News from Stella in Vietnam


By Stella Bui-Rivet

News from Stella in Vietnam

Stella (Susan's daughter and one of the ThriftyFun Staff) is in Vietnam working at orphanages for the months of April and May. She is working through the Global Volunteer Network and traveled there with a friend of hers, Chelsea, who is also a volunteer. Because we have received so many questions about how she is doing, we'll post her progress here and let you know when there is a new entry.

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Arrival - March 31st

Hello Everyone,

I made it safely to Vietnam. We arrived last night around 7 pm, 4 am for all of you. We missed one of our flights (by 10 minutes), from Ho Chi Min City (formerly Saigon) to Danang, because the immigration line was long and slow. Luckily we were able to find someone to help us and there was another plane leaving in the afternoon. We just had to wait 6 hours. The flight was great. China airlines is the best airline ever, we had individual TVs that allowed us to pick from over 10 movies, it had video games, cameras to watch outside the plane and music. They had the best vegetarian plane food I have had. It didn't seem like I was on the first plane for 13 hours.

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When we arrived in Vietnam, three people greeted us with a Global Volunteer Network sign, the driver, the translator, and the program director. I must say the driving was crazy. There were no seat belts which I have grown accustomed to since there is a seat belt law in Washington. First off the driver started honking at all the pedestrians crossing at a cross walk just outside the airport. The road was mostly filled with motor bikes and bicycles which was such a different sight to see compared to Washington State. The most disturbing part of our car ride was that a good part of the time our driver was driving down the center of the road honking. The people coming the other direction would have to move out of his way. The first place we stopped was at a restaurant where we met some of the other volunteers who just arrived. The food was okay.

Then we were taken back to the house where we will be staying for our two months of volunteering. There we met the outgoing volunteers who are leaving for either volunteering in another town or traveling elsewhere. One girl will stay. There are two girls from Sweden, a boy from Australia, a girl from London and one girl from Holland. We also met the man who is our night watch person. Our house has four - five stories, with 3 bathrooms. The floors are all marble (or marble like) and the ceilings have beautiful detail. I love our house.

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We both slept well and I don't feel jet lagged. In the morning we awoke to two new people in our house, two women who cook for us. They are very friendly, one speaks English a little and the other wants to learn, she and I have already formed a relationship of teaching each other our languages.

Our first breakfast was delicious we had sweet yogurt, baguettes and soft cheese (the kind that is a small wedge shape and has a cow on it, I think you can get it at Costco and Asian Pear. Although I thought it was delicious, the other volunteers said get used to get because it is your breakfast 90% of the time. As of right now that does not bother me at all.

After breakfast Chelsea and I went out exploring for 2 hours. We had to learn fast how to cross the street when there are lots motor bikes coming at you in every direction who don't slow down, the best way of doing this is crossing kinda slowly so they can go around you. Everywhere we walked we had people saying "Hello", pointing at us, and laughing (I think even once someone threw a rotten fruit at us although they missed, we just heard something hit the ground). Da Nang doesn't get to see very many tourists (it might have something to do with all the guide books saying that there is not much to see.) I think it is beautiful here.

When we got back from our walk we had a delicious lunch waiting for us, fruit smoothies, rice and vegetables.

Now I am here in an Internet cafe writing you this and will return to a delicious dinner. Our orientation starts tomorrow and we start working on Monday.

I think it will be hard, because I just found out that the kids are tied to their beds most of the day because they do not have enough staff. But it is nice knowing that I am here so they can be untied some of the time.

I hope I remembered all the key parts.

Love,
Stella

April 6th - My First Week!

I just completed my first week working at the Red Cross day center (for kids with disabilities) and the Red Cross baby orphanage in Danang. It has been a fun, exhausting and emotional week.

On Monday we were picked up by our driver and brought to the day center. We were met by a group of enthusiastic kids who escorted us though the building to the proper room. We did our good morning routine where we say "Good morning class" and they all stand up and say "good morning teachers, how are you?" and we reply, "I'm fine thank you, how are you?" and they say "Fine thank you!" and sit down. It has to be done just exactly like that or they get confused. After going through what day it is and what the weather is like (always sunny and hot) we separate into three different classes. The advanced, middle and less advanced. I am the teacher for the less advance class (I don't really like calling it that but that is what the volunteers before us implemented).

After doing this on the first day we got called to a meeting to be introduced to the program director, with the use of a translator he told us that the day center started in 1997 and was a place for people with disabilities to come and be trained in embroidery or screen printing. Volunteers started to come in 2004 and that is when they were able to accept more kids into the program with more severe disabilities. There are about 26 students ranging in age from 7-22.
We were shown the room where there were kids doing screen printing and told us that it was training for those who are deaf. Since I know a little sign language I was asked to incorporate that in my teaching so those who are deaf can attend the classes. So now I have been working on learning Vietnamese and Vietnamese sign language. I have had many dreams lately partially in Vietnamese and sign, I just hope that means I am learning more as I sleep.


After the meeting we went on to teach our classes which are an hour long, the previous volunteers wrote up a lesson plan for all of the new comers, so on the first day we would not have to worry about having a lesson for a class we have never met. My first class went well I had 4 students out of 5.

Next we walked over to the baby orphanage (which is on the same property). The first people we saw were a bunch on English speaking people holding babies which was surprising because we were not expecting to see them. It turns out that they were all adopting 1-2 kids each. When we went inside we saw a lot of babies. There are about 20 infants. One was just dropped off a week ago and only weighed 1 kilo. There are about 13 toddlers. When we got there none of the toddlers were tied to their cribs, but I think this was because there were all the people there who were adopting which gave them the extra eyes that they needed. Since then when we come they are tied with a cloth string by their ankle or by the back of their shirts, but we are allowed to untie them.

Our first day we jumped right in and got to work changing nappies (or diapers, the other volunteers all call them nappies.) These are kitchen sized towels folded up and tied with a handkerchief, so when they are wet you both feel it, I have found my pants wet after holding a baby for a while. I got a real appreciation for any parent who has more than one baby at a time. I got skilled very quickly at picking up two babies at a time. All of the kids are so adorable. They all like to be held, you can cuddle with them and they are not trying to jump out of your arms which has been my experience with many kids their age.

All the babies sleep in wicker cribs with bamboo mats, many of them have funny shaped heads from laying down so often and always looking in the same direction, some are severe and some seem like a normal amount of flatness. All the toddlers sleep in steel cribs without mattresses, pillows, blankets or crib toys. I have found that these kids can have fun with just about anything, since they do not have many toys. I have found kids chewing on a tin foil wrapper, and piece of shiny cellophane and boxes for medicines.

