The 2018 trip to see the kids is right around the corner! Our team will meet up in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, July 24. We have a pretty packed itinerary this year but we have a terrific team, three of them under 18- so we are energized!
Here is the 2018 BBW Team, in country members listed first:
Thao is our translator in in country facilitator. She does everything from plan our entire trip to mentoring kids and college students all year long. She interfaces with the government officials to find ways we can work together for the kids. She arranges tuition payments, translates our letters,manages our in country budget, and is basically the person who holds this whole crazy wonderful project together. We don't have enough words to explain how remarkable she is.
Doan owns a fleet of buses and vans in HCMC. He has drivers, but he has been personally transporting us and the kids for all of our activities since 2009. and makes us feel very safe .(traffic is pretty crazy in VN!) Doan is a core part of the team, mentoring the children we serve and taking care of us. His willingness to come every year helps us provide continuity in our team members on our visits, which is so important. Pictured here is Doan in the middle, Phap (university student) on the left, and Nghiem (trade school grad) on the right.
Bonnie is a valued and technologically savy BBW board member for the past several years. She has a powerful perspective because she is an adoptive mother. She brings her husband, Ray, and their son, Owen. Owen was adopted from the Ham Tan Orphanage years ago, before they moved to Phan Thiet. This is a very special trip for all of them.
Manuela is a senior at Newsome High School in Lithia Florida. She has been saving for years so that she could come on this trip. In years past, she has raised money for Big Big World with her amazing face painting skills at various functions. She is also a writer for the Osprey Observer in Brandon FL and may possibly be the youngest reporter to earn a first page story. We look forward to her energy on this trip.
Zoe is BBW's Youth Ambassador and is a senior at Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, FL. She is returning for her fifth visit to see the kids. Before she came the first time at age 13, she worked at home to help raise money for BBW in various fundraisers. At this point, she considers all of the kids her brothers and sisters. She has worked and earned her own money for flight and expenses for each trip after the first one because it is so important to her to be there. We look forward to her energy and experience on this trip.
Bonnie is the President and Co-founder of BBW. This is her 12th visit to Vietnam to see the kids.