Jul 212011

Last Thursday evening the security at the orphanage found a newborn baby literally at the gate of the orphanage. Since we didn’t go to the baby orphanage on Friday or the weekend we found out about the new arrival on Monday. Shes doing really well now, although she is so so tiny and just 6 days old. We have called her baby grace until she gets a proper name, shes such a precious wee thing! As we tend to say ” i just want to smosh her face and eat her”

Its horrible to think of her being dumped as she was a new born. I know even if the mother had brought her into the orphanage, the ‘mothers’ would have accepted her into the orphanage. I find it hard to comprehend such things happening and do admit that i was rather upset about it on Monday.

However if there is one thing i have learnt here so far it is that the line between what is right and what is wrong is very blurred. I think at first it does horrify you seeing and experiencing what is seemingly the norm in Vietnam. You think that its terrible and just not good enough that children live a certain way or that a mother could dump her child. You have to remember this is Vietnam, I have found myself in the last week often trying to think of the positives. Like the mother loved her child enough to leave her at the orphanage rather than just dumping her and you do realise that in Vietnam, the orphanage is often the better option for some kids. In saying this though i do feel that the Vietnamese children are entitled to the same things as ‘western’ children are. This will take time, money and a lot of hard work. I’m not going to ‘fix’ all the wrongs i witness but if i can make small changes, followed by all the other volunteers it will happen one day. The positive changes that volunteers can do can be seen by comparing the Tam Ky orphanage to other orphanages around Vietnam that no volunteers attend, the difference is phenomenal.

Now on a lighter note! The kiddies at the orphanage don’t really get out of the orphanage much. This is due mainly to lack of funding.So all of us volunteers (8 of us) pitched in some money and took all the children apart from the babies to the local pool and out for lunch. It only cost us 15nz each and the kids had the most amazing time! We had a blow up ball, arm bands and a sheep that the wee ones float in. Seeing the kids in this environment was amazing they were so so excited. A few of the young ones were quite scared at first as they had never been to a pool before, but they were soon splashing around. We spent over an hour in the kiddies pool which was a foot or 2 deep. None of the big kids wanted to go to the bigger pool though they were happy splashing around in the small pool.

We also took them out for dinner after the swim and they kids loved this they ate so much, after swimming hard they were very hungry. Iv got lots of photos but am having trouble loading them onto this but will show you all soon enough.

We plan to do this every few weeks as it is such a easy (and cheap) thing we can do and yet does so much for the kids. : )

For example there is one wee boy called xuan at the orphanage. Hes very shy and always looks so sad, he never smiles or interacts with us volunteers or many of the other kiddies. He was one of the wee kids that were scared at the start and clung to me and the others yet by the end of the hour in the pool he was running, splashing and laughing away. The coolest thing was though we i went to the orphanage on Wednesday, i took a puzzle to him, normally he would have walked away but this time he took my hand and we sat on the mat and did the puzzle together with some other kids!!! Yay i think we have finally got through to him : ), its such a small thing i know but then again its a pretty huge achievement!


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