Saturday, July 01, 2006

Chapter 4: Humans Doing Well, Technology Not So Good--In which we learn why the quantity of news has been low...

[J]

It's Sunday at noon, and we've had several wonderful visits to the Child Welfare Center here in Danang, spending time with Minh and a cadre of small friends. Thus far, we've been to the CWC twice our first day, once during the second day, and once this morning (day 3). Each visit has been several hours long, and a bit exhausting. Our first visit was with Minh only in the director's office, but each subsequent visit has included the half dozen older kids living at the CWC. (There are also about 6 babies there, too.) I'm a little concerned that they ALL expect to leave with us on Monday. Juggling and blowing bubbles have been a big hit.

Minh calls us Me and Ba (mommy and daddy), which is wonderful, and he is happy to let us hold him. In fact, he will take steps to dislodge other kids when we pick them up, so that he can monopolize us. This seems like a good thing, in general. We've been there over lunch the last two days, so we've fed Minh his food. In general the older kids sit and feed themselves, but E.'s research suggests that feeding a child can be an important step in bonding. The CWC staff have a firm "eat-it-all" policy, and every kid seems well-nourished. Minh, however, is quite dramatic about having a tummyache and not wanting to eat... and a little power struggle over food ensues. Eventually, though, a CWC caregiver intervenes and quickly shovels the food into him. Those caregivers take no guff... but we do feel that it makes us look a bit incompetent. I'm sure that they won't be too sorry to see us go, since we probably throw their whole schedule and routine right off.

So everything with the Minh is going about as well as we can expect. Each time that we've left, Minh has made it very clear that he wants to know why we don't take him along. It's quite heartbreaking to have to leave him there each time. Tomorrow, though, he'll come abck with us to the hotel, and a whole new phase will start.

The technology, though, has failed me for the moment. I'm typing this on the lobby computer in the hotel, because our laptop's ability to connect to the hotel wireless system has gone on the fritz. It worked fine the first 48 hours; we even called the kids at home with video MSM messenger. But yesterday afternoon, something stopped working. According to the laptop, we get connected to the wireless network, with excellent signal strength, but then we can't get any actual connection out to the web. I don't know much about troubleshooting wireless networks, and I don't know if the problem is in the hotel network or in our laptop. I tried asking at the desk whether they had experienced any network problems, but the answered seemed to be no. -- If anyone (Craig... are you reading this?) has suggestions, email them to us at biguglyhouse@sbcglobal.net . We can still check email here in the lobby.

(The other technology issue is that we cannot seem to view our blog site from any computer, though we can add and edit... I think. I won't speculate about why none of the computers we've tried here in Danang seem able to view the blog site. Maureen or Maggie, if you read this entry, send us an email to confirm that you saw it!)

Well, it's back to the CWC this afternoon, at about 3pm. If we can get internet access, we have more pictures to add to photobucket.

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