Her house looked much the same as when I visited two years ago: a simple poorly maintained wooden structure on an unkempt block of land in a run down part of her town two hours from CEF's office. On that visit we learned that her mother had just died, and we could see her father was distraught in a dignified way. I don't remember how she was.
On this visit her father was away living and working in Da Nang because there was no work locally. She was subdued and mostly unsmiling. She was clearly missing her father. Recently she had been staying with a different aunt, as her aunt whom she had been living with had moved to Da Nang to work. She only returned home for the occasional night when her father did.
I watched our program coordinator for the area, Ngoc, talk with her. As they talked Ngoc's care and concern for her lifted her out of her sadness. She relaxed, smiled.
And I saw how much this simple human contact meant and that this child has at least two constants in her life among all the changes and moving from house to house and uncertainty: her relationship with Ngoc and knowing that she'll continue to go to school.