Go on, just rip it out

Today I got to go back to Dien Tho Rehabilitation Centre to meet even more gorgeous children with disabilities or as I am now going to call it (thanks to my recent visit to Reaching Out in Hoi An) – other-abilities. And yes, I did have my heart ripped out of my chest yet again. For those of you that have seen my photos from last year and heard me share (or especially for you Kim who was with me), you will know what I mean.

Considering what these children deal with on a day to day basis, it is almost unbearable for me to think that some of them also have to deal with being beaten by their fathers, simply because they are the way they are. And because in many of the cases, the fathers are drunks. Alcohol is such an issue with men in particular over here – it is no wonder that women don’t drink much or at all. Despite all this these children have some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen and overall seem very happy. Also got to see the little boy (bottom left in red & white) walk which is very exciting for everyone, especially his family and the staff at the centre who have worked so hard to help him get to this stage. He walked for the very first time only last week and is now walking about 5-10 metres before he falls. He looks so pleased with himself and you couldn’t wipe the huge grin off his face if you tried.

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I also got to see Trung, who we (Mark, the kids and I) bought a 3 wheel bike for last year (pictured below). He rides every day and finally has the independence all 15 year old boys should have. It was wonderful to see him again and see in person how much it means to him.


While it is pretty heart-wrenching, it is also the most heart-warming. I really want to acknowledge the beautiful volunteer staff at the centre who are there every day supporting these children and their families. You are all amazing.

My day today was one of extremes and in a way it is hard to go from what I have just shared to the rest of my day but I guess that is the beauty of being in this part of the world and probably why I love it so much. Diversity in people, conditions and my experiences.

For those of you who have been missing my food accounts, I am not going to disappoint you. Today I treated myself to a glass of wine and the most incredible (I really have to expand my vocabulary a little – need a few more verbs in order to do this country justice). Where was I – ahh yes, the most stupendous (thank you Google thesaurus) pork belly, lime, red curry salad. OMG – I was in heaven. I was dripping with sweat and my bum was once again stuck to the seat but I was definitely in heaven. I am so sorry Mark but I left the restaurant not sure if I am every going to be able to cook again. I left wondering how I could get a live-in Vietnamese woman to come be part of our family and cook for us but instead walked across the road and booked myself into a 5 hour cooking class on Sunday morning for the ridiculous price of $30 which includes an early morning trip to the market to buy our ingredients, a tour of their restaurant (which is called Morning Glory, a traditional dish/vegetable here that tastes amazing as Kim will attest to), cooking lesson of course and then we get to eat what we cook. I think there are flights from Melbourne to Vietnam on Saturday if anyone would like to join me. So far I am the only one in the class but am hoping for more as it will be more fun then. Although a one on one lesson does have its appeal as well.

Ok, enough typing now, time to eat again.

Tạm biệt, ngủ ngon (which means Good-bye, sleep well)

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