On the second day we were invited to Quien's house (one of the ladies who cooks for us) and I got to ride on the back of a motor bike. She then took us to the super market which was like a big one stop shopping place unlike anything we had seen in Danang so far. There Chelsea and I bought some supplies for the orphanage, we got diaper wipes, toys, and found out that diaper ointment was the hardest thing to translate. This was our top priority for our shopping trip since many of the babies had severe diaper rash. We were able to find something but not the kind with zinc in it (which is supposed to be the best). We bought quite a bit of stuff and only spent 20 US dollars. Hopefully we will be able to go back soon to get some more toys now that we have seen which ones were the most popular.

My classes have been going well and I have had a high attendance of the older boys that are deaf, even though my signing is very simple. I just need to study fast so I have new lessons for next week.

Just today a newly arrived baby came, from what I understand they are just left on the door and the "mothers" (the women who work there 24-7) never meet the moms or dads of the babies.

I am really enjoying my self here, I feel safe and welcomed and the food is delicious, I always have a meal waiting for me even before I am hungry and it always has all parts of the food pyramid. I am probably forgetting a lot of information but I will write again with more stories to tell. If you have any questions please ask.

Love,

Stella

April 19th - Second and Third Week

Dear My Wonderful Family and Friends,

Sorry is had taken me a while to update you on my second week, I have been busy and tired, otherwise, life is grand in Vietnam! I have gone on many adventures since I last wrote.

Starting with weekend before last I went to a different town in Vietnam called Hue (about two hours from our home). The women who cook for us took us there and we went to many of the major tourist stops. First we went to the Citadel which is this giant moated place where the emperor used to live. It was huge and everyone we were with got too hot and wanted to leave before Chelsea and I did. But I got some beautiful pictures that you will be able to see when I get home.

The next stop was the Thien Mu Pagoda which is an octagonal building with seven stories and is beautiful. Then we went to one of the emperor's tombs, which was so elaborate I just couldn't believe this place was built for one person. You had to go up many flights of stairs, then you came to a spot with statues of elephants horses and guards. Then you went up a whole bunch of steps again and you hit the main building, the walls inside were covered in porcelain mosaics and there was a bronze sculpture of the emperor.

My description does not do any of these places justice but you get a taste of what they are like. One other interesting point of our drive to Hue was we had to go through this extremely long tunnel through the middle of a mountain (too long to hold you breath.) We were not driving very fast and it took us 15 minutes to get through, it was kinda awful because their was so much smog inside of it and made it very hard to breathe.

On Sunday Chelsea and I rode our bikes (1 hour ride there) to a pagoda that has a giant Buddha statue in front of it. The pagoda was closed and we were not able to get close to it, but we took pictures outside the gate and sat down and had our lunch. After lunch we went the local water park that cost only 30 U.S. cents to use the wave pool and kiddie pool (no slides that would cost a dollar).

Last week 4 children were adopted and left the orphanage and in the next couple of weeks there should be a few more leaving. It is really good to see them adopted but also is a little sad as we form relationships with each child. Also last week we had one newborn left at the orphanage.

Last weekend we went to the nearby town of Hoi An and spent one night there. The majority of our stay was spent getting Tailor made clothes which was very fun for both Chelsea and I since we both have a hankering for fashion. We were able to draw them a picture or show them a picture from a magazine and pick out our fabric and they would measure us and get it made by the next day. It was cheap compared to some new clothes in the states but a little on the high end for me who tends to buy sale items or second hand. But, it was well worth it for having exactly what you want and in your size.

Hoi An was very different than Da Nang, there were many more tourists, I even met a lady from Bellevue, Washington. She said I was the second person she met from Washington state. In Hoi An instead of everyone saying hello to us they all said "Hello where are you from. Please help me and come to my store." There are a lot of children wandering around selling trinkets who would come up to your table at a restaurant and say "You buy from me very cheap, you be lucky I'll be lucky, it's happy hour, I will be very lucky." It was a nice weekend but I am very grateful to be placed in Da Nang.

This week we had two newborns come in one on Monday and the other one on Wednesday, the newborns are still bigger than the little boy who came in the week before we came who only weighed one kilo (he is much bigger now but still the smallest.)

At the day center I have had many of the students who are deaf that attend my class and we are able to communicate fairly well, just can't get into very in-depth conversations. I started out with a class size of 4 and now I have 8-12 kids attending my class.

We have been working on learning the alphabet, counting, colors, body parts, and shapes. These are still difficult for them so I try and revise these subjects and teach them in different ways, in hopes that seeing them in different context will help them understand and retain the information better. It is difficult because some of my students do not even know Vietnamese well.

Thank to some donations I received. The money went to a water purifier for the kids at the day center so they could have lots of cool water in this hot weather. Previously they had to drink recently boiled water. Also the money helped fix the day centers van so they would have a way to take the kids on day trips and also they would have a way to take a baby to the hospital if they needed to, instead of having to hire a taxis which can get expensive. Chelsea and I thought that these to things where a good use of some of the money donated.

Thank you all for your support, we all appreciate it over here.

Exciting things to come:

This weekend we have been invited to take part in a Vietnamese engagement ceremony, a man from the states is coming here to get engaged to a Vietnamese woman but does not have any relatives to join him. For the engagement ceremony you need at least 15 people on your side so we are acting as stand in relatives, we are all very excited to take part in this.

Also we have been invited to Quyen's (a lady who cooks for us) house on Saturday night for a very special dinner for her mother in law's 100th day after death ceremony.

I will write more about these after they have happened.

I love you all and miss you, I will try to write sooner this next time,

Stella

First Month Completed

I have now finished my first month volunteering I can already tell that this next month is going to go too fast. I am already scheming on how I can come back here for a longer stay, like a year or two or at least a few more months. I want to see other countries too, but it is hard when you form friendships in one place, you don't want to leave. Two weekends ago was fun packed. On Friday afternoon Chelsea and I payed the extra 1.50 to be able to go on the slides at the water park (for those of you who thought we were crazy not to pay the extra money on our previous visits).

On the Saturday before last we were invited to Quyen's house for her mother in law's 100th day after death ceremony. We bought a big beautiful cake and five different fruits for the altar. When we got there, we brought our gifts upstairs to the altar and payed our respects but after that it just seemed like a regular party. We ate lots of wonderful food and sat around a talked.


