First Story: She is jealous!
Considered to be the youngest in the family, CL has been more cherished than her older sisters. When T. joined in, the first thing CL did was asking the new comer's date of birth. Knowing that T. is younger, CL was so nervous that she secretly examined how Mom, the aunties and the uncles treated the new comer. CL even stayed up all night, walking back and forth outside the bedrooms. She said she wanted to know whether mom, the aunties and the uncles talked to T. "I don't want mommy to comb T's hair and aunties to hold her hands, etc..."
Although Mother's Day had passed, in this article, I would like to talk about the combined sacrifice that Mom (Momma Nga) and Dad had for the children.
Momma Nga and Dad took photos as souvenirs with the OBV children.
The third Sunday of June was Father's Day. This year was a rarity because this time, Momma Nga and Dad were present in Vietnam; specifically, they came on this day to visit and to say goodbye to the children, and apparently, they wanted time to flow backwards so that they could be with the children longer.
Summer comes, the children in OBV Vietnam can leave school works aside to participate in Summer activities.
They are taught English by Miss Diễm Vân who is a volunteered teacher coming from the USA. She works very hard in dividing class into different levels to correctly match with the children's ages and their comprehension.
The English teacher and children are meeting for introduction
On Sunday, the 13th of July 2014, six children from OBV Cambodia received the sacrament of Baptism at Saint Joseph Church in Pnom Penh, Cambodia. Since they had wanted to be baptized for a long time now, the girls attended the religious classes regularly and whole-heartedly. But, while making a list of those who would be baptized, none of them could fulfill the necessary legal conditions. The ones who had Christian parents did not keep their faith, and for the ones with Buddhist parents, a longer test phase was needed (usually until the age of eighteen). Father Bruno, the pastor of the community there, is a French priest, who is strict about keeping faith. That is why he had to think over the OBV children's cases thoroughly.
Father Bruno and children of OBV house.
On the occasion of return of Dad Thong celebrating the 10th anniversary of his ordination, Dad and the OBV (One Body Village) family had a vacation trip exciting, interesting and meaningful. The OBV family had secretly prepared a surprise gift for Dad and Aunt the past month. Therefore, the musical show was extravaganza taken place in the night.
Managing Sister and the children of OBV VN celebrate Father's Day
Dear Father, on this Sunday we celebrate all our fathers, for we know that our fathers are most deserving of this honor and respect.
Although you did not bring us into this world and nurtured us, we know that you have made many sacrifices and care deeply for all of us; you have extended your arms widely to envelop and embrace us into your heart. Father, we know that you work tirelessly day and night; when we hear that you barely sleep – at times merely resting yours eyes for a couple of hours at night – our hearts cannot help but ache for you!
Their innocent smiles when wearing new dresses
A five-year-old little girl lives with her father who works as a mechanic. Her parents had separated when she was one. Her mother could no longer endure her father's drunkenness and gambling habit so she left to go back to her village carrying with her an unborn child in her womb. Her mother works as a hired hand here and there scraping enough to support herself day by day as she lives in humiliation. As for the little girl, she lives with her father in a dilapidated and unfurnished rental unit. Her means of support is dependent on what her father brings home on that day from inflating and patching up tires for customers in the area. The little girl is five, but she doesn't get to go to school. She doesn't know any children songs or rhymes, nor does she have any toy. On a daily basis, she hangs around her father's auto shop; her toy is a rock or whatever else she might pick up.
Every year, Father's day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. We don't know what to say to you to express our love for you. We just want to give you the poem so that you can know how much we love you.
Dad, you're my everything.
Life is still full of problems
Dear Dad, mom, uncles, aunts,
I don't want to leave OBV family but I have to leave because of my family's situation. My mom is too sick to work, my two sisters are too young. I have to come back home to help my mother and take care of my sisters.
Thank you for taking care of me. I wish I could come back with OBV family when my family's situation is better. I know I will be happy when I am here , but my mom and my sisters are miserable and I can't stand it.
I hope that dad, mom, uncles, aunts will understand me. At home I won't be happy as when I'm here but I'm the eldest, I have responsibility for my family.
I love OBV family.
After travelling over 6 hours since midnight, the OBV family met at the planned destination Hon Rom - Phan Thiet. Even though there was a little weary over the long trip, sleep "swaying" on the van, everyone were eager to see the sea, refreshing sea breeze into the dawn. After unloading the luggage into the hotel rooms, everyone rushed out to the sea ....
On summer, when there is no school and the OBV children have time to relax after a stressful semester; Dad, Mom, aunt and uncles make a plan for them to have fun, still don't forget teach them the lessons of life: the value of work, the co-operation in family. And the first lesson they have learnt today is the value of work. They have weaved basket, a work required of patience. Maybe because the majority of them come from poor families, weaving basket seems easy to them. Everyone started to work excitingly. To prepare for this, I had to go to the factory to learn to weave. Then I took the material home and showed them how to weave a complete basket.
The life is marked by different periods as well as the school life. It's happy for those who are lucky enough to be able to go to school, and they will never forget their school lives. The heat of summer, the sounds of cicadas, the color of Flamboyant flowers make everyone's heart flutters. It's time to relax after a stressful school year, but with you, students in ninth grade, summer means saying good bye, starting a new stage and marking a new step of maturity and turning 15 years old, the year of dreams and the open skies.
A paradox, but the truth is often unexpected
I knew there was something wrong from the moment the little girl set foot into the OBV home. It would have been fine if she was shy or scared because of being in a new environment, but she kept on smiling to and laughing with everyone, and even ran around the house with some older children, as if she was the host herself.
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
That was the desire of father Thong: what can we do for the OBV children to have the best learning environment, especially for the subject of English?
The children have studied English at school for some time, but there were some children unable to study at school because: