Update from Sue Gray
First time I have a few minutes spare, it is Mon morning and have been here since last Thurs lunchtime.
Visits to date: Girls boarding school of approx. 50 girls, a friends house in a village to see some very poor ladies we see every year (one with a 44 yo shrapnel wound), bookstore to buy books for another village library I am setting up, Sewing Room girls for health checks, Boys Boarding School for same, another friends house who has basically set up a small orphanage within her house and has 33 children
including 4 of her own living there, visited the convent to do heath checks on the old Sisters, a bike ride through the villages yesterday & it was so hot I nearly fainted, we had lunch with Rins (my friends) friends which included rat and frogs (I did not indulge) but I was revived
by a tea made from what smelt like sage leaves but were from a tree & this morning we are going to Phong Quy another boarding house to do more health checks. Am making Philip work but keeping him fed & those that know him know that is a priority. Numerous visits to the pharmacy to restock. My hotel room looks like a pharmacy combined medical supply shop.
Have not distributed the clothing, beanies, puzzles, scarves yet as want to determine who needs them most.
Last night met with the person who is responsible for the charitable trust supplying the milk formula to the babies/ children in the villages here. Another Philip (but called Phil) & he is from Melb. which I did not realise. The Doctor that left the money to the trust for aid work was a friend of Philips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Small world. Phil & Philip know a number of the same people. So another 2000 cans of milk formula were distributed yesterday to the villagers. Philip and I did not go to see it all happen as we were too busy.
Its another night now & we went to another Boarding House today........Tricia & I went there in March & it is through Tricia that we have this connection.
All the girls there were pretty healthy & a couple had craters in their teeth & 2 with heart murmurs but a number had never seen a Nurse or Doctor in their lives. We thought we may be there for only a short time and it ended up being 4 hours. I think we saw every girl, plus the workers & Sisters that run the Boarding house & a few villagers came in too. Another trip to the pharmacy to restock of course. I think we keep it in business from year to year. Everything from tablets for intestinal worms to vitamins & antiinflamm's to allergy medicines required.
Met a group of young Australian girls in the hotel this morning doing World Challenge. They are from a high school in Perth and after trekking (in the rain & mud in KT for 2 days, left this morning) they are back here for a night, then heading to Hoi An. Discovered they have a connection with a school for deaf children in Perth and some of the girls could sign. Have since contacted my friend in Hoi An so they can arrange to visit her school for hearing impaired children here!! The girls (aged between 15 & 17) were so excited.
Must end this now of it will be another day before I send it. Is late and should be asleep. Will send photos next email.