Monday, July 23, 2018

The Occupations of Vietnam: Hoi An

Transport for a boy with cerebral palsy

Hoi An is in the center of Vietnam, where its even hotter than Hanoi. We were there to volunteer at Children's Hope in Action (CHIA), an organization that helps disadvantaged Vietnamese children with health, education, disability and housing. The first floor of their building hosts a day care for children with special needs. The ages ranged from infant to 9 years old. The floor staff includes parents and one physiotherapist. At the time of our visit there was an Australian occupational therapist volunteering full time and a Belgian woman volunteering full time doing art activities with the children.

CHIA - the clinic where we volunteered
During our volunteer shifts at CHIA we played with the children. We tried to work on needed skills, such as coming to midline and core strength. The daycare is not equipped with enough developmental toys. I wished we had known that so we could have each brought something useful from the U.S. to the clinic to share with them.

CHIA's website:

Hoi An Ancient Town

La Rue beer and White Rose Dumplings
(shrimp in translucent rice dough),
a Hoi An specialty I couldn't get enough of.

Hoi An Ancient Town

City of 1,000 lanterns

Pho for breakfast

Scraping paint at a local school for CHIA
The school where we helped with the paint job.

This plumeria fell on me at the pool.

Our resort was stunning - Hoi An Trails Resort. Our room had a living area, and a patio overlooking the gorgeous pool.

Hoi An Trails Resort, from our room

CHIA - sponsored nutrition seminar in a small village

We attended a nutrition seminar in a small village. The seminar was in Vietnamese, but our teacher Uyen, who is from Vietnam, translated some of it. The speaker talked about the benefits of breast milk over formula, then demonstrated how to make beef porridge, porridge, with egg yolk, then shrimp porridge for babies 12-24 months of age. When I asked her if the women have breast pumps for milk, she said most women do not and they pump by hand. As an experienced milk pumper I felt for the women who work with nursing babies.

They explained that the town's main occupation had transitioned recently from farming (with a loose, family-based schedule) to work at a new large amusement park (with schedules that have mothers away from their families for hours on end). Working at the amusement park creates logistical challenges for the mothers.

Cao Lao - local dish of Hoi An - pork, rice cakes, noodles,
and herbs.

The color mustard is everywhere in Vietnam. 

Periwinkle paradise

An Bang Beach, 6pm - locals wait until evening to visit the beach 

Incense cones

Shrine on temple grounds

Cua Dai Beach

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