Part 3: Visit to Huong La Orphanage in Bac Ninh Province Vietnam (10 December 2017)

Pres and I flew to Hanoi Saturday the 9th.   The staff of Tomodachi House, the hostel we stayed in was helpful as always and led us to shops in Cha Ca where we could source for crayons, pens, and colouring books as well as soaps, toothbrushes, boxes of toothpaste, face towels, and baby powder for our goodie bags!


Sister Hai was very excited knowing we brought 50 talc powder bottles for all the residents, including Sister Hai herself, something they’d likely not spend their money on considering the scant resources they have.

Huong was very nice to have bought warm blankets for the residents.  Thank you very much, Huong!  Her daughter Oc was our very reliable translator as her English is really strong for a young girl her age!


With Huong, Oc and Voi 🙂

Our friends Tri and Trung and Pres and I have one thing in common – Baker & McKenzie.  Pres and I were from the Manila office while Tri and Trung are with Baker & McKenzie Hanoi.  WE met over a decade ago and despite the distance, our friendship blossomed and here we are now, doing charity work together!

True friends do not happen everyday.  They are in fact very rare this day and age.  Baker & McKenzie brought us all together!


Before we left, Sister Hai and the rest of the sisters prepared us some pho ga (chicken noodle soup); thank you all very much for the thoughtfulness!


Our group photo with the volunteers and Sister Hai and the kids!  We will see you all again really soon!



Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.” — Wess Stafford

Part 2: Visit to Huong La Orphanage in Bac Ninh Province Vietnam (10 December 2017)

The kids look so very happy – they smile and laugh and dance non-stop!  We commend Sister Hai and the rest of the sisters for the love and care they untiringly show these kids; it just radiates in their faces!  As John Bunyan aptly put it, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”  Bless your kind hearts!



Our young ladies, dancing to their favourite songs!



Auntie Nha, teaching the kids some dance moves!


Our cutesie little dancer, dancing with Auntie Nha!


Auntie Nha, teaching the kids how to gesture a heart!


This little boy is one of the youngest residents of the orphanage.  He loves to cuddle!



With Tri and Pres and this super cute little angel!



He’s one happy boy!  Though he is unable to speak, he is always smiling!


Lovely smile from this one lovely lady!



The kids love the camera!




When we were heading out, she called me to show me her favourite toy.  We will come back soon so we can play together!



This young lady loves being cuddled!

And this was how the kids bid us goodbye; so nice of them!  We will come back soon to see you all again!



Hugs can do great amounts of good, especially for children.” — Diana, Princess of Wales

Part 1: Visit to Huong La Orphanage in Bac Ninh Province Vietnam (10 December 2017)

Located in Bac Ninh Province in Vietnam some 50 minutes away from Hanoi, Huong La Orphanage is home to children and adults with mental and physical disabilities.  A group of Catholic sisters, headed by Sister Hai runs this orphanage and with a current headcount of 50 residents, the sisters receive no regular funding from the government and rely mainly on donations by volunteers who visit the orphanage.

We were greeted by the happy smiles of these lovely kids!25298970_1892558574106620_7800658512247405337_n

Sister Hai with a few kids at the orphanage.  The older girls, the “big sisters” help out in taking care of the younger kids at the home.



This young lady was dancing non-stop the entire time we were there!

25299056_1892555497440261_6445083368971007722_n24993493_1892557590773385_2739150222030568213_n24993357_1892557597440051_3939377529460433823_nWhile some kids at the orphanage are able to dance and mingle with their visitors, some kids are unable to walk and are strapped to their beds.  We noticed though that there are a few special chairs and Sister Hai at one point sat these kids so they could say hello to us.  Thank you, Sister Hai!



This boy is 14 and is unable to move his legs.  Both his parents are disabled too so a relative brought him to this home when he was still an infant.


This young boy is unable to walk and is almost always strapped to his bed.  During our visit, Sister Hai sat him on some special chair and he was very happy and excited to see other kids playing in the garden!


Such a cute little boy, enjoying his warm blanket!




This boy is very cheeky!



There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” — Nelson Mandela