I'm going to Vietnam in Dec2010!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hi friends! Not much longer and I'll be departing Vietnam...currently just got the boarding call at the airport for our flight. I'll have so much to share. Hope to post pictures soon after I get back to the states.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Da Nang Vietnam: a quick entry

Wow! Between all the travel on planes, boat, and bus AND all the amazing work and cultural experience we are getting I haven't had much computer time.
The group just arrived at Da Nang in the Central part of Vietnam. We had been up in the mountains with a minority group. For those who are following the itinerary, that was where we stayed on a house on stilts. We found out the stilts are to keep vicious animals out like...Tigers!! No tigers spotted though, only spiders, roosters, dogs and pigs....and a few others. There aren't many of those tiger creatures left and none in the populated areas. So at this time they make the houses out of tradition. It was really amazing.
We've held hundreds of babies, taught dozens of caregivers and connected with lots of people. We were the first Americans ever to enter one of the government orphanages in the Mekong Delta. I'll have lots more to tell about that later.
It has been tiring but I'm staying well and the group I'm with is amazing. We are great support for each other.
I don't have much time on the computer but have been trying to journal and photograph so I can tell more once I've returned. Again thanks to all of you who have been support. Being here is still sureal and I feel the love.
I'll end with a quote from one of our guides who helped us to the hundreth degree...
"Faith gives hope, hope give love, and love is beauty."

Friday, December 10, 2010

We Made It!

A quick check in for those who are following...WE MADE IT! After about 33 hours of travel and airport time our group is in Ho Chi Mihn City Vietnam. It is exciting to be with such a cool group and start seeing the sights. Tomorrow we start working with the kids in a facility that has around 350 kids ages 4 months to 14.
Tonight I had red snapper in a sweet and sour sauce, and in case you want to know, the price of tea in China is about 78 yen (at the airport)
I can't get onto facebook so this and email will likely be my main source of contact.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Meet Jack!

Meet Jack!

To teach infant massage we use a doll to demonstrate the different motions. For the orphanages and child care facilities in Vietnam we will be using some very special dolls. One of my colleges going on the trip and her sewing club made each of us a ‘gingerbread man’ shaped doll. Each of us were delivered or sent a doll and encouraged to decorate it. I took mine to LEEP Forward and had the kids I work with decorated it. So here’s the result! Meet Jack!

I'm currently in LA and meet the group this afternoon to head to the airport! Very excited!!!!! We are off this evening!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Itinerary for Vietnam

Itinerary | Schedule:

I've been in full swing getting ready for Vietnam. The majority of fundraising has been accomplished (thank you for donating!!!), I had a couple vaccinations (ouch on that Typhoid shot!), my Visa has been obtained (and I know where my passport is), and I have been in the process of gathering items to take along (both the necessities and a few fun things to take along and maybe leave with the kids all while still trying to pack light!). I've borrowed a nice bag (thanks Josh), purchased heavy duty mosquito repellent (thank you REI) and have been getting all my other things in line. My to-do list is still seems a few hundred miles long but I'll have to get there soon. I leave Chicago in 11 days!!!! Luckily I can still pick up a few things, if I forgot, while I'm in LA for the 1.5 days. Overall things are going great. I do still have some sinus congestion which has plagued me off and on for the last month and a half. I'm hoping that gets fully better before travel. ....any suggestions on allergy relief before travel?

In all, I'll be ready! I'm still accepting all forms of support. Any travel advice, funding, prayers, positive thinking, travel items, etc. are greatly appreciated. It is Thanksgiving weekend and I am SO VERY THANKFUL for this opportunity and all those who have been helping along the way.

We were sent an updated itinerary via email so I'm posting it to give you all a more specific idea of what we will be doing and where we are going. I'm sure there will be a few changes as we go too.

Day 1, Friday Dec. 10: Vung Tau. Petro House hotel.

Arrive in HCM city on CZ 373 12:30P/2:10P.

After you claim your baggage and meet your guide at the exit of the terminal, you will take a bus and drive 2 and a half hours to Vung Tau. Stop on the way to buy some cold drink and snack.

