This was my most memorable birthday since I was born.
Kim Chi on a bamboo bridge in Thai Binh near one of the students homes
I have been working for CEF for over 3 years. I was travelling with Linda from Ha Noi to Thai Binh province where we were to do home visits and payments in a community we work with there. We left Ha Noi in the very earlier morning on my birthday and as we traveled I was remembering my last birthday with candles, cake, and flowers with my lovely little girl and husband. It was a strange feeling finding myself missing my little daughter, and missing my family, but I was not sad or lonely. I was full of happiness as it was a long time since I had been to this community, which is a peaceful community in the north east of Vietnam.
Visiting and helping disadvantaged children on the day I was due to be 26 years old made it a meaningful day as I felt that I was predestined to do charity work, and I find I love my work more and more.
It’s always interesting to go there, but it is not easy to work in this area so far from Quang Nam. I find it a little hard because of their differences, different accent, religion and customs, and thinking. But I also find the differences interesting as well. I feel so sorry for the challenging situations many have there. Some of their challenges are due to their failed crops or diseased animals, and they are down to earth people working hard, but not able to make ends meet. But some are not, and I realize that they are unlikely to change their impractical thinking which causes their poverty and increases their poverty further as it is very common in their community. For example many in this community believe they should have a large house with a room for each child and to do that they borrow a large sum of money, build a huge house, end up with a huge debt and huge stress, and then they can’t manage to make ends meet on a daily basis and pay for their children’s education. This thinking sadly causes great stress and poverty.