities and differences among our two groups of kids. The KOTO trainees seemed so much more confident and at ease than many of our kids, some of whom are much younger and seemed overawed by all the excitement. But one of our boys, Chinh, summed it up this morning: “It was wonderful.” And it was. Thanks, KOTO!

To pay our respects to KOTO for organising and hosting the party, the Blue Dragon children put
on a show. Our drummers performed some rhythms with the accompaniment of tap dancing by one of our IT guys – bizarre. You had to be there.

A few of our hip hop dancers put on a performance as well. This is the first time that I have seen them in action. They were awesome! Was I ever that agile?

And the drama group also put on a show; I didn’t understand a word, but the audience was in stitches from start to finish. The drama kids shone like the stars that they are.

Too often at Blue Dragon, we deal with the all the bad bits: the traumas, the sorrows, the failures, the violence. (Half way through writing this entry, I was called to a school to rescue one of our kids who was attacked by 4 hoodlums on a motorbike – one with a knife). To see the kids putting their talents on display like this reminds me what a worthwhile job we are doing.

1 comment:

Robin said...

I *love* following the work you do and am encouraged daily by the blue dragon kids. You all inspire me. I tell so many of my friends, personal and e-mail, to check out your site and contribute if they can. I pray prosperity for all of you. God bless!