On the next Sunday morning all 18 people on the grooms side congregated at our house with all the gifts for the bride. As we understand it, they mixed the traditions for the engagement ceremony and wedding ceremony since the couple will have their wedding celebration in the states. So I don't think that we experienced a typical engagement ceremony since there may have been some wedding day rituals as well.

The man is from Oregon and is in his 50's and has been married twice and the woman is from Vietnam, is 40 and has never been married. Each of 6 volunteers got to carry a gift to the bride. We were each given something to carry and there was an order in which we had to carry the items.

  • I was at the front carrying a small teapot and tea cups with some small things wrapped in leaves and some slices of lime. All of which were on a tray covered with a decorative cloth.
  • Behind me someone carried 100 nut like things (which may be beetle nuts but we couldn't get a straight answer) but we were told you could get addicted to them and there were 100 of them to symbolize 100 years of marriage.
  • Behind that was a tin with two 1 liter bottles of soda and two boxes, all of which were wrapped in cellophane and had bows.
  • Behind her was a giant fruit basket that carried 100 fruits also to symbolize 100 years of marriage.
  • Behind that was a tin with all these rectangle box shaped things that were wrapped in banana leaves but we never found out what was wrapped within.
  • And in the back Chelsea carried two cakes which were placed on a pedestal of sorts.

After getting pictures of the gifts and pictures of us in line with the gifts we walked in line to the cars that were taking us to the brides house. Before we got there we went on a cruise around the city, this is done to help create a memory for the groom to be and those in his party. Also I think to show off to the people in the town that someone is getting married. The whole way there a photographer for the wedding followed the cars taking photographs and video while riding backwards on the back of a motor bike, this was so funny to me. They would speed ahead and then get film of us driving around the corner, etc.

We arrived at her house with many people waiting to greet us out side, we had to get out of the car and reorganize ourselves in the proper order behind the car then get another picture and walk slowly towards the door and up stairs where the ceremony would be held.

Then they talked for a while and I could not understand and then we got to eat and socialize. After the wedding celebrations we went out to karaoke which is done in the same fashion as Japan, in a personal room, so only you and your friends can hear you. They had many English songs to choose from. One of the funniest parts was after you sang you got a score like "94% good singer" Chelsea and I got a 100% on one of our duets but neither of us can agree on which one. We had lots of fun and will be returning this weekend for another session.

The playground construction is finished but there are no toys yet. We are trying to get enough money for that now. It is a very colorful playground and I really like how it turned out. For the time being we put some little bikes inside the fence and we are getting our schedule changed so we can play with the kids when it is cooler outside. So next week we should be able to utilize it better.

On my off hours I have been going to this place called Bread of Life, which is a restaurant owned by some Americans from Missouri who have been living in Vietnam for the past 8 years. The restaurant has only been open the past 9 months or so. They hire mostly people who are deaf, so I go there in the evenings and learn more Vietnamese sign language. I have progressed quite well and can now understand most everything they are saying. It is my new passion here, it is a bit difficult because each person may use different signs depending what form they learned and how much they were taught. So I have been having to learn numerous signs for the same word, the perk is as I am learning sign I am also learning Vietnamese, which has been more difficult for me to pick up without proper lessons and people always trying to speak to me in English. My favorite thing about going to Bread of Life is I can carry on a much more in depth conversation in sign with my new friends than I can in Vietnamese.

This last weekend we went back to Hoi An and went to a cooking school, which was a great experience and very well organized. It was my first time feeling like a real tourist. The day started out with us having coffee then going into the market which is very busy and stimulating to the senses. There are hundreds of vendors all trying to get you to buy from them. They are selling vegetables, fish, clothing, items for a funeral, meat (we saw a pile of pig heads lying on the floor, which made me laugh) and much more.


Our guide lead us through showing us the vegetables, tools for cooking, spices and meats and seafood and answered any questions we had. He was very witty and had all sorts of jokes up his sleeve (which I am sure he had told a million times).

After the market we took a half hour beautiful boat ride to the cooking school (the red bridge), when we arrived there we got a tour of the garden and got to see how they grew their herbs. Afterward we were taught how to cook squid with vegetables, eggplant in a clay pot, rice paper, and food decoration. Then we got to eat. It was a very pleasing experience.

Then of course being the fashionable girls Chelsea and I are we went out to the tailors and each got a dress made. In the evening we went to this great restaurant "The Cargo Club" and got fancy desserts. Yum!

In conclusion I am still having a wonderful time and wish I could stay longer, two months is too short. None the less I wish you could be sharing this experience with me.

With love,
Stella

Still Having Fun - May 10th

Last monday we got our new set of volunteers, we had one girl, Claudine, leave our placement and go to new one on Cham Island. We are very sad about this because she was a great volunteer and was doing great things with her class but I know she will do great things in her new placement, and we still see her on the weekends. We got one new boy from England who just came from a 7 month stay in the Phillipeans doing volunteer work and we got one new girl from Singapore, who will start working on her masters degree in the states after this project. They are both very nice people.

Last week I was asked to start teaching a two hour sign language class twice a week at the day center. I have now done two lessons, the first one was a bit difficult, but after correcting my original mistakes I was able to have a successful second lesson. What is most difficult is that a few of the students I am teaching have no sign and no Vietnamese language. So even if I learn the Vietnamese word for what I am teaching it does not help because they still do not know what I am talking about. Two of my students have well developed sign and I feel bad because I need to keep the class at a very basic level, but they seem to be having an okay time helping their peers. If anyone has any information on teaching sign to those who don't have developed language skills I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.

Last weekend we went out to Karaoke again with all of our Vietnamese family and had lots of fun. We were there for like 5 hours, but it did not feel like it.

On Sunday Chelsea and I were invited to go with our new friend Chan from Bread of Life to go to his home town in the country. It was about an hour motorbike ride from Da Nang. I rode on Chan's motorbike, and Chelsea rented a motorbike taxi to take her there. It was a beautiful ride, the hour just flew by cause there were so many new things to look at. We went to his house and got to meet his mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, brother in law and nephew.

Since we do not speak Vietnamese very well, we were not able to communicate to well with any of them, any time we would say something in Vietnamese they would shake their head no. His family had very minimum sign skills but they seemed to get along just fine. Chan did not begin to learn sign until he was 14 when he went off to a special school. He and his family would write anything down that they needed to tell one another.
We had a delicious meal and then drove home. It was a great day and a wonderful way to see another part of Vietnam.

