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June 05, 2005


Imagine a three year old kneeling quietly in church for over an hour. Imagine going to mass at 5 every morning and praying twice a day for an hour and a half each. Imagine leaving the gates of your home only two or three times a year. Imagine beautiful fruit trees and adorable little children everywhere. Imagine afternoon quiet so intense you can practically hear the grass grow. This is Thien Bien Orphanage. I have never seen anything like it. It is the most peaceful, structured environment i have ever lived in. The nuns are very strict with the orphans - these kids are better trained than an army. They all take part in keeping the place running. Thien Binh keeps cows, pigs, and goats. Most of the vegetables eaten are grown on the land and whatever is leftover is sold at the market. Occassionally they get donations from locals and visitors who have some connection with the orphanage. Sometimes food is scarce and sometimes it is plentiful; it all depends on the amount of donations and the crop yield. The kids are amazing and really easy to get to know. I am going to be there english language teacher.
Here is my daily schedule:
4 am - wake up and go to prayer
5- mass
7:30- breakfast
8- play with the toddlers
9-11- teach english classes for 6, 7, 8, grades
11:30 - lunch
afternoon - chores (cut vegetables, help cook dinner, feed the farm animals, laundry, etc.)
3:30- english class for the nuns in training
5- evening prayers
7- dinner
8:30 - bedtime

Posted by Thuy_Nguyen at June 5, 2005 06:01 AM