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Published: March 10th 2007
Song's New Motorbike!At the end of November, I asked if you could help me buy for Song the "Best Ever Christmas Present!" -
This specially adapted, three wheel motorbike was bought with donations from travelblog readers - Thank You!
A present that would change his life! Well thanks to your amazing and instant generosity - here it is!
Song is the proud owner of a brand new, specially adapted, three wheel motorbike!
Born with polio, Song has spent his entire life confined to a wheelchair. He lives with his mother, a long way out of town and has had to propel himself to work and back by lifting and lowering the handle on his rickety old wheel chair.
Now, thanks to your kindness - Song can travel easily and safely wherever he wants to go!
With your generous donations I was able to go ahead, order and adapt a three wheel motorbike especially for Song:
The process was not straight forward.... After much consideration, we decided on a new Honda motorbike which could be converted to three wheels. We wanted the best possible value, so Song, his uncle (a motorbike mechanic) and Tam went to negotiate. (Any sight of a Western woman like myself would have greatly reduced our bargaining power!)
After much haggling and
Song and his Uncle
Song's Uncle - a motorbike mechanic, converted the bike free of charge
debate, we ordered the bike and the conversion parts from Saigon. When they arrived, Song's uncle converted the bike free of charge. It was much more complicated and involved than we first imagined!
For example, Song has no feeling at all in his lower legs. This not only makes it difficult to ride a motorbike - it means he would not know if his leg was burning against the exhaust. Any hot parts had to be specially repositioned where they could not possibly come into contact with Song!
Similarly the footplates had to be altered to prevent his feet slipping and dragging along the ground - again without his knowledge. All the controls had to be made manual and all safety issues thoroughly checked.
Even though Song's uncle adapted the bike for free - the cost of parts escalated until they far exceeded my initial budget. If it hadn't been for all the donations of readers of this travel blog, Song would not have got his motor bike at all - or he would still be waiting as we raised more money.
However because of your spontaneous generosity we were able to go ahead and order the
extra parts and complete the conversion. The specially adapted, three wheel motorbike is now complete.
Song could not be happier!
Because of the kindness of the readers of this travel blog, Song has freedom and independence beyond his wildest dreams.
Love from Karen
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