Published: August 6th 2012August 6th 2012
Well up early this morning to get ready for our first day at the disabled orphanage. We went for breakfast first off to the place near our guest house - when all they had was rice dishes decided this was not for me not rice in the morning. So off we trot and I find a little place which is in the local market so I plonk my bum down and shout to Mike this looks ok. So we ordered Pho Bo which is noodle soup with bean sprouts and beef in. They also give you fresh herbs, chilli, lime and you put chilli sauce in. I am getting used to this now as it the Vietnamese staple breakfast - so you must be saying to yourself why is rice not for you in the morning but beef noodle soup is - I cannot explain, think it women's logic, ha ha
So we meet our organiser at 9am in the guest house and off we all trot into a taxi (thank goodness - don't think I could be a passenger on the back of a bike) and arrive at the orphanage. The disabled orphanage is run by the government and to be brutally honest my first view into one of the rooms - I will be honest I nearly turned around and left as I did not think I could deal with it. The room had about 15 severly disabled teenagers and I was totally in shock. Mike and the other 2 girls seemed to be ok but I had a total run for your life moment. Anyway, once we left this room we were taken upstairs to a couple of rooms that had around 30 children in and their age range was from around 2yrs to 13ish. Again I just did not know what to do - then one of staff came up to me and gave me a bowl of food and told me to feed this little boy who could not have been more than 2 years old. His head, arms and legs were floppy and I panicked how do I feed this little boy? Then I must admit I got a grip and just got on with it - trying to play "open your mouth and here comes the train". Then it struck me this poor little boy must have thought what is she saying - but he responded so it must have worked. I then asked his name as you do not get told their name - my little chappie was called Thein. I took him out onto the mats outside and tried to entertain him - hopefully it worked. Everyone else seemed to be doing a lot better than me and seemed really at home.
We had to leave at 11 am and were not let back in until 1pm as they go to sleep.
When we got in the restaurant I asked everyone what their thoughts were and the girls were exactly like me - shocked and did not know how they felt. Mike was a lot better as I think he had prepared himself a lot better following the museum on Agent Orange. I thought on our return I would be prepared but again it shook me. I played with a few of the children i.e. playing clapping by holding their hands and clapping with them - also playing with a ball which one little boy absolutely loved. I have mentioned to the group that I do not think I can do this for another 4 days but will try - I may have to jump ship and go to the orphanage where none of the children are disabled - I will give it a go and see how I am tomorrow. I have so much admiration for people who work with disabled children and I will take my hat off to everyone of them - they are such special people - I am ashamed that I am not one of them - but at least I am honest.
So we have booked a trip this weekend to go up the Mekong Delta and staying with a host family for one night. I am so looking forward to a bit of chilling and me time. I was the official negotiator and got 2 days, I night homestay (with local family) with a river cruise, bike ride, floating markets and visiting 4 islands which also includes breakfast, lunch and dinner all for $22.50 each - I should go into negotiation I have missed by path in life, ha ha
We have now got back to the room and Mike is playing solitaire with the cards we purchased in the market. We have got hooked on it as it is a game on my iphone and Mac. I hold the record (yes here comes the competitative streak again) of under 3 mins (world record or what). I think we should all vote for this to be included in the next Olympics and I am sure I will bring back a Gold for team GB - plus I have not been to Brazil yet and it would be a great way I could see it - I will start a petition up when I get back and expect you all to sign it for me - Looking for Seb Coe's email address as we speak.
Anyway think we might go out for a beer tonight as I am physically and mentally exhausted!
Hope everyone is ok in blighty - have heard you have had some storms up north.