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.