This week we got the ball pit that we paid for with all of your donated money! It is a lot of fun and the children really enjoy it. One little girl didn't know what to do and ended up sinking down until all you could see was her face buried in the balls. It was an amusing sight and we all had to laugh for a minute when we noticed it before we could help her. I put my hand out so she could grab it, after a few seconds she slowly reached her had up to grab mine. Her expression was priceless.

This weekend we will be going out to a park for a party with all the staff from the Da Nang Red Cross on Friday. On Saturday we might head back to Hoi An again so we can see Claudine and on Sunday we will go to the movies with Chan, his favorites are Korean films, it should be an interesting experience, since I will not understand the language, but I assume it will still be entertaining.

Still having fun,
Stella

I'm Staying Longer

Starting where I ended last . . . We went to the movies with Chan and it was actually very fun. The movie was dubbed rather than subtitled so we were all on the same plane of "not hearing what was being said" The movie was very enjoyable and kept me interested. Mind you this was the first movie I had seen in over a month so I was pretty excited to be watching anything (since back home I watch at least one movie a week). The movie was called Daisy and was a Korean film, filmed in Amsterdam. It was about a young starving artist and a love triangle between her and two men who happened to be enemies. Not much was different about the movie theater except that the seats were two persons wide instead on just one.

Last weekend was amazing. We left on Thursday morning to go to Cham island to visit some of our fellow volunteers who work on the island teaching English to children and adults. Cham island is probably as big a Bainbridge Island (near home) and has 3 very small villages. Tourist are only allowed on the island with special permission, but in the future that may change since they want to be a tourist destination. I think this is a little sad because tourism really changes the way people work and act. I am so grateful I got to see this place before it became a place for tourists. It will be interesting to see how it changes in years to come.

The boat trip there took 2 hours, we traveled with a large group of 11 of us including the two volunteers that work on the island. Our manager, our cooks and our translator all came on vacation with us and it was wonderful. Except for the boat ride there where 3 people in our group that got motion sickness even after taking medicine. For me it felt fine since I am used to riding ferries.

We went scuba diving every day and I got to see all the beautiful fish that I normally only see on T.V. The coral was beautiful and many different colors, orange, green, pink and purple. Although sometimes being underwater and hearing myself breathe felt Iike I was in a jaws movie and something bad was going happen... da dun da dun dadundadun (just my imagination getting away with me). Scuba diving has been one of my most spectacular moments in Vietnam! Something also very amazing about Cham island was the the beaches were clean and deserted you felt like you had your own private beach, white sand and palm trees included. When we weren't swimming or scuba diving we went on a 3 hour boat ride all the way around the island which was amazing. The majority of the island had huge cliffs plummeting into the sea. The whole time we stayed there is rained which was unusual but I found it lovely but it also made me a little homesick. Oh Seattle!

Since I did not feel ready to leave Vietnam and could not afford to volunteer longer, I found a job instead. So I will be staying at least another 3 months in Da Nang. I got job teaching English at a language school. I am completing my class observations this week and will have a teaching demonstration next week where I will get critiqued in my teaching. Then I should start working right after that. I am going to work part time and on my free time continue to work at the orphanage and day center. I am very excited to be staying longer.

I will write more in a few days about my trip up to Hanoi and Halong bay.

Love,
Stella

Editor's Note: Stella said that she met a woman who was adopting a child at the orphanage in a few months. She was from New York and when she introduced herself the woman said, "Stella, You're Famous! I read about you on the internet."

August Update

Hello Everyone,

Chelsea went home the beginning of July and I have been teaching English. I have only been able to volunteer at the orphanage about two times a week in the last couple months, so I haven't felt like I had anything to tell all of you. I miss the kids like crazy when I am not with them. The GVN (Global Volunteer Network) program has changed a bit since I was volunteering full time, now we work at two orphanages. The new orphanage is more in the city center of Da nang where as the Red Cross orphanage is 15 minutes on the outskirts of town. I believe that there are about 25 kids at the other orphanage ranging in age from infants to about 8 years old, but I am not positive about this. I have found it difficult to spend my free time at the new orphanage because I am so attached to my kids at the Red Cross, so when I do have free time I want to spend it with them.

So many kids have been adopted out of the Red Cross in the last couple of months. There are only about 26 kids left compared to the 42 children that were there when I arrived. Since I only get to go in a few times a week I missed a lot of kids leaving and did not get to say goodbye. It made me really sad. I worry that the next time I go back more will be gone that I did not know were leaving and I will be sad cause I didn't get to say good bye or meet their new parents.

I hear that all the toddlers are going to be adopted and a good majority of the babies except maybe the really young ones. But I don't think that the two boys with disabilities are going to get adopted. A really great guy who is a physical
therapist came into the orphanage with a friend who was adopting. He was a great help with the two boys. One of the boys we got a wheel chair made for him a few months ago but the way it was built was not quite right for the boy, Huy, to be comfortable in so he helped us alter it a bit to make him more comfortable.

The other boy, Hom, we believe to have autism, this boy does not walk, the man said this is probably because the sensation is too great on his feet so he showed us somethings to do with him to desensitize his feet and help him get used to holding weight on his feet. I asked him if he actually thought it was possible for him to walk in the future and he said "oh yeah." This made me really excited, I just wish I had more time to spend at the orphanage each week so I could work with both of them on a regular basis.

A couple of weeks ago I got to travel down to Tam Ky to visit the GVN program down there. I got to see the orphanages that they work in. Their facilities were much better than the ones here in Da nang mostly because they had a large covered area where the children can play. I don't know how many times the mothers at the Red Cross told us we could not take the kids outside because it was too hot and they did not want them to get sick. I also got to visit the Home of Affection which was an orphanage but also a vocational training day center. About half the kids were orphans there about 30 kids. I really enjoyed getting to see what other orphanages were like in Vietnam, it helps me see what are cultural differences in raising kids and what things may just be the "mothers" (those who care for the children) at the Red Cross.

If there are any parents out there reading and want to know about how their children are doing just send in a message and a picture of your child. I will do my best in keeping you updating with the little time I get to spend there. Also if any parents are reading that have adopted recently I would love to be updated on how your kids are, I miss them like crazy, send me a picture and let me know what there old name was and what it is now. It would make me very happy to know how they are doing. You can send your messages through the contact link or post here.

I have been getting a little stressed lately trying to make decisions on how long I will be here, what I will do and if I have enough money to do what I want. But as of now the plan is to stay until the beginning of March. I do get really homesick from time to time but know that when I get home I will be homesick for Vietnam. It feels right to stay here a few more months.

