A Visit to Mai An Orphanage

Back in June, we donated some items to the Mai An Orphanage in Go Vap District. My son, Samuel was so happy to see the photos of the children enjoying their toys that he was convinced that we should visit the orphanage.

For two months, we’ve asked friends here in Vietnam for usable stuff that they would like to let go off to give the kids and staff of Mai An. On our part, we’ve prepared school supplies for the kids and was very lucky to get in touch with The Library Project headed by Angelique Masse Nguyen, here in Vietnam. The Library Project needs to have its own post entirely — as you cannot imagine the great work they do! So more on that later! 🙂

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So on a Sunday morning last August 23, we hauled all the stuff we’ve gotten from friends and headed to Go Vap. We got our trusted van from Duyen’s Van Rental that carried our group plus a number of odd-shaped boxes, a wheelchair, an easel, and 6 children’s bicycles.

The night before, we were racking our brains for the program and because of the language barrier, we were worried we won’t be able to do much. But you know what? We just let everything flow that day and it went so well. Sometimes having no program is the best program.

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When we arrived, Sister Chi who heads the orphanage welcomed us and the children wowed us with their welcome performance. We were so overwhelmed that the kids took time to prepare.

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Then afterwards, our favorite magician and cooking show entertained the children.

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Ultimately though, I loved watching the reactions of the kids and staff. They looked like they enjoyed the show so much and that just warms my heart.

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We ordered food from Jollibee and they were so good to send Jollibee, the mascot to present two dance numbers.

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From where I come from, Jollibee is famous and I’ve never had a Jollibee party — which is quite the norm back in PH to have your kid at least have one Jollibee party in his lifetime. 😛 So it was quite a treat for us too!

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And of course, the kids (and adults) just had to have their photo taken with the big bee.

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Then it was off to the second floor to view the newly installed book corner by The Library Project. Thuy of The Library Project was there to oversee and Anh, their intern, explained to the kids about book care. How many books did they donate? 200!!! Yes! 200! We were just over the moon!

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Our hearts went out to little Tam. He is one year old and we were all so concerned about how things will be for him. So imagine our relief when we found out from Hillary Brown of Helping HOW that Tam will get his cleft fixed and his eyes as well. They have great plans for him and he will also be taught Braille! They are also raising funds for Tam’s continued treatment, so if you can dig deep into your pockets, please head on to HOW to make a donation.

 photo Picture1_zpsb3gamaqy.jpgMy son Rafa just loved hanging out with Tam

Overall, it was the #bestdayever and the kids surprised us (again) with their handmade gift to Sam who was celebrating his 7th birthday.

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I don’t know how the Sister Chi and the staff do it but the kids are being brought up so well! And everything was just so well-organized.

There were just so much photos of this memorable day so here’s more —

 photo 20150823_105452_zpszhuulxfw.jpgPrayer before meal

 photo 20150823_100606_zpss3lvu2mr.jpgGetting warmed up

 photo 20150823_100507_zpsrbb9jmhc.jpgWith the magician

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Free play

 photo 20150823_094209_zpsp9ju4nfv.jpgHe just loves the camera

 photo 20150823_092607_zpsugujb1nt.jpgRafa found a new friend

My deepest gratitude to everybody who have made this all possible:

  • Hillary Brown and Kerri Galligan for allowing us to help the kids.
  • The Library Project for the book corner.
  • The big hearts of: Lauren Scott, Tallmadge Family, Hollinger Family, Alday Family, Balbon Family, Deticio Family, Frianeza Family, Genato Family, Luciapao Family, Maling Family, Paulo Family, Yu Family, Payong Family, Romero Family, Nguyen Thi Bay, and Guzman Family
  • Jollibee for bringing in Jollibee, discounts, and freebies!
  • Happy Birthday JSC for discounts on the entertainment! 😉

Thank you all so much!

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The Mai An Orphanage is run by the Love of the Holy Cross Sisters and houses some 22 orphaned children from age 0. The orphanage also serves as the school of the children. Their number will increase more this year.

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