Letters From Vietnam….Part 2

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

More of my daughter’s experience in Vietnam….

Hello Everyone!
I am going to think of these emails as sort of a diary entry so sorry if they’re a little long! Yesterday we set up another mobile clinic in southern Vietnam, closer to Cambodia.  We had many more kids yesterday..closer to 600 with their families.  I worked in the pharmacy clinic handing out the prescriptions… there were maybe 20 kids with their parents behind them at a time all looking at me with longing faces waiting for me to call out their name with their prescription. One father of one of the kids had someone who spoke vietnamese and english translate for him while he asked me if I am single and if I’d be willing to date his son who is about my age…I told him my parents would miss me too much if I stayed to marry his son! haha..

All of the medications we were able to give out was pretty amazing…some of the women with children got baby food and other necessary medications for their babies and then we gave out different antibiotics for all different illnesses including parasites that many of the kids have gotten in the rivers and streams by their houses. The government is so gracious to have us.  Every meal we have eaten in the last two days has been free and even in the poorest towns they have us sit down at a long table and have their best food for us..including snake and dog!! yikes!! Most of the time we’re too hot to eat or the food is raw or washed with tap water which we can’t do so we sort of pretend to eat while saying “cam lung!” (thank you!) haha..

After our clinic yesterday we drove back to our hotel here in Ho Chi Minh city where we went to sleep right
away at 8:30! Today we didn’t have a mobile clinic because the doctors and dentists had to go back to work so we went to the Mekong river delta in south Vietnam. We took a 4 hour tour with a guide who took us on a boat across the river to a coconut island where they grow coconut trees and make everything you can imagine out of coconut..candies, milk, wine, crackers, boxes of coconut shell, etc.  While you’re there they show you all of the different steps that go into the production..it was great! We also went on sort of a jungle cruise where we packed about 4 people into little canoes which were paddled by women at the front and end of each canoe…definitely risked my money and cameras in the most unstable canoe I’ve ever been in!

At the end of the day we went to a nearby school with our two guides from the Aid to Children Without Parents Org. where they had planned we would interview around 20 of their smartest and poorest children and sponsor them to attend elementary school, high school and go on to college.  The stories we all heard of these young kids was really amazing… Some of them had lost both parents due to illness, or abandonment.  One father was fishing and the water got too deep and he drowned in the current.  The stories were heartbreaking and these kids are the brighest in their school.. It really goes to show you how an education can save these kids from poverty. It’s only $60 US dollars to sponsor a kid per year in elementary school and high school and then $120 to sponsor a kid through college! Pretty amazing what an impact our money can make over here!

It is still really hot…about 100 degrees and extremely humid and sticky (you might not be a fan, pops!)…I don’t think we can walk outside or sit still without air conditioning and not comment on the heat! What an amazing place though and I’m learning so much! ..And a lot of Vietnamese! I miss you guys so much!! I can’t wait to see you soon! Thank you again for all of your donations and helping to make all of this happen!! It is beyond rewarding! I’ll keep you posted! Sorry for the essay…

XOXOXOX! I love you! “xin ciao!” (good bye!)
Katie