Ho Chi Minh City and the Orphanage

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

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Try crossing THIS street....

I knew that I was going to volunteer at an oprhanage during this journey.  It was something that I needed and wanted to do at the beginning of February 2008.  I wanted to be around children and I wanted to make them happy.  And so  I researched on the Internet while I was in Pai, Thailand where I found an opportunity that fit my interest - in the south of Vietnam - in Ho Chi Minh City.  Because most of my time would be 'working', I only had one day in Saigon before beginning my experience.  Lucky me, it happened to be "Tet" - which is the Vietnamese New Years.  They celebrate according to the lunar calandar (like the Chinese) - not the solar calandar like us westerners.  So, their new years is February 6th - the year of the "Mouse".

Believe it or not, over 3 million people descend up Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for the two-week long celebration of the new year.  This created the most amazing motor-bike chaos that you could EVER imagine.  99% of the overcrowded city uses motor-bikes for transportation.  No kidding, crossing the street is like a game of dodgeball.  This MUST be where the video game, "Frogger" was invented.  I'll try to post a video crossing the street.

After roaming the streets by day and night and actually feeling the pulse of the New Year arriving, I stopped by the orphanage to introduce myself and to get a feeling for what I was in for......

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Try crossing THIS street....
Try crossing THIS street....
New Years is almost here! (Feb. 6)
New Years is almost here! (Feb. 6)
The streets of Saigon
The streets of Saigon
The streets of Saigon
The streets of Saigon
Orange tree designs
Orange tree designs
typical
typical
No rules
No rules
A typical ride in Saigon
A typical ride in Saigon
No rules apply
No rules apply
what is that?
what is that?
the famous flower market
the famous flower market
Meat market
Meat market
The orphanage coordinator
The orphanage coordinator
The orphanage entry way.
The orphanage entry way.
the orphanage entry
the orphanage entry
little ones playing
little ones playing
Nap time.
Nap time.
Nap time.  No rules.
Nap time. No rules.
The three rowdy ones.
The three rowdy ones.
This mess took 0.03 to make.
This mess took 0.03 to make.
Kiet is blind and the director of …
Kiet is blind and the director of…
cutie thinks i should shave.
cutie thinks i should shave.
Since I was a swim coach, I took t…
Since I was a swim coach, I took …
Before I got in and attacked by 20…
Before I got in and attacked by 2…
Thao posing for his magazine shoot…
Thao posing for his magazine shoo…
After swimming, lets get ice crea…
After swimming, let's get ice cre…
cutie.
cutie.
a little one.
a little one.
the computer room
the computer room
where 20 of them sleep
where 20 of them sleep
An - the orphanage coordinator
An - the orphanage coordinator
My first day...
My first day...
Sleeping around
Sleeping around
cutie
cutie
Karaoke.
Karaoke.
Kiet playing his tunes.
Kiet playing his tunes.
Dinh, Bin Laden and Tuoy.
Dinh, Bin Laden and Tuoy.