Friday, June 30, 2006

Day 4

The 'Battle of Paints!' Ger managed to 'acquire' some decent paints and learned how to carry 20ltrs on the back of a motorbike. The compromise deal was for the VN's to do the kitchen and refectory 'their way' (i.e. whitewash) while we got to do the kids dorms. Intense negotiations during the day with the Giller acting as Peacemaker (and close inspection) by teh Orphanage Director) resulted with a win for the Irish and the Diorector making plans for the whole orphanage being painted in the 'new' paint before we leave. All in all a great day for the V's with 'The Fields of Athenry' being belted out when things flying... Three kids dorms were covered and they look great...

A new baby arrived today, having been abandoned at the gate overnight - This makes eighteen babies in the baby rooms.

Gary pulled a 'sickie' - fulling certified by the Orphanage Doctor and had to take to the bed with Maria looking after him... (oooops, that doesn't read quite right!) but they had both recovered by dinnertime and went shopping afterwards!

Richie had his hair cut by one of the girls in the orphanage with the final shaping being done with a Stanley knife! It should be ok by the time he gets home.

Monsoon rains continue but we're getting used to them arriving around 5.00pm... Joe has moved to talking to the VN's - the V's having been bored silly by his tales of adventure while growing up as a kid in Walkinstown!! The Giller took to the blackboard (it was green!) and had a class of kids for Irish phrases, history and geography.. Pavel is teaching them Polish thru' broken English, so you can imagine the results...

Stephen is performing well (prolly in the hope of picking up a a job with Ger after the expediion!)
Half-day tomorrow and we're off Sunday (for Mass etc.). Hopefully the weather will pick up and we'll get to the beach...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Day 3

One word would best describe today - CHAOS!! The day started with us getting our bicycles.... This was the easiest part! Then we set out for the orphanage.. Spirits were high with Richie getting us do the Irish Scout yell (HICKAMALYA!) as we cycled along.. We arrived in the orphange to be gretted with a formal speech from the director of the orphanage - Mr. Baa, There was a large banner dtrung over the front of the orphanage ' Welcome Irish Students to Vietnam'.. It looked cool.. Then the fun started.

We were informed that the paint had arraived but that it had to be mixed in big vats. Ger Fleming (our Technichal Supervisor - everyone in VN has a title!) was less than impressed. The Director informed us that certain children in the orphange had been chosen to asist with the project... but this didn't last long - after an hour or so every kid in the place was lashing whitewash onto any wall in site!! There was more paint on the kids than on the wall... Gary got paint in the eye (but we're treating it every hour with TLC - Ma Oxberry needn't worry - John's luggage hasn't arrived either, so both Oxo's are moaning!!).

The V's challenged the older lads to a football match after lunch. To say it was intense wud be an understatement but the match ended in a draw 10-10. Meanwhile Joe was showing the younger kids how (not) to play hurling.. (Drimnagh Castle was never any good at hurling unlike Brunner!!). His style is best described as a cross between tennis and icehockey...
To top it all off, just as we were about to leave the orphanage the heavens opened and we cycled home in monsoon rains absolutely knackered... Tomorrow, Day 4, brings a new start... Ger got his way at the delicicate end-of-day negotiations and we're doing things his way tomorrow !! Roll on...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Days 1&2

Well we've finally arrived folks in Ho Chi Ming Chi (HCMC) and guess what ??? It's lashing rain!! Travel went well until we arrived at HCMC airport and we discoveerd that John's luggage didn't make it! Awh well, one outa 18 ain't bad... The hotel is brill and we've just had our first Vietnamese dinner... (Steak, chips, prawns, pork, soup...)

We're out celebrating Carroller's 18th. birthday (and we have O'Mara's 18th. at the end of the trip..)

Anyway, all is well so far... We've to be up at 6.00am !!!! (I'm off, 'cause Joe is falling asleep beside me here...)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Last minute stuff!

Don't forget your PASSPORT, Spending Money, Innoculation Card + UNIFORM!!

Last Fundraising Event in Dublin City Center