This morning Steve, Charlie, Ashley and I visited a tomb of the late King Khai Dinh who ruled from 1916-1925 in Hue with Sister Anne and Sister Agnes. It was amazing because inside it was decorated with ceramics all of the walls and the ceiling had been painted apparently with paintbrushes in their feet! The King died at 40 years old. We think it was because he had over 100 wives and more than that of children! The Sisters tell us he was a handsome man!!!
Billie and Dacey decided to stay at the convent and help out with the kindergarten for the morning with the lovely teachers here. They experienced their first act of volunteering in a foreign kinder. They were up the front of the class teaching the alphabet and they helped feed some of the children. Afterwards the teacher braided their hair.
After visiting the Kings tomb, we stopped off at one of the communities the sisters provide assistance to. It is a poor community and the children were very young and did not speak any English. We donated 1.5 million Dong ($75) to this community and the Sister Superior was most grateful saying she will purchase mosquito nets to protect the kids. It was an impromptu visit, and we gave them everything we had on us at the time.
There are usually 60 children at this kinder. Their parents grow banana trees, jack fruit and plant vegetables in the valley and hills. Previous benefactors built a large verandah and a pathway for this community of children. Without this money, the children would not have an undercover area to play.
After further conversations with the Sisters, they told us that they look after 48 other communities like the one pictured in and around the city of Hue with an overall 60 communities in Vietnam. Steve keeps pulling out millions of Dong to give to the head of the community we visit. They are so happy to receive our donation and you can see where the money can be spent. However, there are many more communities in the countryside that are very poor and live with very little. We have been invited to come next year and go out to these other needy communities. With a population of 90 million people in Vietnam the need for assistance seems endless and overwhelming. One step at a time.
This afternoon we visit the Citadel and Pagoda and view the Perfume River in the sister-mobile.