Our children have grown with pictures of Hon in our home, writing to him and sending him small gifts at Christmas and birthdays. So not only were we keen to have our children finally meet Hon but we wanted to show them the conditions some children live in and impart on them how lucky they are to live in Australia and to appreciate all they have.
So from our hotel in Hoi An we were met by a world vision representative, in fact this man was the book keeper for world vision project area in which Hon and his family lived. We traveled the one and a half hours from Da Nang to the remote province.
On our arrival Joel and I were shocked yet glad to see the development the province had made since our last visit. We met with some community leaders who greeted us before taking us to see Hon. WOW - this little boy had grown into a handsome young man.
We spoke with Hon and his father as best we could via an interpreter. Hon was encouraged to speak to us in English which he did a little but he was not confident and a little embarrassed to do so. He was such a sweet boy. He held Phoenix and Hamish and gave them cuddles. Morgan was a little reserved as usual and stayed with Mum and watched on.
Hamish was thrilled to be able to give to Hon and his teacher all the drawings and pictures that his prep class had drawn as gifts. Hon looked and spoke with Hamish about these pictures for a while. It was gorgeous to watch, Hamish had a huge smile on his face the entire time.
Georgia was super keen to play some soccer with Hon. We had bought with us some sports equipment for the local community to use. Several soccer balls, footballs and tennis racquets and balls. Soon we all went out to the front grassed area and the kids had an awesome time kicking the ball around with Hon. It was great that Georgia was able to get the chance to do this with Hon, as we had talked so often about what that would be like. She was in her element.
We spoke some more with Hon and was glad to hear that it is his wish to study at university to gain as much qualification he can to enable him to get a good job to support himself and his family. This young man was so thankful to us for our sponsorship and on going support to him. We agreed to stay in contact even after the World Vision work is complete in his province in 18 months time. We arranged for the intrepreter who works for World Vision to pass to Hon any direct emails we send him and he will return Hon's replies to us.
Our visit was far too short but very valuable indeed. I believe the children came away with all the things we had hoped they would. We not only have the memories of this visit but some awesome photographs as well.
After our visit with Hon we were able to see some of the other great projects that World Vision had implemented since we were there last. We visited a daycare that was built and is funded by World Vision. This centre allows parents to work in the field or farms without the need for taking their babies or small children along with them. They are able to be more productive and the children are safer. While here the children learn nursery rhythms and learn through play. Our children gave some gifts to the daycare and loved listening to the village children sing for us. Phoenix (our social butterfly) made himself at home and was the star attraction.