Crazy clinics

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Asia » Vietnam
November 15th 2006
Published: November 15th 2006EDIT THIS ENTRY

Thank god for the French!Thank god for the French!Thank god for the French!

When French colonisation ended after the first Vietnam War they luckily left instructions on how to cook yummy baguettes and cream cakes!
Hey everyone

We started clinics on Monday at the National Institute of Paediatrics. We didnt realise how far it is from where we are staying, but it still only amounts to a $5 cab. We have a trick to fitting 5 people in one taxi; one person goes to the driver and shows them the address, whilst the others quickly squish into the back. We figure its not dodgy cos they dont have seatbelts anyway! Also, belle and ali are so small they really only count for 1 person!

The hospital is quite run down, but the staff are fantastic. All are really keen to help with our Vietnamese, and are more than willing English/Engrish students. We stay at the hospital from 9-11.30, having some 1-on-1 time with cerebral palsy kids aged 2-6. then helping out with a big group session. Its like being back in kindergarten; we sit around counting numbers and singing nursery rhymes in Vietnamese! Im picking upthe language quite well (at a 3year ol level anyway!) Lunch time is 11.30-2pm! because all the staff have a nap! Can you physios imagine that happening in melbourne!

During the morning we also seperate and go to
Standing guardStanding guardStanding guard

cath and I looking after Ho Chi Minh's body out the front of the mausoleum. His body has actually gone away to Russia for re-waxing. Gross.
different treatment rooms. This week Im working with babies aged 1month to 2 years. They have all sorts of problems, some that I've never heard of and have to google when I get back to the hotel! There's a lot of cerebral Palsy patients, which is extremely challenging because we havent done any sort of treatment back in Melbourne yet. Its a good opportunity to try a few different things, you really have to use your imagination with techniques.

The staff here are more than willing to put a baby in your arms and say "you treat!" The worst part is treating tiny babies with wry neck; they have to stretch the contracted neck muscles out and massage, and the babies just scream and scream! I thought it was hard looking after my 6month old nephew! They are so cute tho, with black spiky hair. Pretty sure most of the kids have never seen freckles before because they are obsessed with touching my skin!

In the afternoons we go and volunteer at Hope Centre in another part of town. It is a specialist school for autistic children, the only one in Vietnam. At the moment there are 100
No limitsNo limitsNo limits

there is seriously no age limit on who can drive vehicles on roads here, and im pretty sure the kid is flipping the bird at oncoming traffic
students, aged 2-13. Im with the 2-3year olds at the moment, and help run a class of 12 kids for 2 hours. Its very challenging and can be a little distressing, but its also very rewarding. The Vietnamese have some ideas about child discipline that we dont have in Australia, but dont worry Im not copying any of their techniques!

We are catching the O/N train to Sapa after clinic tomorrow, its a mountain region with indigenous hill tribes and amazing scenery apparently. We are in Sapa for 2 nights, then arrive back on monday at 6am for a 9am clinic start! Should be interesting.

Hope you all enjoy the photos, they took forever to load on! Heard its been very wet in melbourne with snow? Crazy! Its like 30 degrees and veryhumid here, cant wait to leave the pollution and see some sky in Sapa!

Hope everyone is well, Louise could you please forward this onto Leah? And send me her email?

Claire xoxo

PS im really sorry mum but Ali and I hopped on the back of a motorbike together and got a lift to the supermarket today! We didnt get hurt, so
More CP kidsMore CP kidsMore CP kids

The kids participate in group play for 30minsin the morning. We took a swiss ball from home and its been a hit!
now that its out of our system I promise not to do it again!!!

Additional photos below
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One of the many kids with cerebral palsy who come in for 10 day intensive treatment. They really enjoy it because at home they can become very isolated, so group play is really encouraged

No room for a hills hoist in this city. Pollution is pretty bad so I'd hate to smell those clothes once they came off!!

16th November 2006

Sounds like you are having a great time!! Sapa is awesome you'll love it... the overnight train to get there is not so awesome tho!! have fun

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