Friday, April 2, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The lables for the last post got all messed up.  I swear the internet here just messes with evrything from formatting to spelling!  Anyway, the pictures of the houses are houses that Catalyst has built.  They have moved all of the families out of the first dump and into homes.  Now their work is focusing on the new dump.\

A day of fun!

                                                                                            Catalyst is moving onto dump # 2!  The chickens in the basket were for a game of catch the chicken!  You can imagine how well our children did with that game!  All of the food you see was being prepared for the Khmere Tet, which is the Cambodian Tet.  Catalyst put on a huge Tet party tonight, with the local woman preparing all of our food.  Maya ate her weight in pork!  Crossing my fingers all will be digested well as we have a 6 hour bus ride in the morning!  the party was amazing!  I willl post those photos when we get home.  The pictures of Eric swinging a alarge stick was a game that the local students provided for all of the children.  It was blind fold the child. spin them and send them off to break the clay pot, sound familar?  They then receive the gift in the clay pot.  Clay pot sharreds were flying!  We also played tug-a-war.  The kids had a blast and the adults breathed a sigh of relief that no skulls were craked on the cement and no eyes were lost to sharreds of clay.  And no chickens were killed in the chicken catch!  However I think they may have ended up on our dinner plates?  the next blog will be from our very own kitchen!!!!  I am hoping Maya will write a little!!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Food distribution day!

Getting ready for another afternoon of "camp"  The community children have a blast!

We are spending our entire week at the Catalyst school this time.  I have noticed that the community children and our children are not only interacting more, but really excited to see eachother each day!  Last expedition I felt this was missing, so i am so glad to see it this year!  Clare and Noah with a couple of community children!

Ashton getting reading to pass along rice and oils to a family from the community.  It's about 100 degrees and 98% humidity, this was really hard work!

Noah, John and Jeremy getting ready to share rice and oil.  It looks organized, but 2 min. after I took the photo the children were surrounded!  There is nothing "organized" in Vietnam!

Maya passing out noodles, milk and formula
Today we had food distribution.  Each month Catalyst distributes food to people in their community.  The food consists of rice, beans, oil, noodles, milk and formula.  The amount given will last a family of 4 for one month.  Many people from surronding areas arrived, thinking they would also be receiving food.  We said we could give them all but rice and oil, they were not happy about that.  One mother with a 9 month old and a 6=7 year old was in tears, she just wanted to feed her children.  It's hard to watch.  If we give food away for everyone, th eprogram doesn't work.  the idea is to educate the children and teach the parents, for that they earn vochures for food and other items.  If a child scores well on tests and gets good grades, they get vochures.  If parents attend special trainings on the weekend, participate in comunity events, they get vochures.  If they don't do any of the above, no vochures.  It's the give a man a fish, eats for a day, give a man a fishing pole he eats everyday philosophy.  Even knowing all of that it's hard to watch a mom have nothing to feed her children.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gekos in my underwear!

Okay, so today was crazy!  We had to set up "camp" for 300 kiddos, get a "market ready for the community and , and get rice ready for distribution tomorrow!  This is ALL done by 29 children and 4 adults.  We also have a lot of community children who like to help.  We got it all done and everyone had a great time.  All of the stickers are covering many children in the dump tonight!  They LOVED the stickers!  They plastered themselves with stickers.  None of the children knew how to use a crayon on paper.  Once the children showed them they were off and running!  Donated toys and Beanie babie, (thank you Ashley) FLEW off the tables!  The children raced to the market ahead of their parents so they could go to the toy table.  They knew once the parents arrived they would be forced to use their "money" for clothing or worse yet, kitchen items such as pots and baskets.  Just goes to show, children are the same all ober the world!
After this crazy day we decided to take the children and ourseleves to a roof top bar/restaurant to enjoy ice cream and cocktails, yummy!!!!!  The place is actually called Yumi:)
I will have more time to write more abou the garbage dump and post more photos.  Sorry about the way the writing and photos matched up, or better yet didn't match up!  Nothing works as it should here!!
Oh, I need to explain the title of the post!  We got our laundry back this afternoon and it was still wet.  I draped everything everywhere and left for the afternoon.  When we returned I checked the clothes and they were mostly dry; the a/c is running like crazy!  Anyway, as I picked up a pair of underwear a geko scooted across my bed!  I couldn't scream because I didn't want Maya to see it.  I thought she'd walk to the airport and book the first plane home!  So I quietlty grabbed a tissue and as I was about to grab the geko, Maya rounds the corner and simply states, "careful not to get the tail, it'll fall off and when it falls off it still wiggles.  Can I go downsatirs with the other kids?"  !!!!!  I was stunned! She was cool as a cucumber! I'm still a tad grossed out tho!
water puppet show in Saigonbeach in Phu QuocPPearl farm, watching the guy implant pearlsMaya snorlelingHanging thing:)This is the garbage dump where the people that we are her to work with live, work and find their food.  These picture show their actual living condiotns.  This community consists of people who are undocumented.  That means they are unable to shop in the store, go into markets, etc...  They must literally live off of the dumpSetting up market day for the commuity.  They will purchase items with vouchers they have earned for various reasons.  This is the only way this communnity is able to buy goods.Maya and friends sorting and organizing for the market day.  The kids were in charge of running the marketKids buying toys at the maket.  These ladies had so much fun watching all that was going on!Beading with the local children