My English classes at the language center have been going well, recently two of my classes have ended so I am left with just one class, but I am subbing for a couple. I am trying to decide if I will continue working here, my 3 month contract ends at the end of August. I wasn't sure if I liked teaching English at first but the longer I have done it the more comfortable I have become with it. Although it is quite ironic that I am teaching English because I am not very good at it. I always worry that I am correcting them in the wrong way. I think what is hard at this language center that the classes don't last very long so you build relationships with your students and then the class is over and you have to start all over again with new students. I think I would enjoy it much more if I could stick with the same students for a longer period of time.

For the most part I have been working, volunteering and spending a lot of time with friends.

Much Love,
Stella

Home and Typhoon Damage

Dear Friends,

I have returned back to the states safely. I left Vietnam a day before a Typhoon hit the city I have been living in the past six months. This is a letter I recieved today from one of my best friends, Nancy, who has been volunteering in Danang for the last 3 months and will continue on for 2 more. If you have just a small amount (for example 10 dollars) to donate I will assure you that the money will be put to good use repairing all the damage from the storm and helping the children at all the orphanages served by the Global Volunteering Network volunteers. I will also attach some photos of the damage incurred by Typhoon Xangsane (only one photo attached to this post). The photographs are all pictures from the orphanages and day centers we work at.

.....

On Sunday, October 1 at 9 AM in Danang, Vietnam, Typhoon Xangsane hit the city and has been described by locals as the worst typhoon in many years. Forty-two people in Vietnam died with seven missing, 12,000 homes were destroyed with another 113,000 damaged. At least 180,000 people were evacuated in advance of the storm. Authorities estimate damages at $623 million USD. The entire city was without electricity and running water for at least four days.

We, the Global Volunteer Network workers for October in Danang, got to see the devastation first-hand at several of our work sites. The Danang Malnourished Baby Orphanage, a home for about 15 children, had significant flooding. Luckily, the children had been moved to a safer building before the storm hit. The Disabled Children's Center, a day center for about 20 youths, had many large holes in the roof which require repairs. GVN volunteers swept up many buckets of sand from the rooms and courtyard. The Red Cross Day Care Center, a center for 22 children with various disabilities, also had large holes in the roof.

At the Red Cross Baby Orphanage, a home for about 20 infants and children, half of the roof is gone. Luckily, the children were evacuated beforehand to a hospital.The Social Supporting Center, a large complex serving 180 infants, children and adults with special needs (physical impairments, mental illness, homelessness, etc.), had the roof torn off many of its smaller houses. Many of the residents have to sleep in classrooms. It is the largest and poorest center with which GVN works. We have attached some photographs showing just some of the damage to these centres. (one is attached to this post)

Please send your donations to help with repairs and supplies! Any amount will help. For example, a pack of 44 diapers or a can of baby formula costs 100,000 Vietnamese Dong (3.31 British pounds or $6.25 USD). From donations already received, we've bought a generator for the Social Supporting Center, which they are using tonight. If you are paypal registered donations can be made through http://www.paypal.com using the email address gvnxangsanefund@yahoo.co.uk. Just log in and click send money!

Thank you! Amy Coulson, Beth Moon, Jenna Mackintosh, Jenny Bryant, Jess Palmer, Nancy Le

Answers:

News from Stella in Vietnam

It's so wonderful to hear about giving to others. You have done so . God has blessed you, Stella.

Love Doreen
From Indiana (04/11/2006)

By Engineer

News from Stella in Vietnam

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You're there with the Red Cross? Amen to what Doreen said. God bless you for doing His work!!! (04/11/2006)

By Luvyabye

News from Stella in Vietnam

Stella,
What a blessing you, Chelesa and the others are!
I will send my blessings for your health, happiness
and safety for you. I am so touched to know that
people like you care so much and do so much. I know visiting other countries reminds of us of how
much we have and how we can all share.
Thank you for writing to us.
Annie
(04/11/2006)

By meoowmom

News from Stella in Vietnam

Thank you, Stella, for sharing your experience with us! Is there anything I can do to help? Can I send something to these babies? There's so many truly needy in this world, but the children are innocent, and need us all. Please continue your work, send info on how to help, and kudos to you and Chelsea!
Bobbie (04/11/2006)

By bobbieg

News from Stella in Vietnam

Stella - you and your friends are doing a wonderful job. It is heart-breaking to think of these babies without the barest necessities. Please let us know what we can do to help. Keep up the good work! (04/12/2006)

By

News from Stella in Vietnam

Dear Stella & friends, Our best wishes to you. We are so proud of you.You are making a difference in the lives of many. Not only the children there,but ours as well. Letting us have a glimpse of what is going on in the every day lives of people in another country. We are blessed with so much and most do not appreciate that we live in a wonderful country. The world is not perfect,but we sure have it better than most. Keep up the great spirit.Love & hugs, Great granny Vi (04/14/2006)

By Great Granny Vi

News from Stella in Vietnam

Dear Stella, I find your letters back to us so facinating and interesting. I teach preschool and have a little girl in my class that was adopted from Vietnam. I think what your doing is wonderful please keep up the good work and keep writing to us...thanks gail26561 (04/23/2006)

By gail26561

DaNang Red Cross Orphanage

Stella,
I am adopting one of the toddlers, named Han, from your orphanage. I have been there before (that's when I met Han) and you do a wonderful job describing the orphanage. Yes, I hate that I know my daughter is tied to a crib. It breaks my heart. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! for cuddling with the babies. I pray every night and morning that someone there will take a moment to "love" my daughter. I'm uploading a picture of my future daughter so you'll know which one she is. Also, I fell in love in a little girl name Phuong, or Dan as the workers there call her, and a little girl named Trang. Phuong will be picked up for adoption soon (I'm friends with her mother-in-waiting) but I don't know anything about Trang. I sent a package to the girls but I don't know yet if my daughter and the other girls got their gifts. I appreciate your service to these children!
Melissa
my email address is loulouellen (at) yahoo.com (04/23/2006)

By Melissa

DaNang Red Cross Orphanage

News from Stella in Vietnam

I Love you and your adventuresome spirit! Let me know if you need anything. xox (04/23/2006)

By Aunty Lanna

News from Stella in Vietnam

Hi Stella,

Its nice reading your accounts of your new experiences - you are doing a great job - thanks for taking time off to give much needed love and care to the less privileged.

Thank God for your gift of youth and generous disposition. Much blessings to your family as well since they took time to show you the great and good things in life - its not material things but love that binds nations and families.

