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Tuesday, 11 April 2017 23:33

Avenues to Love

After many long rainy days in Saigon, came a day of brilliant sunshine. The elementary school kids were off this morning, a Saturday, and they, along with the OBV counselors decided to play outside.

Kids have an amazing ability to play for hours with minimal props, any plan or rules, or cookies and candy. All they needed were rubber bands (to make a long elastic for a skipping game), a few chopsticks and ping pong balls, a handkerchief, and a slipper. They played so passionately, that we as the adults looked on, embarrassed that we didn't know how to contribute to their games. After joking around about it, we decided to just take in their spirit, their childlike joy, naivety and innocence, to create a relaxed atmosphere and help them feel that they are loved unconditionally, and to forget their dark and sorrow filled pasts.

Friday, 31 March 2017 20:55

Our Trip With Dad - A memorable one

an old article...

Although Dad had been through long days of 2011 Mission Trip, he didn’t forget the promise to take us on a trip. So, we were on the way to Dai Nam.

Being with us this time were L. – a volunteer in the 2011 Mission Trip, and K. – another volunteer who has spent her annual vacation to teach OBV’s children how to cut their hair with a desire that “not only to help kids know how to cut their hair but also consider this as a job for their future”.

My dear friends, as I have shared in previous articles about my "night flights",  I usually go to Viet Nam and Campuchia for my work with One Body Village-website , and the "night flights" were only my own personal excursions, hoping to help a few people and at the same time create occasions for young people in Viet Nam to experience the happiness of giving.

That is why I could not post the work I did on social media, not like I could tell about my "night flights".  Whenever you called me and got a busy signal, that meant I was outside of the area of service of Viet Nam, in another country. I'm sorry but  I couldn't tell you where I was.  Now that it is over, I can finally tell you the story.

Please enjoy the first story as told by my cousin, whom I dragged along to Campuchia with me.


I totally did not plan on going to Campuchia. However, my post-Tết celebration plans fell apart, plus an incident in my life upset me quite a bit. So, I  accepted my cousin Thông's invitation to accompany him to Campuchia, though I had turned him down before, not having any interest in his "Cambodian trips."  Surprisingly, he did not give up and kept inviting, and since I was feeling down, I decided to go with him. Very simple, if he invited me for a mission trip, I would have plenty of work to occupy me so I can forget things I was trying to forget.  It would be wonderful if we also went to see Angkor Wat, but it would be alright too if we did not, he did not invite me to be a tourist.  It was all my guessing anyway, he never told me what the trip was about when he invited me to go to Cambodia with him.

1 pm, the First Day of Tết, my parents and I arrived back in Saigon after celebrating with our extended family since the 28th of last month.  The streets of Saigon were empty.  My parents and uncles went to visit our relatives to offer their well wishes for the New Year.  I excused myself and went back to my hotel to  wash my clothes and get ready for my New Year night excursion, which I will add to my Cambodian trip on the 2nd day of Tết.

After finishing the preparation, I turned on my computer to answer email. I noticed  my reporter friend was still online, which meant she was on call, so I sent her a greeting.  It turned out she was almost done with her call, she invited me to go with her to visit her adopted children in area  4.  An hour later, the two of us were making our way through the winding alleys of the slum area.  When we stopped in front of the house, people were staring at us with curiosity.   Vũ whispered, " I'm already a familiar sight, it's you they are looking at."  I only laughed without saying anything.  Vũ already told me the story of the three sisters that we were visiting while we were on our way.  This is the story by my friend Pham  Vũ, in her own words:

An old story...

After"exploding" in the first story, I am less upset. So I am now calm enough to sit down and write about the second story: the story of people who are really crazy.

Some people said about us: " Those nuts! Tết is a time to spend with family and friends, not a time to wander on the streets like that!" I can only laugh it off when I hear them, how can I explain to them? However, once in a while I would snapped when I feel criticized too much: " If priests don't do that work, can parishioners do it? Do you want to? If you do, then I will stop." I know I should not talk like that but once in a while, I got mad. Talk about crazy!