Saturday, June 14, 2014

One Family's Story

When I saw this photograph accompanying stories about home visits on the Children's Education Foundation stopped me, as they say "in my tracks." I hovered over the image for a long time.  I looked at those beautiful, intelligent faces, the clear eyed smiles, the health and cleanliness of the children against the backdrop of a humble bamboo house with no electricity and probably no running water, certainly no inside toilet facilities. 

The little girl's education is sponsored by CEF....thank goodness. My first thought when I saw the three brothers was that her education might be the first to be sacrificed, that she would be obligated to stay at home to help with the cooking and cleaning like so many young girls.  Because of the research that we are doing for Bruce's new book about the sex trade, I have became aware of the real threat to young Vietnamese girls of being trafficked. Linda Burn and I exchanged e-mails about this family ...I needed to know the story.  Linda hears variations of this story in every home she visits. 

That's Dad in the picture with the kids. He is in charge while Mom works in a factory. He has a degenerative disease of the spine and is only capable of light, infrequent work in the fields. The eldest brother who looks to be about 12...certainly no more that 14 has recently quit school and is working to help support the family. 

Linda reports that there is a special sweetness to this family who are gracious and grateful for CEF's support. They ask for nothing extra, despite the fact that in the rains their house leaks, the children scramble for study space by the light of the lantern hanging from the wall. 

Several donors to Journeys of the Heart ask annually that their funds be directed to CEF and education support. We are so appreciative of your support, as are so many families like this one. 

Please remember CEF, Journeys of the Heart when planning your gifts for 2014. These young 
children can break the vicious cycle of their poverty, with an education and opportunity through your support. Check on the Links to the right for a link to CEF.  For more information about how you can help send an e-mail to:

Thank you....and Cam On from "the girl in the picture." 

Monday, June 9, 2014

There Is Always A Way To Say "Thank You"

The Reaching Out Tea House is silent. ....blissfully so, according to all of the reviews on Trip Advisor!

Somehow the customers enthusiastically savour the experience of tasting delicious teas, coffees and delicate cookies whilst sinking into the enveloping silence. Such a contrast to the cacophony of the streets of Hoi An!

It is delightful to watch our visitors melt into the gracious surroundings and service.

We are charmed that so many customers respond with respect and awe to our speech and hearing impaired staff. Spur of the moment sign language lessons happen everyday and "thank you's" are often the first two words to be exchanged.

In August we will return to Hoi An and are really looking forward to seeing all of our friends at the Tea House.