Check in the hotel and rest.

Day 2, Saturday Dec. 11: Vung Tau. Petro House hotel.

Meet the staff and the kids of Vung Tau orphanage. Introduce and teach infant & pediatric massage to staff using materials which are provided by Liddle Kidz Foundation. The staff uses the materials during your visit and will keep them for later use afterwards. Begin working with infants and children volunteers and staff, provide hands-on massage and touch therapy. Volunteers can observe and mentor staff applying techniques with children.

Day 3, Sunday Dec. 12: HCM city. Bong Sen hotel

Volunteers work with infants, children and staff in the morning. Eat an early lunch at the beach before driving to HCM.

Check in the hotel and be on your own to walk around Dong Khoi street.

Day 4, Monday Dec. 13: Mekong Delta. Tam Tien home stay

After breakfast and check out the hotel, you will drive 2 and a half hours to Cai Be floating market. Take a boat trip to see the vivid life of farmers and fishermen on the water of the Mekong river. Stop the boat to see a handicraft village where candies, cookies and rice paper are made.

After eating lunch at the house of a bonsai gardener, you will meet the teacher and the children at a kindergarten. Introduce and teach infant & pediatric massage and touch therapy.

Day 5, Tuesday Dec. 14: Mekong Delta. Cuu Long hotel

Meet the staff and the children of Vinh Long orphanage.

Introduce and teach infant & therapist massage and touch therapy. The staff will be invited to learn the process via watching the volunteers working hands-on with the kids.

Day 6, Wednesday Dec. 15: Pleiku. Dien Hong hotel

Continue working with the kids at Vinh Long orphanage in the morning.

Drive 3 hours to HCM to take a late afternoon flight to Pleiku on VN 438K 18:35/19:50.

Check in the hotel and rest.

Day 7, Thursday Dec. 16: Pleiku. Overnight: House on stilts

Visit Pleiku market in the morning to see the montagnards selling and buying their home made merchandise.

Drive 2 hours in the afternoon to Decop village where you will walk to see the cemetery of the Ba Na ethnic minority group, the communal house and the life style of mountain people. In the evening you will enjoy a traditional gong music and dance performed by the teenagers of the village.

Stay overnight at the house on stilts.

Day 8, Friday Dec. 17: Da Nang. Bamboo Green Riverside hotel

Spend the day to explore the central highland city.

Take an evening flight to Da Nang on VN 344K 20:00/20:50.

Check in the hotel and rest.

Day 9, Saturday Dec. 18: Lang Co hotel

Check out the hotel and visit the Street Children Center, Family # 5 in the morning. Introduce and teach infant & therapist massage and touch therapy.

After lunch, drive to Phu Loc orphanage.

Introduce and teach infant & pediatric massage to staff using materials which are provided by Liddle Kidz Foundation. The staff uses the materials during your visit and will keep them for later use afterwards.

Begin working with infants and children volunteers and staff, provide hands-on massage and touch therapy.

Volunteers can observe and mentor staff applying techniques with children.

Day 10, Sunday Dec. 19: Ha Noi. Blossom hotel

Continue to work at the orphanage in the morning. Eat lunch with the children and the nuns before driving to Phu Bai airport to take an evening flight to Ha Noi. Check in the hotel and rest.

Day 11, Monday Dec. 20: Ha Noi. Blossom hotel

Spend the whole day to work with the children who are the victims of Agent Orange at the Friendship village.

Introduce and teach infant & therapist massage and touch therapy. The staff will be invited to learn the process via watching the volunteers working hands-on with the kids. The staff uses the materials during your visit and will keep them for later use afterwards. Enjoy a water puppet show in the evening.

Day 12, Tuesday Dec. 21: Ha Noi. Blossom hotel

A day trip to Ha Long bay. Drive three hours to the bay with a stop at Hong Ngoc where disabled children are taught a job to make their living and rehabilitate into the community.

Upon arriving at the quay, you take a junk to enjoy the landscape of the bay which is recognized by UN as the World Heritage.

After eating a seafood lunch you continue to explore the bay before driving back to Ha Noi.

