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Monday, 26 March 2018 21:06

Together At Tịnh Trúc Gia

After three days together at Tinh Truc Gia (Peaceful Bamboo Family), a foundation in Vietnam for children with both intellectual and physical disabilities, what did we take away from the whole experience?

1. We were able to observe a standard daily routine of the teachers and children. Everything was done silently and in an organized manner. We couldn't tell that we were watching a group of teachers managing a class of children with disabilities, it felt just like a regular class.

2. We had an opportunity to work with the children. The work they produced was amazing, and much better than what we were able to come up with. They were both very artistic and hard working, making things such as incense and bags, while other baked or took care of the garden.

3. We were blessed to be able to eat with the children. We were filled with gratitude with every meal that we received. Our stay coincided with their vegetarian period, so there was no meat. To make up for it, we were given a chance to try all new foods, cooked with love.

4. Valuable lessons were learnt on this trip, in particular: PERSEVERANCE, HARD WORK, DISCIPLINE, EDUCATION, THRIFT and BEHAVIOR TRANSFORMATION.

We truly admire and respect the teachers at Tinh Truc Gia. How can it be possible that a person challenged in learning and suffers from behavioral difficulties can magically transform after a period under the care of the teachers?

Here, the ratio of teachers and students was very close. There were 32 students and 24 teachers, to ensure that all the children across all levels of disability could be cared for, all the way down to their diet. Overweight children were encouraged to eat less and exercise more, while underweight children would be well fed. It was no wonder, the children all looked BEAUTIFUL and FIT.

Everything here was kept as organic as possible. Vegetables were home grown in the garden, cookies and candies were made without the addition of preservatives or additives, there was no MSG used in their cooking, and everything was put to full use to ensure minimal wastage.

An example was their use of the Chumket plant. It would firstly be boiled, with the first batch being highly concentrated, which would be made into shampoo for sale. Re-boiling the plant would then produce a less potent batch that could be diluted and then used to wash dishes in place of detergent. Also, lemon and orange peels were made into hand washing liquids to be used in place of soaps.

It is true, that a "journey brings a wealth of wisdom", and the lessons that we learned here will need to first apply to oneself because YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CAN CHANGE SOMEONE ELSE.

OBV 2/2/2018


Translated by T. Anh and Jacqueline Huynh.  The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Đồng Hành Với Tịnh Trúc Gia"


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