You know how sometimes you can work all day and have no idea what you really did? Not so with this group. They have literally been working from dawn to dusk to get the playground finished. Marty says they are making incredible progress. At the end of each night everyone is completely exhausted but feeling a huge sense of accomplishment. Marty was so tired the other night, he feel asleep while chatting with me on Skype. (And it wasn’t because of my normal rambling on about 27 topics at once)
To give you a bit more perspective on this trip, here is a typical home of the families that work on the garbage dumps. The group is doing this in partnership with the Catalyst Foundation whose goal it is to help the Vietnamese families living in the most extreme poverty with education and economic opportunities and protect the girls are especially vulnerable to sex trafficking. In this case many of those in this community are Khmer who originally were from Cambodia. Because of this, the Vietnamese government doesn’t recognize them, even though they have been living in the country for generations, and so provides no services. They make their living digging out plastic and recyclables out of the dump. The Catalyst Foundation was able to build a school for this community. Thanks to RoadMonkey, the kids can now also have a playground.
In an earlier post, I had mentioned that Marty had his new iphone stolen (with all his photos/videos). When he was feeling particularly down about it, a little boy Vy (pronouned, YEE) brought over a card he made himself (including the envelope) that explained how grateful he was that he was able to go to school, that the group was building them a playground, and he how he felt bad about “the incident”. Marty said it was hard to tell the interpreter (Caroline– who founded Catalyst) anything without tearing up. By the way, the whole community has been helping to track down the iphone and they have some leads.
Anyway, there’s one more day of building the playground. They are going to have a ribbon cutting ceremony at the end of the day. Then, the next morning they fly to Saigon and get ready to fly home.