Look Mom! No hands!
When we come to Vietnam each year, we have a lot of fun activities planned for the kids. Some of what we do is just for fun, and some of it is for building trust. Laughing together, swimming together, and playing together for the first several days is how we connect as a family. Most of what we do is done every year, so we are also building tradition.
When we were on the field trip, after I had ridden so many rides that I was feeling queasy, I stood on the side and watched the kids on the rides. I watched them on the bungee jumping. As they spun around on the ride to where we were standing , or jumped so high they were soaring, they looked at us to make sure we were watching, like kids do. They were beaming, and especially when they knew we were watching. I experienced that odd dichotomy of feelings; both joy and sadness. The realization that there are so many wonderful things that we take for granted (like someone watching us when we do something cool) often hits me when I am here. These kids don't always have that special attention, although they are very well cared for. I felt my commitment to them strengthen in that moment. Each of us at home or here in Vietnam, experience this feeling, triggered by a conversation or note or some other interaction with one of the kids.
This is what BBWP is all about, really. We care for them as parents would. We can't be here often, and the time we have is short. We make the most of it.