Last day at Social Protection Centre
Tuy Hoa Travel Blog› entry 11 of 14 › view all entries
Today we had Little School in the morning and then Social Protection Centre (SPC) in the afternoon (2:30 to 4:00). Because Home of Affection are off for the week it was a short day.
SPC is situated on the edge of town near the bottle of the largest moutain. We always meant to climb the mountain, but never got around to it. There is a road up there which would sort of detract from the climb. Some one I know did visit the Pagoda at the bottom (there is a beautiful white Budha that looks out over the town) and got propositioned but I never got around to going there and now the weather is rainy and grey and I can't really find the motivation. The SPC complex has (I think) a nursing home and 'orphanage'. Last week we accidentally got dropped off next door and thinking we could walk through to the 'orphanage' passed a bemused looking security guard and entered a similarly yellow painted complex that had what looked like cells with locked doors and lots of HIV signs around, we still don't know what it was but all the barbed wire and locks made us leave pretty quickly.
The orphanage use to have quite a few kids but most have been adopted out. They may be getting more kids in Jan or Feb I think. (I'm guessing the kids in question are somewhere in the mountains with plans for their trip to the coast, most people we work with we are told are from the mountains and for better or worse I think the system takes a while to move kids around the country). So at the moment we visit 6 kids. The kids have various problems like fluid-filled heads and celebral palsy. The volunteers in the program have been massaging the kids since September? and Roz a trained physio from NZ came and showed us how to do 'baby massage'. Really what we are trying to do is get them in different positions and try and amuse them. They have flat heads at the back as they lay down all day (well I think they do, to be fair we only see them for a few hours a day).
Today I was upset when Baby L cried when I picked her up, she is usually so happy but it turns out the nappy needed a change. The nappies here are hard and I tie them badly but with the help of a 'mother' I managed (quite an achievement for me).
Today I also got a bit of time with the oldest boy, who has a water swollen (hydrocephalis?) head, too large for the wheel chair and too heavy for us to lift him safely (although you should see one of the 'mothers' throw him around- very scary), and attempted a bit of a massage. His ear has a tumour and it gets moist and pus-filled, but today its looking better.
At night we went out for coffee and beer with Nguyen and some friends of Megs. We go to the cafe up the road from Cafe Saigon as its one of the few open past 9pm. Most of the places here close at 9pm and the streets are deserted (usually).