Day 13, Wednesday Dec. 22: Departure.

Check out the hotel and drive to Noi Bai airport for the flight to HCM city on VN 215 09:00/11:00. After arriving in HCM city you claim your bags and go from the domestic terminal to the international terminal to take the connection flight to the US on CZ 374 3:10 P/7:00 P.

Monday, November 15, 2010

As the Vietnam trip to bring nurturing touch to children grows near we are still in need of donations. The following message is from Tina Allen, Founder of the Liddle Kidz Foundation! Even if you have donated, or not able at the time...Please read! There is a lot of information in the letter. Plus I love all support in other ways too!


I need your support to bring nurturing touch, massage and developmental movement to infants and children in Vietnam's orphanages (take 3 minutes read this email & then click to donate what you can - it all helps!) Thank you!

DONATE HERE: http://www.firstgiving.com/liddlekidz_vietnam

We had an amazing response to our request for overseas outreach volunteers and carefully selected 23 Liddle Kidz Volunteer Ambassadors from the over 700 submitted applications. You can meet our team o our newest international outreach website: www.LiddleKidz.org

Now, we are busy getting ready to bring nurturing touch and massage to the thousands of orphans we will see during our two weeks in Vietnam this December. In order to bring this valuable work to the infants, children and their caregivers I am writing to ask for your support. We need financial donations to make it possible for this outreach to take place. It is true that even the smallest donation will help. So, please don’t hesitate to donate any amount. All of these resources will be put to good use in bringing the children the care they so desperately need. Thank you for skipping that fancy cup of coffee (or many cups of coffee) and instead sending a hug to a child across the world!

DONATE HERE: http://www.firstgiving.com/liddlekidz_vietnam

Children in orphanages around the world may have food, clothing and shelter, but often they lack an essential ingredient for basic health and happiness—touch. Without it, children often feel discarded, forgotten and even untouchable, especially when their circumstances are complicated by being sick or having a disability.UNICEF statistics estimate there are 1,500,000 orphans aged 0–17 currently living in Vietnam. Children growing up in these circumstances are at great risk.

Orphans have many physical needs, and because these needs are the most immediate, they are the most urgent. Children have significant emotional needs as well. Experience has shown that orphanages find it a challenge to meet the emotional and developmental needs of children, including personalized care and attention.

The long-term effects of not receiving safe, healthy and nurturing touch can have a huge impact on a child’s stability for the future.Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Liddle Kidz Foundation is empowering children and their caregivers through the delivery of nurturing touch.

The Liddle Kidz Foundation (LKF) relies on the support of individuals, corporations and foundations to fund LKF’s initiatives, children’s services and education programs. We are extremely grateful to our many generous donors and sponsors. **********We need your help!

Please donate to help us cover much needed expenses for our upcoming Volunteer Outreach in Vietnam this DecemberWe thank our donors and are privileged to put their compassion into action.

DONATE HERE: http://www.firstgiving.com/liddlekidz_vietnam

In an effort to address the need for nurturing touch among children, Tina Allen formed the Liddle Kidz Foundation (LKF). The foundation’s mission includes setting up massage and nurturing touch programs in orphanages and children’s care settings across the globe. LKF’s goal is to provide infants and children with experiences of caring and nurturing touch that they often lack. In addition to working directly with the children, LKF volunteers teach staff and caregivers at these facilities ways to continue to provide supportive, comforting touch to the children in their care.

Don’t forget your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

DONATE HERE: http://www.firstgiving.com/liddlekidz_vietnam

Thank you for your generosity

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Durkins Fundraiser Outcome

It has been way to long since I've created a blog entry. Really this post should have been done a month ago, just after this fundraiser was held. But better later than never right :)
Oct 9th I held a fundraiser with great success! It ended up being a ton of fun for all who came and raised $554 towards my overall goal. I was hoping to make $500 and thought that was a lofty goal, so I'm very pleased with this. Here are a few images.....Don and Joe were all smiles
Check out a bit of the crowd
Silent auction items included Gift Certificates from Restaurant.com,
Thermos items from Lorraine, home baked goods, and a Tastefully Simple basket of goodies from consultant Beth Morris.
Don, Crystal and Jackie are checking them out!
I also made a big grocery bag full of puppy chow/muddy buddies and rice crispy treats
They went over very well in the bar with even the manager and servers buying a few.
Stef and Julia were awesome at sales.

