This morning, we took a break from the luxury life to visit an orphanage in Vietnam.
This orphanage, which is run by monks and nuns, currently takes care of 89 children as well as several dozen old persons who have nowhere else to live and no one to take care of them.
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A DUAL-PURPOSE CENTER
So it's pretty much a multi-function care center, with the monks and nuns, plus volunteers from the local community, having their hands full taking care of the very young and the very old.
When I heard about this orphanage, I was very interested to go and visit them.
|Everyone's multi-tasking here....|
A never-ending Travelife is very much about the good and wonderful life.
But it's also about real life and being interested in everything in the world, and being concerned for other people when possible.
TOWELS FOR BABIES
Yesterday, I asked one of the resort staff at the Fusion Maia Danang, the luxury destination spa where we are spending a week, what the orphanage might need. I could imagine that they are always running out of supplies, with so many people to take care of.
The resort staff said to me: "Towels would be best, because there are so many babies who need towels, especially in the middle of the night."
So yesterday, off we went to the biggest mall to buy as many towels as we could find.
We could have just given money, of course; but somehow I thought giving actual goods they could use immediately would be more meaningful.
JOY IN THE MOST UNEXPECTED PLACES
The orphanage was more joyful than I expected.
Lots of the children were smiling and happy, and you know it wasn't a show for visitors.
I could also see that the women taking care of the children -- especially the women in charge of the school-age children -- really cared for their wards.
TEA WITH THE CHIEF MONK
We sat and had tea with the chief monk for about 30 minutes.
In that short time, we discussed how the orphanage operated.
Apparently, a lot of babies get left on their doorstep, especially in the early mornings, by parents who don't wish to take care of their children.
In the last two months alone, five babies were left on the doorstep of the orphanage.
|This little boy was left on the orphanage door when he was only 7 days old...|
Heartbreaking as this was, it's good to know that this orphanage does a satisfactory and admirable job of taking care of their wards.
Most of the children stay at the orphanage until they grow up. A few of them even become monks.
THE FOOD'S GOOD TOO
Then it was time for lunch -- both for us and for the children and the adults at the orphanage.
I was very curious about the food at the orphanage, so I took a peek at what was being served.
There was a variety of local dishes and everything looked pretty balanced and appetizing.
So this morning was an especially wonderful and enlightening start to another never-endingly eventful Travelife.
And now back to regular programming. I've got four spa treatments lined up at the Fusion Maia Danang, and another walk down a pretty amazing beach at sunset....
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