Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Day out with the Home of Affection

I was super excited today when we were planning on taking the children from Home of Affection out for a day. They don't get a chance to get out of the orphanage often so it was pretty special. It took a while to get permission from the orphanage director but we were able to get permission for the kids to go to a mini amusement park, then a pool and eat out at a noodle house. The amusement park was fine, some sketchy rides, and a big fun room of balls. Then we went to the pool.
It's normal for the kids to not have real bathingsuits so we all swam in our shorts and t-shirts. From the beginning we figured out that the local kids might be a bit of a problem. Catrina started taking her dress off and some boys that were dropped off by their 'normal' families started pointing and laughing at her. I just hopped in with a tank top and a pair of board shorts and didnt really notice what was going on around me. It wasn't until they started picking on our cook's young teenage son neighbor's son (who is severely mentally challenged) that I figured out what kind of kids we were dealing with. I was at the other end of the pool and they started pushing him around, then pulled his swimming shorts and underwear down to his knees. He was so embarassed he just pulled them up and ran away.
I felt so horrible because I couldn't do anything about it. I shouted at the teenagers that did it, and glared at them but they just shrugged their shoulders because they didn't know what I was saying.
Later on in the deeper end, I was showing Linh how to swim. She's 14 years old, has really good english and is just a sweetie. While I was teaching her to swim the same boys were pointing and laughing because she couldn't swim yet, but I told her to ignore them. Then, one boy swam under the water, grabbed her feet, then came up above the water and started hitting her. I grabbed his arm and yelled 'Dun Lai' which means "STOP IT" but I guess my pronounciation was wrong or something and he waived his hands and shrugged his shoulders like he didn't understand.
I hate not being able to say anything to kids while they are being jerks. I know we have ignorant kids in Canada, but at least if they are being really rude or hurtful to someone, I can rip a piece out of them and tell them to stop. This time I just had to watch and talk gibberish to them while they laughed.
I looked at Linh and said "i have to get out of here" and hopped out of the pool. I told David that "I want to go home" and he drove me back to the GVN house so we could get ready for the Economic Zone a little earlier.
I'm still not over it. I wish that Linh had stood up for herself, it makes me wonder what kind of shit the kids go through when they are at school and if she really thinks that she doesn't deserve better than that because she doesn't have any parents?
I don't know... but it's really hard.


Jackie S. Quire said...

Aw babe. How frustrating for you. But think of this: every one of those kids from the Home of Affection saw you stand up for them. Maybe the little jerk-kids didn't know what you were saying... but that little girl likely did. And maybe she got a stroke of confidence from it. That if a girl like you would stand up for her, maybe she IS worth it after all.

I heart you.

Mom said...

So I hope you took the kids with you when you left or did you just leave them to the bullies?