Sunday, March 6, 2011
The trip to see the children of Binh Tu
I remember the first time I was going to meet the children in Binh Tu we made a fairly quick and easy trip by car. The nun who asked CEF to help the children organized the car and off we went and an hour later we were there. We went from house to hut meeting the children and their families, asking questions, accumulating information and visually assessing their situations. That day we met 18 children and ended up helping 13 of the poorest.
The cost of petrol just keeps climbing making the price of a car and driver the same price as putting a child through school for a term, making us only consider a car when it is really and truly required. So since then it hasn't been such an easy trip as we go by motorbike and travel on a highway for some of the trip with vehicles moving very fast, at us. You notice the overtaking habits of cars, buses and trucks much more when you are on a motorbike and not protected in a car. The overtaking cars and trucks often force vehicles travelling in the opposite direction off the road or at least onto the very edge of the road. Pollution control is close to non-existant here so every so often clouds of black exhaust fumes are inhaled.
But having said all that it is worth it to make the regular education payments and reassessment trips to see the children and to enjoy some time with them. Also this farming community lives in the countryside surrounded by rice fields. The one and quarter hour motorbike trip is visualy beautiful as it is mainly spent passing bright green rice fields and small farming communities.