(Written in 2016)
So I have been to visit a orphanage here in Vietnam, I plan to go back while I am here to hang out with the kids, they will teach me more than I can teach me. It started after I had requested to visit one through the school I am working for. It was an amazingly well kept place and as soon as I walked in I did not feel oppressed or gain a bad feeling. The manager of the orphanage lived on the grounds with his own family, his face a soft and kind face that softened even further with his smile. We all sat in what appeared to be a reception building. He was not able to speak English and with me speaking even less Vietnamese we fortunately had a couple of the teaching assistants to help us thorough my curiosity. I was curious as to how this system worked. Unlike in India I have not seen street children flocked in the streets and parks, I wanted to know how they were making it work. He said the Government controlled it, the same as in England. Some children ended up in care because they had no family or maybe one parent had died and the other was unable to care for themselves. I picked up there was also abuse and the government would intervene but this was not mentioned directed, something they would rather not talk about, a mute talking point some might say. I was curious about the individual stories but was unsure if I would ever find those out, who wanted to share the stories that so many wanted to forget, to talk of the misery with a stranger, although to be fair we pay good money to do this and then call it therapy! I asked about how they worked the orphanage which in truth was a childrens care home rather than an oliver twist film set. They said there are 10 children in a family, I was very confused by the statement and so when I asked more I discovered that each family has 'a mother' in a bungalow style home set within the grounds. The mother is a woman who is not married, has no children and takes care of the children until they are are 18, they continue to support them until they make a family of there own. There was a picture where the front of the main building was filled with the adults and now there own families. The circle of life was very evident to me in those pictures, pictures of survival and love greater than blood or expectation. The whole concept of the 'mothers' completely floored me, I have never ever in all the people I have met in all of the world heard of such selflessness. I was convinced I must be missing something, but these 'mothers' dedicate there lives to a place that was not a chosen home for them and 10 children. This is not adoption, adoption is on your terms, what you want I your own chosen surroundings, fostering is short term or if long term the children are expected to fit in with your life in most instances. This was so much more than that, this was a decision that was then to become there life, live in the childrens world. They would make the decision to never marry, to never leave them or this home within the compound of bungalows and also accept new children as required. This was not a job, one that you could ever walk away from, it was a life commitment beyond anything I could understand. I have never consider myself truly selfless by any means, I live a wanderlust life since Paul past, an aim to live for two, complete the bucket list, but I do consider myself a kindly person, always wanting to make the world a bit better if I can. However, today, I wondered if there was anything in this world I could contribute that could match these mothers. Im not sure there is but I will keep trying but within the boundaries of my possible. When you think of your limitations, limitations of love or caring, think of the mothers, it will give you the push you need for a little more selflessness. These amazing woman will stay with me, I hope they will with you too now. Be kind sunshine people.