My experiences at Ha Tinh orphanage are experiences that will stay with me throughout my life. Upon arriving to the orphanage, I immediately felt the love and care that the director had for the children and that the children had for each other. We-the group of volunteers from Elizabethtown College-were welcomed with smiles and hugs along the way of our entrance to the center.
During the opening ceremony, I met a young girl who I could never forget. Her name was Tham, and as the ceremony was close to beginning, she looked for a seat and I invited her to sit next to me. I gave her a friendship bracelet and we tried to communicate through hand gestures, pointing, and smiles. This type of communication was successful in creating a bond that I still feel to this day, many months after our visit to Ha Tinh.
Tham and I spent the next two days together, she helped me paint trees around the center, and I cheered her on as she and the other girls at Ha Tinh did a dancing performance for everyone at the center. No matter where I was those two days, she was always by my side. We played and walked together, and did not need formal communication to bond. Though, I did teach her some English, and she tried to teach me Vietnamese-my Vietnamese was not good, to this day, I appreciate her patience with me and her willingness to teach.
Tham is a wonderful little girl with a beautiful spirit; this is apparent upon the first few moments you meet her. She smiles often and has kind eyes despite the hardships life may have put her through. She is charming and a even a little sassy, and made me laugh and smile countless times over the two days I spent with her. Our goodbye was painful and very tearful, but I always remember Tham with a smile, and I am grateful for the ways that she has impacted my heart and life. She is one of the many reasons why I will always be a supporter of Brittany's Hope.