September 08

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Xin Chao

So my blog today is a little different. To start with the titled greeting is in Vietnamese not in Amharic. This is because i have just been with a group of Rangers (Girl Guides aged 14-18) on a service project in Hanoi, Vietnam. This had been planned long before i even considered PULSE so was glad that i could still go.DSC_0497

For the most part of our trip our focus was volunteering at a centre (“friendship village”) which looks after and supports; veterans and 2/3rd generation children affected by ‘Agent Orange’, which was used by the Americans during the Vietnam War. We got to work with children who had various different levels of disabilities. What i loved was how well we could communicate with each other without using words, language differences suddenly wasn’t an issue. My group i was placed with was mainly deaf and of various ages and by just simply sitting with them doing crafts showed how creative they could be, with DSC_0871them in return teaching me origami (and other children with such patience), proving that they can be very normal children. Seeing the joys on their faces made every minute worth it. There was one boy in my class who would not communicate or make any eye contact; keen to interact with him i discovered his passion was chess. I know the rules; however that is where my skill ends. But yet i played as i watched his reactions each time i made a fatal move and thrived on his grin when he outsmarted me again and again. Those moments will never be forgotten. The other side was as a leader i got to see the girls who we took grow and experience new environments and cope with whatever was thrown at them, this is a testament to what we really can handle.

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DSC_0753The reason this trip has made my blogs is; because going to Vietnam and working with the children, playing games, or helping them with their English has just emphasised that when you are volunteering no matter how big or small your project or how close you are to the need you can make a huge difference. So keep going and continue making a difference to people’s lives.

On a link to my project here in Ethiopia; i was able to tell others on the work i am doing out here for Cancer in Ethiopia, and discovered that they too are trying to look at Cancer care in Vietnam. Here i could proudly share what i have learnt already here; with a promise to share further best practices/learning in the future.