Over all this was Tons of fun and I want to thank all the people who came to Durkins and the people working at Durkins who were taking care of us! I couldn't of done it with out my friends.
Next post coming soon....Vietnam is just around the corner and there is lots to do to get ready.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wow, what a busy week and weekend it has been. I'm sure it has been the same for many of you too.

I just wanted to take a moment and invite anyone who is going to be in the Chicago area to a fundraiser I'm having this upcoming weekend.
October 9th 2010 Durkins 810 W Diversey

It should be a good time to gather friends and raise some money for a good cause.

I'll take a few lines to thank my friends who've been helping me out in advance. * Mary for the hook up to the bar, Tania for the Restaurant.com certificates going to be used as prizes and raffles, Jackie and Lorraine for helping with prizes...and everyone who attends and brings friends. Maybe I should be doing the thanking after but really I'm so excited that this event is coming together!
I'll give another post afterwards and maybe a picture or two from the event.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

human connection and friendly touch

On my way to work one day last week, I caught a segment on NPR that was of great interest to me. It was about touch and interviewed someone I'd heard of before. They interviewed Dr. Tiffany Field, the director of Touch Research Institute, University of Miami, Florida. She's a leader in the field. In a culture where touch is commonplace yet commonly misunderstood, she's a person who's trying to figure it all out.

I thought I'd shared the link to the NPR transcript.

Human Connections Start With A Friendly Touch


Hopefully you take the time to read that. It isn't very long and is very insightful. But in case you don't it is all about how touch can reduce stress and increase connection between individuals. They explain how touch can stimulate the vagus nerve which in turn can decrease the heart rate. Also explained is how touch releases oxytocin, the cuddle hormone. Oxytocin can also increase trust behaviors in humans. Much of this I've heard before but is still fascinating to me. The segment rounded out in a way worth quoting...

"Prof. HERTENSTEIN: A soft touch on the arm makes the orbital frontal cortex light up, just like those other rewarding stimuli. So, touch is a very powerful, rewarding stimulus - just like your chocolate that you find in your cupboard at home.

TRUDEAU: So the surging of oxytocin makes you feel more trusting and connected. And the cascade of electrical impulses slows your heart and lowers your blood pressure, making you feel less stressed, more soothed - all initiated by a simple, supportive touch. So the next time a friend is stressed or worried, give them a hug or a shoulder rub. It'll make them feel better. Their biology practically guarantees it."

I love that touch can be thought of as rewarding just like chocolate! It really is. Just think about it....Hugs, gentle touch, and massage make us feel better and there's scientific proof behind it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

infant massage

My friend and fellow massage therapist ,Tania, has been instrumental in helping me spread the word of my outreach trip and knowledge about infant massage. She collaborated this information though web searches. I asked if I could share it in other forums and she was happy to let me. I am certain that I will share much more on benefits of infant massage in future posts but here's some to get us started!

Infant massage is massage given to a young infants involving tactile and kinesthetic stroke and rubbing stimulation as a therapy to enhance their cognitive and physical development. Such contact is also found in other mammals where the mother provides tactile stimulation as part of their care through licking, grooming, and physical contact

Did you know that with infant massage:

Full term infants receiving massage therapy show

- more weight

- greater length

- less irritability

- better sleep

- reduced crying and improved ability to regulate their stress hormones

Mothers with postnatal depression that massage their infants reduce their own depression and improve the quality of their social interactions with their infants.

Preterm newborns receiving massage in neonatal intensive-care units:

- gain more body weight than those that do not

- show increased bone mineralization, bone density, bone length, and head circumference

- show higher psycho-motor development and significantly higher Mental Development Index scores

The body temperature of preterm infants increases when given massage compared to controls "even though the incubator portholes remained open during the 15 min massage therapy session but not for the control group over an equivalent time period". This has been suggested to be due to better control by the infant's brain of its body state and its blood circulation.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Since a part of this blog is dedicated to my fundraising efforts I figured I should share a way to donate and give ways to let you explore the cause.

