From June 7 to 9, in tenth year ordination anniversary, Dad Thong organized a field trip to Hon Rom beach for Vietnam and Cambodia OBV children. Particularly in this trip, a special guest, Mom Nga, was present. Being a physician, she had anonymous donated most of the income earnings to support the children financially for all past years.
The heartbeat of the children in Cambodia rushed down and up constantly when preparing for the journey. Although applying for the passports three months ago, there were hassles in processing the legal documents. Even in last couple of days before the journey, the official said: "Not done yet, with reason: government violence." The OBV members searched another alternative path to get the legal passports so all children could participate in this meaningful trip. The documents weren't done until Thursday night before the Saturday - which was the day to leave for the field trip.
The Cambodia OBV children are arriving in Vietnam
The Cambodia OBV children visited the OBV "Feb 5th" store, while waiting for the bus to bring them to OBV Vietnam house
Somewhere about, a cicada sings
Here, look what summer brings
The sun is fierce, pouring fire
The sultry heat's stifling
Short spring time went by,
And t'is summer time.
Nobody in the world has been as kind to me as my mother. Nobody in the world is as supporting to me as my father.
Today is Mother's Day. I received a bouquet of flowers and my children's best wishes. There's also a cake made first-time by one of my children. The surprise gave me more happiness.
The first day we met her was 1 month ago. A skinny dark tanned girl in the past is "light tanned" today and had gained some weight. When she met us, she held our hands and laughed gurly. The intimacy and trust to the people she just met several times let us feel that she was already a member of the OBV family.
I have experienced different emotions deep in my heart every time I come to the OBV home.
After an hour riding like a bat out of hell on the streets of Saigon which sparkle in the sunlight, I finally get to the OBV home today at 12:00 PM. My fatigue caused by the hot weather disappears the minute I see the small house of the OBV family. As usual, I feel no more tired when looking at the innocent smiles of the children and hearing the joyful greetings of the kids: "Here you are, uncle! Why haven't you visited us lately?" My heart is invaded by an immense happiness that wipes away any worries or sadness. But today I have one more reason to feel so happy visiting the OBV home: I am starving! It's now lunch time and I should be invited to lunch.
I met you 4 years ago. You were the first child I met and brought back to One Body Village when I started the work of searching and rescuing victims of slavery and sexual abused. I still remember vividly that first time. We came from far away to the cold desolated house with only 2 sisters were living and taking care of each other. The older sister, you, was only 15 years old. I still remember the suspicious looks from the loved ones in the family and the detractors of the neighbors' pity when asked about you.
It's been a long while since I shared with you news about the OBV VN girls' Krav Maga/self defense class.
They've been training with me for the past five months now, and they're at a level of fitness most adults 2x/3x their age have never reached. I gave the older girls their first exam, a grueling two hour marathon that tested their technique, stamina, endurance, and will power.
6/7 of the girls passed. I couldn't be more proud of all of them. In a couple of weeks, they will start learning ground defense.
You want to see what a confident teenage girl looks like? Take a look at them training in my class.
March 23, 2014
Students line up for their first class
Sunday, November 3, 2013
[NOTE: Pictures of OBV girls are taken from the rear so as to protect their identity]
We recently moved into our new place in District 1, a milestone that meant that we were finally ready to get to work. From our first meeting at the One Body Village house we concluded that our Krav Maga classes would be regulated to the weekend so as not to disrupt the girls' academic studies. This past Saturday, the first of November, would be the day when the girls foray into Krav.
Dr. John imprints his hands on the wall reserved for the volunteers
On Jan 19, 2014, the OBV (Open Body Village) organization in Vietnam has welcomed Dr. John - who has been in charge of dental care for former US President Jimmy Carter and his family members in the past 25 years – coming to Vietnam.
After getting off the airplane, Dr. John had driven directly to the OBV house to visit and prepare the dental checkup for the OBV children in the next day.
I am a leader of 6 years that have participated in many camps and shelters, but December 29, 2013 was the first time that I participated in a camp called "Sow and harvest" with the position as a member of the board of coordinators. I joined alongside the children of OBV for the first time and felt many indescribable emotions.