God bless you and keep up the good work.
rosy≠ (04/25/2006)

By rdezilwa

DaNang Red Cross Orphanage

Melissa,
I sent word to Stella about Han. She needs to go to an internet cafe to get my emails so doesn't do that everyday.

Both Chelsea and Stella are great with children and no doubt are taking very good care of them when they are there.

Han looks to be adorable and I hope you are able to bring her home soon.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words both as feedback and your private messages to me. Your kindness and support means a lot.

Susan from ThriftyFun (04/25/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Another propective parent

Hi! Thank you so much for getting this information out! My wife and I are also adopting from the Red Cross Danang orphanage. If you have a minute to spare, I would love to get any kind of update on how our daughter is doing. If you email me at duff (at) atollsw.com I can send you pictures and other information to identify her. Thanks!

Tom (05/02/2006)

By ErsatzTom

News from Stella in Vietnam

Hello Tom,
I emailed Stella that you have a child there. Hopefully she will get to her internet cafe soon and get my message and email you.
Thanks,
Susan
(05/02/2006)

By ThriftyFun

News from Stella in Vietnam

Thanks!

Tom (05/02/2006)

By ErsatzTom

News from Stella in Vietnam

Hello Mellisa,
It was very touching to find out that you are adopting one of the girls I have been working with this last month. I love her a lot and I am so glad she has a family waiting for her. Recently I have got her to blow kisses, which is so cute, she knows when it is time for me to leave and starts blowing me kisses. She is pretty quiet with a most of the time I dont think I have ever seen her cry. But she is very happy when you play with her.
I have got to get back to work now I will keep in touch.
Take care,
Stella (05/02/2006)

By

Thank you Stella

Stella,
Thank you so much for the encouragement about Han. Two people that live in my town just adopted two babies from the orphanage last month. They're home now. They said they didn't get a chance to play with Han. It broke my heart! I sent Han, Trang, and "Dan" (Phuong) some gifts along with a picture album for Han. They had to give the gifts to someone else that's not from the orphanage and I don't know if they got them. We're trying so hard to get there quickly. My friend that lives across the road from me just accepted Trang as her referral. I'm so excited that both Han and Trang will live close together. I'm also friends with Dan's mom even though we don't live in the same state. We'll all make sure the children stay connected as they grow up. Thank you so much for taking you time to volunteer there. You are a blessing! Tell Han her Mommy, Daddy, Big Sister, and two Big Brothers love her!

Melissa (05/03/2006)

By Melissa

News from Stella in Vietnam

I'm sorry Stella, I don't want to over run your message board with posts from adoptive parents but I really want to thank you for what you're doing for our children during our time away from them! I'm among families like Tom's and Melissa's, our daughter is also living in the DaNang RedCross Orphanage. (In fact I've been told that Han and our daughter share a crib from time to time.) I truely sleep better at night knowing that our sweet Huong is being cared for by such amazing people!
If you have the time, I can be reached at ncrphoto (at) yahoo.com

Thank you again!! ~Nicole (05/03/2006)

By Nicole Robinson

News from Stella in Vietnam

A new update about Stella's Journey has just been added. I talked to her on Tuesday night. She said she had sent an email off to Tom. She'd like to post more recent pictures of the babies but is not sure that will be possible with the equipment she can use there. She is very excited that the parents-to-be have found this post. She wants all of the children to be adopted and is always glad to hear that this is in process.

Thanks for all of your concern and feedback.
Susan (05/04/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Another adoptive parent

Hi Stella,
My name is Sherri, and I am also adopting from the Danange orphanage! I'm thrilled to have found you and Chelsea! I just wrote to her e-mail about my little one there in Danang. If you can write me, I'll share more details about her. My address is
sat7171 (at) yahoo dot com
Thanks so much!!
My best to you and Chelsea in Vietnam, Sherri (05/10/2006)

By Sherri

News from Stella in Vietnam

Just wanted to say I've read all the posts and may all that have adopted or are helping these orphans deserves a very special medal of honor. you all deserve a round of applause. thank you and keep up the hard but very rewarding work. may god bless you all. (06/08/2006)

By miraclelady50

News from Stella in Vietnam

Beautiful, Stella!!!

Good for you. I have goosebumps reading your story. I don't know you, but I am proud of you. You've got a good heart. Keep up the good work!
Hugs, Blessings and bare feet, Jen (06/09/2006)

By Crunchy Mama

News from Stella in Vietnam

I look forward to getting to meet you when we come to pick up Huong! We're leaving on the 12th of July and hope to be there for something like 2 weeks.
It sounds like you are having a great time!! I'm way jealous!

~Nicole
Mom to Huong
ncrphoto (at) yahoo.com (06/10/2006)

By Nicole

Will you be there?

Dear Stella,
I have some friends that are planning to stop by the orphanage on the 30th of June. I would like to send a photo album to Han. May one of my friends that is visiting give you the photo album of our family so that I know Han will be able to receive it. Will you be there then? I sent a photo album with a blanket and bear in April but I don't know if she ever got it. I also sent a blanket to Trang and a beanie babie to Dan. I don't know if they got their gifts either. Are there still eight workers in the orphanage? How many volunteers are there now? Thank you so much for caring so deeply in your heart about VN and the children that you would stay. God bless you! Melissa, waiting for Han encke2p(at)yahoo.com (06/11/2006)


By Melissa Woodruff

News from Stella in Vietnam

Hi Melissa,
Stella will be in Danang until at least September 29th and probably longer. She's teaching english at a school there for the next 3 months but still volunteers at the orphanage. I'll let her know about your message so maybe she can send you a phone number where she can be reached when your friends arrive.

I know that packages arriving in Vietnam need to be paid for by the person receiving it. This may only be for foreigners but it may be that the orphanage does not have the funds to accept the packages. The best way to send things is through someone coming to the area. Chelsea was charged $30 and $100 to receive packages there and Stella $30 for several boxes of diaper ointment we sent her.

Susan (06/12/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Thanks

Susan (and Stella)
Thank you for seeing if there's a way to contact Stella. The gifts I previously sent were with a group adopting their children from the orphanage. It was a little hap hazard from what I understand and they had to give the gifts to one of the VN guys that was accompanying them. My friends going there this time are traveling with humanitarian aid and have nothing to do with adoption, so I'm not sure who they could give the gifts to. I'd prefer to give them to someone who speaks English (Stella!) so that the gifts are not "misplaced" again. I'm not for sure if the children ever recieved the original gifts I'd sent or not. Again, thank you. I appreciate Stella's heart. One of my dear friends volunteered through GVN in the DaNang orphanage from Aug - Nov 05. That's how I met the little girl I'm adopting. I went to visit my friend in the orphanage and fell in love with my daughter-to-be. Her college helped pay for some of her stay because it fit in with her studies. I'd say she stayed in the same house as Stella does.

