Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Blog Becomes a Book

Five years ago, the writing of posts for this blog and letters home from Vietnam, which we have called our "missives", led to the writing of our book. 

Back to Vietnam: Tours of the Heart chronicles Bruce's experiences as a young soldier during the war  and our shared experiences in returning to Vietnam to serve on a number of humanitarian projects. 

The book is now available through:
where you can see more about the book, read excerpts, learn about the authors and read some early praise. 

The Gift of Language Shared

With some of our "extra" funds this year, we were able to order five copies of the Oxford Picture Dictionary, English/Vietnamese version.

Four  copies of this excellent dictionary will be used by Children's Education Foundation in the literacy  program and one will go to a very deserving young man, who aspires to improve his income by learning to speak English well enough to be promoted from his job as a gardener.

Quyen and Binh also ordered some for their staff in Reaching Out. 

Thanks again to all who donated "undesignated" funds. This is no end to the places where these funds can be applied, and it is  fabulous to be able to respond when a need is articulated.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Messages From the Grandmothers

We have seen many wars in Vietnam and known many hardships. Our trials are etched on our faces and our bodies are now weary. We pray that our granddaughters will have an easier life and that through education they will be able to earn a good living and not be reliant on selling what they can each day in the street as we have done our whole lives.

Old Friends Benefit from Journeys of the Heart Donor Generosity

This year we have been able to do a few "extra" things while here in Hoi An. Because of the generosity of our donors we came with some undesignated funds.

It has been wonderful to be able to respond to needs in the moment.

When we visited our long time friends at the Hoi An Home for the Aged, we asked them what they would like as a treat. Overwhelmingly their response was face cloths and shampoo.

Quyen helped us source the facecloths and shampoo at the market so that we could get the Vietnamese price. We showed up at the home a few days later, packing 100 facecloths and 100 bottles of shampoo.

My special friend is Huyen is on my right in the photo. She remembers me from year to year and always loves the pictures that we share with her of our home on Salt Spring, our kids, the boat etc.

Bruce's special friend and everyone else's who visits the home is the ebullient Ut. Bruce and I met Ut on our first TOP trip in 2006. She loves Jess, the TOP founder and Duc Anh our guide who also return every year...but Bruce comes in a close second for the affection of this brave woman who lost her legs in a land mine explosion.

Thank you all, especially those who gave Journeys of the Heart funds and said, "You will know where there is a need."