My first 2 days back at the Orphanage

My first 2 days back at the Orphanage

Sorry about the hard to read font, I can’t fix it and I’m too tired to try 🙂

I didn’t blog last night as after dinner I wasn’t too sure if my dinner was going to come up and revisit me.

I think my body is struggling with the humidity and perhaps I’m not drinking enough water. Also I miss my exercise. I love the gym (and lifting) but in hindsight I would not have the energy to deadlift here, so I just need to listen to my body, drink more and try and live a bit slowly (which seems crazy in such a huge and busy city).

I’m not sleeping the best as I’m constantly dreaming about the traffic here. Riding a motorbike here is awesome but it takes so much concentration and I am constantly amazing myself that I’m actually doing it ….it’s just hard switching my bike brain off at night.  I’m sure it will pass, but for now I will just have to endure it.  I’m stoked to have a bundle of sleeping pills that I kept for the plane, so if I am really struggling I can always drop one of them 🙂

My breakfast.  Yoghurt with chia seeds and fresh passionfruit (made the night before)
All ready for work, sensible flat shoes and all!

I don’t know where to start to explain how it was to return so here is a video.

Returning to the children again

There were a few pretty cool and funny moments on the first day.  Poor Binh An (in the video towards the end), was having a big coughing fit so I held her and rubbed her back, waiting to see what she would bring up…(so I could check the colour).  I was happy to see it was clear and it must’ve just been a bit filmy from her feeding tube.  It was a relief that it wasn’t green.  Her face was so sweet, she was watching me, watching her…then once she cleared her throat she started ‘talking’ to me.  She has the cutest soft little voice, she doesn’t use it often, but when it does, it just melts me! 

I heard loud music from the room next door so I lifted Bai up and took her to investigate.  There was karaoke and singing in the special needs room so we sat and joined in.  One wee boy came up and grabbed my bicep, I flexed and he said “OMG!!” it was hilarious.  He grabbed his friends to come over and feel my arms, I flexed for about 8 kids.  I don’t think they had met an amazonian before 😉

Son Michael Pham (Founder of Kids with no Borders)

On the last day of the war, Son Michael Pham left Viet Nam as a refugee. He and his family started their lives in the U.S with nothing except the generosity and care of community and church members in Chicago. A natural volunteer, Son Michael served others in the refugee camp, and continued to serve others as he worked his way to become a successful business person. A proud member of Rotary International, Son Michael lives his life according to the organization’s motto – “Service Above Self.” So, for most of his life, Son Michael has tirelessly championed causes for children.

It was awesome to chat with Son Michael, I had heard a lot about him and I was so happy when he said he had seen the felt the happiness and joy that had been captured in my last photo series with the kids!

I brought the other kids around in their therapy chairs to watch and we stayed there for about 20 minutes. It was loud and chaotic but pretty cool. We went back and I lay with them in the hallway.  One poor wee fella had a massive coughing episode so went to lift him up and help him clear his chest (as he was on his back).  At this moment the biggest snot snake flew out his face.  Oh…my…goodness…did I gag?!! I didn’t think I was the queazy type but I clearly am.  I went to get a cloth from the wash room and was heaving all the way.  Thien and Chau thought it was SO funny.  These kids have the blackest sense of humour, even without speaking the same language we can have a laugh at farts or snot.  I had to sit and take my breath for a moment 🙂

Last time I was here I had a lovely moment with a young man I now know as Hung. He has cerebral palsy.

Last time I was here he hardly responded and I guess I just assumed he was almost “locked” in his body somehow.

On the last day (of my last trip) he responded to my touch and today he connected with me as soon as I walk up to him and touch his head. His body is so twisted from years of being in his bed. His adams apple is twisted and so too his teeth and jaw. I can’t help but think this could be avoided, but there is no point thinking of that. I just focus on what I can do.

He loves it when I hold his hand..especially if I hold both hands at once!!! So today I spent about 20 minutes with him, played some Coldplay and then hopped in his cot with him. His body twisted with glee as I clambered up into it. Thank goodness they can handle my 75kgs!!! I lay next to him and sung to him. He laughed, he smiled..he didn’t relax his face once.

This precious young man so craving connection…and so he should. It’s so important. His body may look confronting, it’s just he’s tiny and his body contorts, but look at his eyes. I believe He’s feeling happy in that moment.

I also jumped in Thiens cot today and I just lay quietly with him. No silliness, no singing, just lying there.

We both closed our eyes for a moment. I closed mine a bit longer and when I opened them I was greeted by the sweetest content little face. We listened to Ed Sheeran and took some photos. The kids always love seeing themselves in the phone…and they love seeing the photos once again.

My favourite moment so far ‘father’ and daughter.

We painted nails today

Here are some pics of me out and about in HCMC….

Catching up a some zzz and GOT
I look my first Yoga class today (its 2 doors down)….turns out I AM flexible but have SO much to learn!!!

Thanks for reading!!


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