A mother who re-married, then abandoned her
A grandma who only took care of her temporarily
2 years old, was our little angel
She lived with her uncle, who knew nothing about laughter
The blue moon shone upon the empty house, filling it up with blue feelings
Droplets rolled off her face. Sweat or tears?
Back to her grandma at the age of 3
Seventy nine year of suffering left the grandma with a bent back
Just another burden on your already weak shoulders
The little girl is far away now
Vague sounds of footsteps
She was a child from a remote area of Ninh Binh province, wandering down south to Saigon at the age of 13 to work for a salary of 100 USD/month. Her working and living space were the four walls to a small house with one bedroom and a kitchen. She wasn't given breakfast, instead she sat and sewed hats and did house chores, since her 'hostess' had just given birth to a baby. Her new neighbours were those from all corners of Vietnam. What they all had in common were poverty, illiterate, alcoholism and gambling.
She had just entered puberty, and her body was starting to shows signs. Her clear eyes never looked up, they were always ready to cry. From frustration? Or sorrow? She lived, but did not exist.
But she changed. She turned a full 180 degrees when I met her. Suddenly in front of me was a young girl full of joy and optimism, with the smile of an angel. "I could get used to this place," she said as she put her coat down, looking around OBV.
And just like that she changed again, back to her original self, a young girl with a big heart ready to love and be loved.
She started to tell me about her experiences at her new home, with her new sisters.
"For the first few days, I didn't believe that people in this home could be so nice. Maybe they were just nice in the beginning, but in the end would sell me? But after living here for a week, and talking to the other sisters....I trust everyone here. Our House Mother is a nun, but she has never forced anyone to follow the catholic faith and two thirds of the sister there are non-catholics. There are threes sisters there who now want to be catholic', she said.
The conversation was left unfinished, as our House Mother started to trim trees and clean up the garden. She quickly excused herself, put a hat on and starting helping House Mother. She climbed up tall trees to trim the highest leaves, talking and working, occasionally busting out in song. My heart swelled with love and joy, hoping that OBV would not just be a temporary shelter for her, but a place where she could start to live a normal life. A true home.
And now, her and I are friends.
Happiness is not always so far away. It exists when the heart beats in harmony with other hearts.
Love will lead the way to recover humanity.
NH - OBV Vietnam
Nov 23, 2016
Translated by Jacqueline Huynh and Mr. Phung. The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Gặp Lại Em - Thành Viên Mới Gia Đình OBV"