Tuesday at the Centre

 Posted by Laurie Kanefsky at 11:37 am  Vietnam
Aug 062013

The day began with my usual 6am rising. I went to the market and bought some bananas and dragon fruit.  The sweetness of the bananas here is nothing like the bananas at home.  After breakfast I was able to use Madeline’s bike to get to the centre.  Quite a difference from the one I had used on Monday.  It actually had a padded seat!

I spent the morning in rooms 1 and 2.  In an effort to get to know more of the children I worked with a little girl named Zan who , when she is taken out of the crib and unfolds is quite tall.  I mean this literally.  The children sleep in metal “cribs”.  Some are curled up on the metal slats not using the thin quilts that are in there.  Many of them are in cribs with another child.  The children that are severly handicapped and not mobile are in a larger crib that may have 5-6 kids.  I will try to take some pictures but I hope my description gives you some idea of the room.  So back to my efforts to work with another child.

The little girl  Zan  is able to stand with support and walk if you hold her.  We think that if we are able to get her up daily and practice we may get her to walk with the bars like Toan. However, she does not seem to use her hands to hold the bars.  I also tried to get her to hold the spoon herself in an effort to feed herself and that is not happening at this time.  There are many needs here at the center.  Not only is there a need for equipment ther is a need for PT, OT, and someone to work with the staff to encourage the kids to do what they are able rather than for them. Since there is not enough staff it is easier for them to feed the kids then sit and work with them to do it independently. As a volunteer it becomes clear that we are only “passing through” and when we leave we hope there is not another volunteer coming to carry this on.  Well that is the thing.  I wonder if there is a way to get more people to come and donate their time.  I can tell you I have drunk the Kool-aid. I will be spreading the word.  Bottom line, all that we, the volunteers are giving is nothing compared to the warmth and satisfaction in the child’s eye when they feel they have been able to accomplish something or when they respond to the love and attention they receive.

I just want to tell you one more story from the day.  We took several of the children from room 4 to the “classroom”.  Most of them were drawing with crayons, but one girl who has big brown eyes and language was able to use flashcards and identify words through pictures.  Of the 10 or so cards she could repeat all of words and she was able to remember 4 of them with out prompting!  We worked for a good half hour before she got tired and it was time to return for the meal.

Once again, I end with my hope that you are gettinga picture of the experience  here in Ba  Vi.


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