My daughter, Demi, and her friend Amy and I travelled to Ho Chi Minh to spend two weeks volunteering with WLS. We had the most wonderful young girls who work with organizer Ms. Hang, as our guides to our volunteer sites. They are recent college grads, as were my girls. Ms. Trang and Ms. Ngoc were fun, knowledgeable and flexible. After two weeks we were sharing dinners together, and hoping to meet again, having become friends. The volunteering was mind expanding, and rewarding. We met dozens of Vietnamese men and women,who were volunteers as well, at our various stops. Very few spoke English, but language wasn't necessary, as we were all there for the same reason. We wanted to make a difference for those not so fortunate and in need of compassion and caring. We spoke through our eyes and with laughter. The Vietnamese are very welcoming and friendly.
Most rewarding was our time spent at the Ky Quang Orphanage. The experiences we had with these special children was unlike anything we had ever undertaken in our lives. We arrived at 9:30 in the morning, and played with the children, then fed them lunch, and put them down for naps. We would play with them again after nap time, and walk them outside. They loved being out in the courtyard, and having a one on one. We would feed them dinner, and put them to bed. Our day would end at about 5:30. After our first few days there, we became very comfortable interacting with many, looking beyond their disabilities, and finding pure joy in being together.
We also spent two days at a school for the Deaf, were we interacted with a group of about 15 teens. Again, no language, but we communicated in creative ways, through games and gestures.
This was an incredible time in our lives, and to have shared these experiences with my daughter and Amy was amazing. We will cherish our memories. Thank you WLS, and Trang and Ngoc!