The tireless Vu Duc Anh in Saigon managed all of the ordering and delivery to Hoi An, not only of the medicines, but also a new water filter which will be located in the home in a more accessible spot for those whose disabilities make it difficult for them to make the trip to the dining room where the current and only filter resides.
It was an adventure going to the depot where the box of medicines had been delivered. Our taxi driver was very confused, as were we when we got to the first but wrong place. Things are delivered by bus and end up in one of many little passenger pick up places throughout the town. At last, we got to the right location. We had been told that there would be a long wait as hundreds of packages arrive daily. We would have to show our Passport as ID. Bruce was busy dismissing the confused driver, when I yelled across the street, "No...have him wait...she has found it". When I had walked into the tiny dark office, the young woman asked, "Who for the package?" I said "Bruce Logan." "Oh, I know" was the reply and from behind the iron grid she carried the rather large box...no signature, nothing...off we went again with the now very befuddled taxi driver who kept wanting to take us back to An Bang Beach. The Home was only another six blocks...but when I gave him a 50,000 VND tip he was all smiles!
The Director and Head Nurse ushered us into the main meeting room where we exchanged pleasantries and we proffered the box of medicines for the general populace of the home and a sum of money for the end-of-life care for a very special lady.
Ut has been a friend of TOP, its Founder Jess Devaney, Anh our fearless guide and all of the TOP participants over the years. A double amputee, the result of a land mine in the war when she 15 years old, she has lived since that time in the centre. Ut always greeted our group with huge smiles of recognition. Sadly, Ut has liver cancer and is failing quickly. Our cash donation will ensure that she has the medicine she needs for as much comfort as possible in her last months.
The smile in this picture is because we are showing her a photo of Jess, his wife Marsha and the TOP guide Anh on our last visit in October 2015.
Ut also managed a smile when I kissed her "night, night" and covered her up for her afternoon nap.
Thank goodness our friends at Reaching Out were able to send along a translator and a photographer. We could tell Ut about our sorrow, our love for her and that she would have the medicine she needed to help her digest her food and to relieve pain.
Thank you, to everyone, the TOP legacy group, Anh our master tactician, Reaching Out for translation and photos and to one taxi driver who hung in there!!!
Hen gap lai nam sau! See you next year!