A good number of you who will be reading this will have already been to the firstgiving.com page that has been set up for online donations. A great BIG THANK YOU! to all of you who have been there and hit the Give Now button. It really is awesome to see friends, family, and even a few friends yet to be met share in this adventure by giving. I'm show casing what the site looks like with a little screen-shot-ditty to the upper right side of this script. Anyone who wants to go to that and follow my fundraising (before it gets mentioned in this blog) or to donate can go to http://www.firstgiving.com/beckilogan1

So about the cause!!! The Liddle Kidz Foundation has the goal to share the benefits of nurturing touch around the world! (please embrace the creative spelling as I already have). Here's the link to Liddle Kidz' website http://www.liddlekidz.com I first heard of Liddle Kidz in 2007 when I was about to finish massage therapy school. We were required to do a marketing project and I first came across the Heart Touch Project based out of L.A. which benefits those people who are least likely to be touched in our society: elderly, chronically sick, children with health issues...
Since that was in L.A. and I was in Chicago, I did a bit more research and came across Tina Allen's name and her non-profit foundation. (she had her start with Heart Touch). Liddle Kidz certifies individuals in pediatric and infant massage. In 2009 I took the Pediatric Massage course, and in 2010 I took both the Infant Massage Instructor and the Advanced Instruction on Massage with Autism courses. All the classes were very informational and practical. And at these times I also learned about the Global Outreach Programs Liddle Kidz organizes. To find out more on that check out. http://www.liddlekidz.com/vietnam-global-outreach.html From there I applied to go to Vietnam! Amazingly out of over 700 applicants I was one of 24 chosen. I'm sure you can tell, but I'm super excited for this. Can't wait to tell you more.....but not until next time.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It was suggest to me to write a blog. I was suggest to do this because I am going to go on an adventure- for a good cause- an outreach trip to Vietnam. While there I'm sure to have many interesting stories and experiences to share. However, for now I'm fundraising for this major trip and will constantly be learning new things about what we will be doing there. So in the coming weeks, I'll start by blogging about that.

Let me back up a bit and explain why I'm going to Vietnam for those of you who don't already know. I will be a part of a 24 person team teaching care-givers massage and providing massage/nurturing touch to orphans in orphanages and other child care facilities. We'll be a team of nurses, massage therapist, child educators, etc. from across the U.S. and Canada. We all have the passion of taking care of little ones and spreading knowledge of healthy therapeutic touch. Our team will be lead by Tina Allen, the founder of the Liddle Kidz Foundation, a non-profit organization. I'm sure I'll write much more about the benefits of infant/pediatric massage as I keep this blog, so you the reader can look forward to learning about that too!
For this first entry I'm going to also post my little bio. We were asked to provide a bio for promotional/educational/organizational purposes with Liddle Kidz. Here's what I've got...

Becki Logan has a diverse background working with children and providing therapeutic bodywork. She is a licensed massage therapist and a developmental-preschool teacher in Chicago, IL. Becki graduated from The Soma Institute in March of 2007, and holds a degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a concentration in Deaf studies. Since 2006 she has been a member of the LEEP Forward Inc. team where she works closely with other specialist to teach preschool children with sensory processing, speech, emotional, and/or social skill disadvantages. Becki has been trained in and implements: Kinetic Bridging (an exercise/body work technique based on developmental patterns), pediatric massage and teaching infant massage to caregivers through The Liddle Kids Foundation, and techniques for working with children on the autism spectrum including Floortime/DIR and SCERTS. Currently she also works at Arrandt Health, an inclusive chiropractic and rehabilitation clinic, providing clinical massage.
Becki gathered many unusual skills such as how to use a pulaski, drive a 15 passenger van, and teach four-square while Team Leader for AmeriCorp*National Civilian Community Corps in 2004-05. Ms. Logan loves to serve the community, remain young at heart, find time to play, and enrich the lives of children.