Lyn shared this adorable picture from one of her last days at the Tam Ky orphanage. Can you pick out the boy hidden in a dress?
I only have my guess, but I know his name is Khang and no one batted an eye about putting him in one of the dresses we made. This delights me and is just one of the things I love about Vietnam. It’s definitely a patriarchy, don’t get me wrong, but some of the ideas that are so deeply entrenched in American culture (Boys don’t wear dresses, ever!) simply don’t exist there.
Before I get lost on a tangent, I wanted to publicly thank Lyn for her help in Tam Ky. Honestly, it couldn’t have happened this go-round without her. She was the one that let me know boxes had gone missing. She took photos for me and paid for the import tax on the last two boxes. While the tax was less than $30, it was more than Mrs. Hanh could have possibly paid (that’s about half of her monthly income!). Lyn re-connected me with kids we’d worked with in Tam Ky who are now at orphanages in Hoi An and Phu Ninh. She reignited my passion to do more there and get back to Vietnam as soon as I can.
A new volunteer is coming in June, staying and helping like the Quiltys did, without a volunteer organization to back her. Like many of us who have volunteered in Tam Ky, she is driven to do more. She’ll be my contact for at least one shipment there.
Up in Hanoi, I’ve made contact with Blue Dragon, an NGO that has been around for years helping street kids get an education and training. They’ll be getting more school bags and pencil pouches, along with some clothes. I am not quite sure how all of it will work, but I am sure we can figure it out. Together.