Thanks again,
Melissa Woodruff (06/12/2006)

By Melissa Woodruff

What does the orphanage need?

Hi Stella! You have been our link to Vietnam throughout this entire process, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate all you have done and are doing.

My husband, Tom, is traveling to Danang next week, and will finally be bringing Suong home. We were just wondering what the orphanage needs as far as supplies and things for the babies- I was going to send him with tons of diaper rash cream and some small toys. Is there anything else he can bring that would be useful?

Thanks again for all you do and for all the love and care you've given our daughter,
Chel Micheline (Suong's mama) (06/18/2006)

By Chel M.

Things Needed at the Orphanage

I wrote to Stella asking her what was needed that is hard to get in Vietnam, here's what she said:

Here at some things I think of on the spot. Premature baby clothes, toys that won't break easily when dropped on cement, Diaper rash cream, Medicines that babies tend to need, sippy cups! they give the kids water with spoons and I worry they are not getting enough, so if they had a sippy cup they could carry it around with them.
I will try and think of more but these are things that are a little difficult to find over here.
(06/19/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Orphanage supplies!

Hi Stella!

We managed to find many of the things that you mentioned the orphanage needed (including lots of sippy cups, diaper cream, and some small toys!) and Tom will be bringing them with him when he travels Tuesday. I know you volunteer a few days a week, so he will try to give them to you personally, but is there anyone else we can hand the supplies to to make sure they stay at the orphanage? I understand why some of the things disappear (money for the orphanage to continue operation) but we'd like to see the kids get these items since they are small and would make their lives a little better.

Thanks so much, and Tom REALLY hopes he can meet you when he travels!
Chel (Quynh Suong's Mama) (06/23/2006)

By Chel Micheline

News from Stella in Vietnam

Dear Stella,

I'm so glad that you are in DaNang helping out with the children at the orphanage. My husband and I are waiting for travel announcement to pick up our son, Trung Tan, who is at the DaNang Red Cross Orphanage. His birthday is December 12, 2005. Originally travel was slated for August, but it's looking more like September now. The wait is killing me. I've attached a photo of him. If you could check on him and give him extra loving from us, we would greatly appreciate it. Any updates are appreciated. Hope all is well for you and keep up the good work.

Sincerely,
Stacy Tran (06/25/2006)

By Stacy

RE: News from Stella in Vietnam

News from Stella in Vietnam

Hello Stacy,
I wrote to Stella about your post and to watch out for little Trung Tan. She loves them all so I'm sure she will.

Chel,
I also wrote her about Tom. All of the volunteers stay in the same house. I don't have the address handy but will post it soon.
Best Wishes,
Susan

(06/25/2006)

By ThriftyFun

thanks!

Tom is leaving tomorrow for Vietnam and is expecting to visit the orphanage Friday. We have all the bags of stuff ready. Can you ask Stella who to present them to? I have heard that the best thing to do is hand them out to the kids, but I have a feeling the sippy cups will turn into toys very quickly if Tom does that! I'm just determined to get these items to the kids, especially after reading about them playing with bits of cellophane, etc.

Thanks so much!
Chel (06/26/2006)

By chel Micheline

Referral for little boy from Danang Orphanage

My husband and I just received a referral for a baby boy at Danang Red Cross Orphanage. We're so excited to find this wonderful diary from Stella and the responses, so we can learn as much as we can about the orphanage and the babies. The info we have on our son consists of 3 photos, birth certificate, and certificate of health. He was born Oct. 7, 2005 and is names Trung Thanh. We'd love to find out anything about his personality - is he outgoing or shy, is he active, does he smile? Does anyone know of a way to find some contact person who has met him? We aren't sure, but it looks like our potential son might be the boy on the right, that Stella is holding in the photo posted on this blog! We'd love it if that was him, and we knew she had helped care for him.
Thanks for any guidance!!
My email is cagreen @ wellington.com (07/02/2006)

By Christine

News from Stella in Vietnam

I would love to contact Stella about where she is teaching now. I went to Vietnam with GVN last year and now want to go back and teach again but this time not as a volunteer.
My email is michellemc AT aapt.net.au

Thanks

(b)Editor's Note(/b) I sent this on to Stella so hopefully she will write back to you directly. (08/04/2006)

By

No longer an orphan

Stella,

This is my daughter Quynh Van. We adopted her in July and she is doing GREAT at home with us. Any information, photos, or video of her that you could send my way would be SO much appreciated. You can email me at joshapril (at) hotmail (dot) com

Thanks so much for loving on the kids at RC Danang!!

~April (08/08/2006)

By April

No longer an orphan

Huong from Red Cross DaNang

Hi Stella, you and I have spoken a few times in the past about our daughter Huong. Our little girl was one of the ones who left before you got a chance to say goodbye. We're home in Oregon now and she's doing wonderfully! I've attached a picture. You can follow us on our blog at: http://www.vietnamaddition.blogspot.com
Thanks for all the wonderful work you're doing! (08/12/2006)

By Nicole

Huong from Red Cross DaNang

News from Stella in Vietnam

Hello Nicole,
It is so good to hear from you I am sorry I did not get to meet you when you picked up Huong. I can't seem to load your blog page but I will try again a different day. Huong looks the happiest I have ever seen her in this picture. That makes me feel so good. She was so shy with us volunteers.
Take Care and Keep in touch, when I am Back in the US I am only a 3 hour drive to portland.
Stella (08/13/2006)

By Stellaluna

News from Stella in Vietnam

Stella--can you advise as to the safety of the orphanages during the expected storm? I read about a probably evacuation in light of Sunday's typhoon and I am concerned. Thank you.

Editor's Note: Stella is on her way back today for a few months in the states. I'll let her know of your message. She has friends there that she will be able to contact. (09/29/2006)

By Kathy Scanlon

News from Stella in Vietnam

Dear Friends,
I have returned back to the states safely. I left Vietnam a day before a Typhoon hit the city I have been living in the past six months. This is a letter I recieved today from one of my best friends, Nancy, who has been volunteering in Danang for the last 3 months and will continue on for 2 more. If you have just a small amount (for example 10 dollars) to donate I will assure you that the money will be put to good use repairing all the damage from the storm and helping the children at all the orphanages served by the Global Volunteering Network volunteers. I will also attach some photos of the damage incurred by Typhoon Xangsane (only one photo attached to this post). The photographs are all pictures from the orphanages and day centers we work at.

