parting thoughts...

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Asia » Vietnam
April 3rd 2008
Published: April 3rd 2008
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Okay - I’d like to thank all of you for tuning in - and being part of this journey with us.

I must admit that it is hard to sum things up with a conclusion of sorts when this trip really feels more like a beginning than an end… but, I think a story would best convey how I feel today… so here goes…

While in Ba Chuc (the side trip we took to a very impoverished area to try to dispense food, but couldn’t), we were quietly leaving the very dramatic monument in the town when a group of women came up to us - they all wanted to squeeze Helen - touch her face, feel her arms… Helen, as usual, smiled and allowed this. Our group, in the meanwhile, was getting closer to our vans and farther from us. One of the women took Helen’s hand and walked over a small ramp toward her fruit cart. I was following, starting to worry a little. The woman put a small mango in each of Helen’s hands. This kind of peddling had happened several times during our trip - people would put their wares into my children’s hands - and then turn to me for payment. So I took the mangoes from Helen’s hands and returned them. I bowed my head slightly - and said “no thank you” - holding my hand up like a stop sign and tried to walk away. I felt a little vulnerable -- just me and Helen now surrounded by a group of venders. The woman repeated her actions - putting the fruit in Helen’s hands as we walked over the ramp. At this point, I thought I’d best just go along with the transaction and catch up with the others. I pulled out 20,000 Dong (the equivalent of a little more than a dollar) and handed it to Helen to give to the woman. And this time, the woman bowed her head - and held up her hand… she would not accept the money. She just wanted to give something to my daughter.

(Take a minute to think about this).

This gesture will stay with me more than anything else I saw, heard or did in Vietnam… it confirmed for me in no uncertain terms ... that the human spirit is genuinely generous, that people from all walks of life desire connection with others and that everyday kids can build hope --- because I know first hand that everyday people make a strong foundation to build upon.

Thanks for staying connected! Your support has meant the world to all of us.

Additional photos below
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3rd April 2008

Thank You!
I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write your descriptions, to add your pictures, to take us along as much as possible on this incredible trip. Thank you for allowing our hearts to be touched vicariously by all that you were experiencing first-hand. Thank you for the generosity of spirit that made you go in the first place, and the generosity of spirit that allowed you learn and to SEE all that is happening, so we could learn and see too.
3rd April 2008

Tracy, David, Wil and Helen: You all are so very special.,and to share this part of your lives with us is such a treasure. Thank you for the adventure. Thank you for you great photos and wonderful diary. Thank you for being who you all are. SUE
3rd April 2008

what a wonderful ending to a wonderful trip!! I think of how we all have been touched by this journey that was, in reality, so far removed from us. Just think all of the people whos lives you have touched by doing what you have done! Thank you for letting us all be in on this with you and doing all of the leg work. i don't think any of us will forget the way you have taken us through this amazing experience. GREAT WORK!!!!
4th April 2008

Congratulations on your journey! Best wishes to all on your return trip....
8th April 2008

Great summation!
9th April 2008

Thank you
I'm really admire what you have done for so many people. I don't think I can put it in word for what want to say but thank you.
21st May 2008

...You're building our hope too.....
What a beautiful "project" for a family to embark on . To all contribute and give so endlessly to those you don't know; what a lesson you have taught the world. I pray your family continues these kinds of effort---we are all watching--the US, with all our "blessings", needs to extend to the world. Kudos to Karly and family for this beautiful gesture of love. God be with and bless you all.
23rd May 2008

Thank you
I was delighted to read your every step of this journey. Thank you for helping to keep the kids hopes and dreams to become realities. God bless all of you and may the best of luck to be with you all, always. Once again, thank you for making this happen.

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