Friday, March 11, 2011

The Wedding

Today we celebrated with the whole Reaching Out family (and about 400 relatives and friends), at the wedding of Minh Trang and Dieu Trinh..... two speech and hearing impaired staff members.

What a joyous, crazy wild occassion! As honored guests we were seated right up front with the staff, under the four foot high speakers, which blared relentlessly. Imagine sitting cheek to jowl on little red stools, under a tent covering which was little protection from the mounting heat at high noon. How Trang managed to look so radiant in each of her heavy gowns and Trinh so cool in his suit, I'll never know! As is the custom, Trang wore a white gown for the ceremonies, which entail a few shouted words from the MC, a speech from the dads, cutting the cake and pouring pink "champagne" over a tower of glasses. There were mini fireworks and rocket like shots of confetti throughout. Later Trang changed into the bright pink dress.
Their parents were so proud and the grandparents and granduncles and aunties charmed us both. We couldn't resist snapping pictures and laughing together.

The best singer of the parade of amateurs who mounted the stage was Nguyen...what a fabulous, strong voice. He really belted out a fine tribute to his work mates.
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hooray for Olivia and Hannah

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Please meet Olivia and Hannah. These two cutie pies live in North Vancouver. On their birthdays this year, they invited their friends to a swmiiming party.They had such fun AND asked their friends to help them help children in a developing country who were less fortunate than themselves. With the money they raised, which was matched by a loving grandmother, they were able to buy a bookbox for the children in the Hiep Duc district of Central Vietnam. We delivered their box of books today, along with three others from our fabulous Journeys of the Heart  home team.

 Many of the children who came to school today were from the surrounding minority villages. They were skinny and shy and many looked very dirty. This little girl, with a very short haircut captured our hearts. She probably can not yet read and may even speak the dialect of her people and not Vietnamese, but she was very alert and excited about learning.

Before we presented the big boxes of books which are created by Global Village Foundation, we helped the children make book marks. They loved the exercise, even though we had to show a few how to use a glue stick. Along the way, they learned some English words and they were shouting "book mark" very well by the end of the morning.

This is Le Ly Hayslip and she is the Founder and CEO of Global Village Foundation. Her granddaughters in California are just a little younger than Olivia and Hannah. She was so impressed with what our two young girls had done in North Vancouver, she wanted all the children to know the story. She told the story for all to hear and we practised saying the names Olivia and Hannah and then "Thank You" in English.

The kids were so excited, but they managed to line up quietly so that they could each take a book from the library...but not before Ba Elaine washed their grimey little hands.

There were 100 children at the school today. Many had never seen such an array of books and even the ones who could not yet read, cherished the pictures. Our hope is that this gift of books will inspire their teachers to teach reading creatively and open the world to their students.

Off the libraries go to the neighbouring schools on the backs of the teachers' motor bikes. This one is from the Red Tent Book Club of Vancouver. Thanks to Victoria and Carole and Philip who also donated book boxes.
We are so proud of Olivia and Hannah and all of our friends who are inspired to help us deliver books and learning to these sweet children.

Cam On!          Thank you!