Friday, October 24, 2008

Listening to music ...........

Before our trip to Hanoi in March this year, I received a number of emails asking if I would meet with a man named ‘Mr Dat’. This Mr Dat had been helping three young blind people from a very poor province in Central Vietnam and he needed assistance - he was asking for just an hour of my time.

I eventually agreed to meet Mr Dat and the children, two girls and a boy. I knew they were in a very difficult situation, what I didn’t know was that Mr Dat was only 24 years old and that he was also blind. A dynamic character, he was determined to improve the lives of these children and he had used his own very meagre resources to bring them to Hanoi in search of opportunity, these resources were now exhausted, he was asking ACCV to help.

We met up at a little café in the old quarter in Hanoi, the children sat very quietly, answering questions that were asked of them, slowly they warmed to the conversation. At one point one of the girls laughed and I noticed a resemblance to the other, I asked Dat if they were related. “Oh, yes Alison, all three children are from the same family, and they have a younger brother aged four who is also blind, he has remained in Quanh Binh province”

…….. they were all from the same family.

We met with them a couple of times that week, and at one point Rose and I decided we would like to give them a gift…. but what? All the usual options didn’t apply – books / pens / balls etc… eventually Rose decided on a little MP3 player each of them. We tried to organise some Vietnamese music to upload onto them but with no success. In the end Rose transferred the music from her own MP3 player ....the High school musical soundtrack!!

It was amazing to watch the children trustingly allow people they don’t know, who were speaking a language they don’t know, to fiddle around with their ears attaching earphones etc. …
They were just mesmerised by the music .....…. their faces really did light up.



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