.....

On Sunday, October 1 at 9 AM in Danang, Vietnam, Typhoon Xangsane hit the city and has been described by locals as the worst typhoon in many years. Forty-two people in Vietnam died with seven missing, 12,000 homes were destroyed with another 113,000 damaged. At least 180,000 people were evacuated in advance of the storm. Authorities estimate damages at $623 million USD. The entire city was without electricity and running water for at least four days.

We, the Global Volunteer Network workers for October in Danang, got to see the devastation first-hand at several of our work sites. The Danang Malnourished Baby Orphanage, a home for about 15 children, had significant flooding. Luckily, the children had been moved to a safer building before the storm hit. The Disabled Childrens Center, a day center for about 20 youths, had many large holes in the roof which require repairs. GVN volunteers swept up many buckets of sand from the rooms and courtyard. The Red Cross Day Care Center, a center for 22 children with various disabilities, also had large holes in the roof.

At the Red Cross Baby Orphanage, a home for about 20 infants and children, half of the roof is gone. Luckily, the children were evacuated beforehand to a hospital.The Social Supporting Center, a large complex serving 180 infants, children and adults with special needs (physical impairments, mental illness, homelessness, etc.), had the roof torn off many of its smaller houses. Many of the residents have to sleep in classrooms. It is the largest and poorest center with which GVN works. We have attached some photographs showing just some of the damage to these centres. (one is attached to this post)

Please send your donations to help with repairs and supplies! Any amount will help. For example, a pack of 44 diapers or a can of baby formula costs 100,000 Vietnamese Dong (3.31 British pounds or $6.25 USD). From donations already received, weve bought a generator for the Social Supporting Center, which they are using tonight. If you are paypal registered donations can be made through http://www.paypal.com using the email address gvnxangsanefund@yahoo.co.uk. Just log in and click send money!

Thank you! Amy Coulson, Beth Moon, Jenna Mackintosh, Jenny Bryant, Jess Palmer, Nancy Le

(What you see in the picture is roofing hanging off the front of the building) (10/10/2006)

By ThriftyFun

RE: News from Stella in Vietnam

News from Stella in Vietnam

Stella--thanks for your update and to your friends for allowing us to help with the relief effort. Please continue to let us know what the situation is as to the typhoon relief.

Kathy Scanlon (10/12/2006)

By Kathy Scanlon

Hello Stella from one of your toddlers at DRC orphanage

Stella,
It crossed my mind that perhaps you didn't get a chance to say goodbye to Phan Hoai Thoung, aka, Dan and now Madeline Grace Hoai Golden. She is the teeny, tiny little 2 and 1/2 year old from the Danang Red Cross Orphanage! She came home in July of this year! I traveled along with Nicole, April, Laura, and Keith the physical threrapist you mention in your blog! I just wanted to thank you and assure you that she is doing great! She has a sister who is 8 years old also adopted from Danang Red Cross at the age of 2 months old. And she has a younger sister from China who is one year old! I arrived home from China just 2 weeks before leaving for Vietnam! I had Madeline's referral since Jan 2004! She was worth the wait!

Thank you for looking after the kids until they could come home! Best of Luck to you! I have attached a recent picture of Madeline in the pink along with Shannon who you will recognize too! She was adopted in April!
Sincerely,

Kathy
Email: ktggolds @ yahoo. (dot) com
Remove spaces! (10/13/2006)

By Kathy Golden

Hello Stella from one of your toddlers at DRC orphanage

News from Stella in Vietnam

Hello Stella,

You describe the damage and situation in Da Nang
after the typhoon. About the Red Cross Baby orphanage, is it the orphanage located near the marble mountain ?
the address is
283A Le Van Hien Street
Son Thuy Hoa Hai
Ngu Hanh Son Dsictrict
Danang City

I saw the picture. It's terrible...

Florence adoptive mom
(10/14/2006)

By Florence NELLO-TEIXEIRA

News from Stella in Vietnam

Hello Stella,

You describe the damage and situation in Da Nang
after the typhoon. About the Red Cross Baby orphanage, is it the orphanage located near the marble mountain ?
the address is
283A Le Van Hien Street
Son Thuy Hoa Hai
Ngu Hanh Son Dsictrict
Danang City

I saw the picture. It's terrible...

Florence adoptive mom
(10/14/2006)

By Florence NELLO-TEIXEIRA

Thank you & I'm glad you're home!

Stella,
I'm so glad you made it home safely. It was great to meet you while I was there. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you and Nancy and the love and care you gave to Mia (Han). She really struggled and was very ill once I got her home. But, we're making headways and now that she's been treated with some pretty extensive antibiotics she's really coming out of her shell. She's too cute. I was wondering if you are the one that taught her the sign language for "all gone". I'm so glad to think that you will be returning to work with the deaf at the BOL. I've tried to contact the Huff's to find out about any damage to their new shop but as of yet have gotten no reply, other than finding out through another friend that the Huffs were safe in their home and some of the staff was there with them as well. Anyway, welcome home! I've attached a picture of Mia that I took today while she was laughing with her big sister.

Melissa (10/15/2006)

By Melissa Woodruff

Thank you & I'm glad you're home!

News from Stella in Vietnam

Florence, that would be the one. But the above picture is from one of the other places we work at. (10/18/2006)

By Stella

News from Stella in Vietnam

Stella,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. You've done such a wonderful service for those babies, my son included. My baby was born March 26, 2006, so you may have been there when he was abandoned and watched him grow. His name is Trung Vinh and he's got the most hair I've ever seen on a baby (until they cut it this summer). We're going to pick him up in December. Any pictures you have of him or information/stories about him would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. I'm attaching the earliest picture I have of him. I think it's from 2 months old. My email is chrisnsteph1022 @ yahoo.com (11/07/2006)

By Stephanie

RE: News from Stella in Vietnam

News from Stella in Vietnam

HI!
I am adopting a beautiful little boy from the Danang Orphanage where Stella volunteered.I know it may have been a while since she was there, but I would love to be in touch with her to aska few questions about the place. Also, I wonder if she may know of anyone who is currently there who might check on my little boy.
Is there any way to get in touch with her now?
Thank you so much!
Sincerely,
Maribeth in NYC mbmilkowski AT aol.com

(b)Editor's Note:(/b) She's in the states now, I've sent this on to her. She was there as recently as November. She'll email you. (01/06/2008)

By maribeth

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