What is the annual BBQ at the orphanage? What does it mean? Why do we do it? It's about abundance, connection, togetherness and fun! And it's always magical for the kids and for us. Kids who have graduated from college and moved on with their lives return to reunite with their brothers and sisters from the orphanage, some of them bringing their own children with them.
It begins with a trip to the market, early in the morning to make the most of the cooler hours of the day. (see previous post) The nannies buy all the food and other supplies while some of the kids babysit us to keep us out of harm's way.
As we arrived, black clouds rolled in and the skies opened up with a torrential downpour. The people who put the party together came up with a Plan B with zero hand wringing. The party was moved into the dining hall. We were greeted by a giant poster celebrating BBW and our connection with the orphanage. It was titled Yesterday, Today, and Forever. It included photos spanning nearly a decade of our time here, reminding us of the highlights of years of good times together. The pictures showed the kids over the years, growing up, and all of the people that have come with us on our trips. Each and every person has made an impact with these kids. The poster was amazing, and we were touched by the work and thought that went into making it.
And then the abundance - food to fill three big long tables and enough to feed an army. The food was a contribution from BBW and YOU. This abundance is not an everyday occurrence for the kids. On a normal day, there are no refills of their rice bowl.
My Ty, Hue, Lan, Phung, Hang and the nannies spent all day cooking. The kids sat outside and grilled seafood and meats on little clay BBQ pits and it was served hot immediately. Delicious!
When it was time to eat, we took turns putting food in each others rice bowls. This is a very sweet gesture of care, and we enjoy both receiving food and giving it.
When dinner was over and the tables cleared, it was time for the entertainment, Michael Huy, an old school friend of Phaps, has been doing this for us for 9 years-since he was a high school student.
He is now famous in Ho Chi Minh City and made it to the semi-finals of Vietnam's Got Talent, Huy brought two fantastic magicians and a singer with him. They all dazzled the kids with really professional performances. We feel incredibly lucky to have these caring people share their talents with us.