July - August 2012
Letter from one of Kids Without Borders volunteer. Linh, her brother and friend Rena, spent their summer vacation volunteering on behalf of Kids Without Borders teaching English and caring for the orphans in the Picasso Thu Duc Orphanage (Saigon, Viet Nam). Linh has just returned to the U.S to complete her study at Harvard.
Today was my last day meeting with my students and the children. I haven't left Vietnam yet, but my heart feels heavy and sad inside. Although the time I had was short, it was such a wonderful and beautiful experience, definitely one of the best times I had working abroad.
Many of my students gave me goodbye gifts. I feel so grateful, but I am also worried that they have spent money to buy me gifts. They are so thoughtful. One student, Mai, wrote me such a touching letter saying that all he wished was for Rena and me to come visit them every summer but stay longer than this time. The students have really enjoyed our English lessons and I am glad to have helped them in some way. I will miss them all dearly. Please update me on their lives and such when you come in November.
As for the children, I could not bear to put them back in their cribs today. Everyday, I have been seeing them. Their faces brighten up as they see Rena, Canh, my cousin, and me at the door. They jump up and down to greet us. At the end of each day when we try to put them down in their cribs, they whine and cry. All these children need is to be be cradled and held and they can never get enough. Often, we try to stay with them a little longer to get them to stop crying. But today, I did not stay longer because I knew that I would cry if I did. It is always hard to say goodbye to people you have connected and bonded with.
Thus, I would like to sincerely thank Chu Son and the organization, Kids Without Borders, for providing this once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I am not certain whether I have made an impact or a difference at the orphanage, but it has certainly made an imprint in my heart. This experience has further inspire me to not only become a pediatrician, but to also continue volunteering even after I become a doctor. Again, I thank you with all my heart. I hope that someday I would be able to volunteer with Kids Without Borders again.