Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 13 Sunday November 9, 2008

Tales of the two cities: typical early morning in Hanoi one would find the streets packed with people exercising, slowly getting ready for their day. Sunday morning in Saigon before 8 o’clock, a live concert happened on the steps in front of the Opera House watched by a large group of viewers sitting on their bicycles or motorbikes. Not too far away, an engagement party began with the large entourage representing both sides of the families marching through the gate of a restaurant. The streets from the city center to the Notre Dame Cathedral were packed with thousands of marchers in uniforms participating on the ‘March To Fight Poverty’ and raised money for the poor. The early mass at the Cathedral was packed with churchgoers. Yes, the day just barely began.
First item on my agenda for this Sunday: the Picasso Orphanage. Kim and Mum, an Australian family living and working in Saigon, and I came to the orphanage with a large duffel bag filled with gifts for the +240 kids. After a meeting with the Vice Director and discussing some of the latest needs, progress of the kids and challenges --we did the usual. We lined up the kids, handed out gifts, played and talked. In the baby ward, we learned that one of the hydrocephalus babies will have his surgery tomorrow using one of the shunts we brought last November. Unfortunately, two other hydrocephalus babies were still there in deteriorating condition. It was already too late for them to get their surgeries when we arrived with the shunts last year. Another baby with clef lip will have his surgery on Wednesday. Want to know how you can help the hydrocephalus babies?--- please contact us!
Next stop in the early afternoon, the English class in Go Vap Orphanage. Not a lot of teaching and studying was scheduled for today, instead we gave the kids a party. The teacher, Mrs. Truc, comes every Sunday and works on English for this selected group of orphans in Go Vap. Today, we had a new KWB volunteer joining the class. Leanne is from Australia and currently lives and works in Saigon. She wrote me last week and it did not take long for her to fall in love with the kids. After we ate lunch and treats, we played English word games. I was glad the kids were not disappointed that we did not take them out on the field trip to the city center as I usually do on my visits.

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