Tuesday, 8 April 2014

To start with THANK YOU!!!

Hi again,
It is nearly the end of our travels here in Vietnam, I would love to bring all these children back home but then quickly realised I have minimal motherhood experience after I witnessed a few major poo explosions. That however brings me to the next point of business, the lovely Jemma and her team at "The Big Sew In" (https://www.facebook.com/thebigsewin) have done a magnificent job and have developed a nappy design and set a day for us to make reusable nappies that we can then send over (P.S anyone with a private jet that wants to drop them off?). When I told the caregivers at the baby orphanage she jumped up for joy and gave me the biggest tightest cuddle. There was no trouble translating their happiness!
These nappies will not only provide the babies with much more comfort, they will help prevent the spread of illness, as currently they use a thin triangle piece of material,  similar to what you would use to sling your arm, however nothing is contained (trust me I am now out of clean shorts because yesterday any baby I went near must have had a very full bladder).
That is why we have decided that the remaining half of our fundraising money will go towards supporting this project and getting those babies some good quality, reusable nappies.
Again thank you so much to all of my Pledgers on https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/1734
Here are some photos from the week!
We also did exercise classes with the older ladies, this lady in particular was hilarious, she kept groping our big bottoms!
I swear that is a laughter face
Why so serious bub?
This cutie is getting much better at walking with his frame, unfortunately he does not comprehend much though so he cannot walk independently.
Our favourite exercise with Cong is throwing and punching a swiss ball, half the time he gets too excited and the ball goes backwards over his head! Good balance practice though!
We have progressed from independent sitting to sitting on a swiss ball! Yeehaa
Snuggle break
This wee baby is so close to crawling!
Sen is blind, so we are having fun utilising her other senses, she loves pulling at the leaves
New sensations are important for her development
This definitely counts as exercise, she climbed those stairs three times today!
Son gets tired just holding his head up, a CT scan was performed showing his brain is the size of a peanut.
But different positions are very important for his lungs
How could you not smile!
We also celebrated a birthday this week!
Tri turned 24 and some girls (maybe his family, we don't know) brought in party food!
Everyone joined the party
So many lollies! Made some crazy kids, who gave this wee one a pepsi!
More riots in the ball pit
My beautiful girls, I must try video them singing!
And at feeding time, everyone lends a hand, these little ones help to fold clothing and care for children, they are not even old enough to go to school.
I hope you are all having a fab week, I think I will be upset to leave these little ones, i'm used to getting hundreds of cuddles a day! (any volunteers?)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Time flys!

We sure had our work cut out for us in Tam Ky, Its hard getting to know so many children in such a short space of time and trying to decipher what exercises will be best for them long term. Luckily Tam Ky has two lovely ladies who work as physios full time, so it is more about training them, but we have a lot of fun together too. The children are adorable, I want to bring a few home. It really is upsetting when babies are just left here, you wonder what has happened to someone to make that seem like the best option. I just hope that these wee babies understand that it is nothing they did wrong. In most circumstances it is because the family maybe has one parent if one has passed away and too many other children to look after, so the children with a disability come to the orphanage so the parent can still work. I don't know about the more able children though.
Let me introduce a few
Buddha boy wearing Nuongs headband
Learning to sit independently with Tam
Minh has a pretty deluxe wheelchair
This wee girl is so tiny, about the size of a 5 year old, but she is 20 years old, her mental age is about 3, she just loves to cuddle and dance, we are trying to teach her to walk, she can walk holding your hand or using a frame.
We also visited the Red Cross orphanage in Da Nang for a couple of days.
They have some cool volunteers, Lina and Caroline from Sweden
Hydrocpehalus makes it very difficult to even hold your head up
Cute cuddles
Lots of toddlers at Red Cross, seeing ones wee girls first steps was a highlight
We also went to English club to help with pronunciation

Best Buddies at Peace Village
Its hard to eat apples with no front teeth!
Thanks to some previous fundraising efforts the kids at peace village have a new play ground!
Including a sweet ball pit
Its hard to know where to begin when all 14 in the baby room get grizzly!
One cries and wakes the rest up!
Luckily Nuong is here!
 And Tam is a baby whisperer!

 Nice to have a happy patient!

This wee girl is blind and autistic, so we have been trying to give her new experiences
these two new babies were left at the hospital last week, better make some room
Cutie! He is deaf but very curious
Ahhh I want to bring him home, such a sweetie, plenty of cuddles! He is 6 but cannot talk yet, its hard to know how much of that it because he wont get as much interaction as a normal child.
Snacking on snails!
King of the castle
To get more exercise done we have started group dancing with the girls (and some boys) They love it! Hard to dance with a child between your knees though!
Just look at the happy faces!
Well its not long to go here! Unbelievable how time is flying, I hope that this encourages someone else to come over and help, you don't have to be a physio or any particular trade, playing, feeding and just interacting with the children makes a huge difference.
See you in a couple of short weeks!
Love Holly.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Goodbye Huong La/Hello Tam Ky!

Our four weeks flew by, and we were sad to leave our new Vietnamese family, we left them in capable hands though! The Sisters were super efficient (as always) at getting the children up like in theIr new physio plans. Sister Linh has also been scooting around Hanoi to get the best deal for their new mosquito nets, I will include a picture once they have been installed!
Mi is already good at speaking English!
Love heart totem pole
We taught the girls how to dance, most probably the cutest thing I have ever seen
And of course we got a farewell performance
Our leaving party caused a ruckus! Balloons, bubbles and sweets galore!
All the kids got out to celebrate
and although our heart was breaking....
We learnt so much from our Sisters
Goodbye Huong La! This place could be miserable, it is a home of 26 orphans, nearly all of whom are disabled, but instead you are a home full of love and laughter. When I grow up (metaphorically of course, I was the biggest person in town)  I want to be as amazing as you!

Hello Tam Ky!

After an interesting flight to Da Nang we arrived! Mr Viet picked us up and we were immediately disappointed!! IT WAS STILL CLOUDY! We were promised sunshine in the South! After meeting the new team however the sun came out (a sign of good things to come?) and we were on our way.
Here we met Nuong and Tam, our awesome dream team and motorbike escorts! And the dream team wastes no time, what a busy week it has been!
 We spend mornings at the baby orphanage, to help with feeding and looking after a few of the younger disabled children, here the older kids go to school! Which makes us very happy. There are about 80 children at this orphanage.
 High baby to bed ratio!
Means that you sometime wish you had 6 arms! But Tam is a pro
My chubby bubby fell asleep while drinking, I don't know how you managed twins mum!
 My wee man asleep in the middle!
Well already a week has gone, it is harder to connect to internet here, but please keep up the emails! I miss hearing from home.