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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day #20 & Thu Duc Youth Village

Sunburn and the Little Man currently live in the Thu Duc Youth Village (orphanage) in Saigon and were transfered there at about 6 weeks old from the TuDu Maternity Hospital. Saigon is also called Ho Chi Minh City, HCMC, and is in southern VietNam. It is the only home they have ever known and the nannies and other orphans are the only family they have experienced. We have been told that the orphanage staff has moved their cribs next to one another as we requested.

A family that traveled to Thu Duc in December took these pictures.

Thu Duc orphanage was founded about 20 years ago in 1990 by the grand daughter of Pablo Picasso, Marina Picasso. She founded the orphanage in Thu Duc, VietNam, just outside Saigon, and it was a former military base. It is named "The Village of Youth," and was funded by Marina’s inheritance from her grandfather, Pablo Picasso. The orphanage is still frequently referred to as the Picasso Orphanage even thought the Picasso family no longer supports the orphanage since the Communist party took it over. Actually it has "gone downhill since the government took it over a few years ago," and funding has now drastically declined according to Marina's son, Michael.

The baby room has the youngest infants. There are metal cribs that line the room and form rows down the middle. This picture was taken in December when there were approximately 15 infants in the room. Yes, Sunburn and the Little Man may be one of those babies in the picture, as they were about 4 months old in Dec, but we'll never know.

There is a second room for older babies. All in all, it looks pretty bleak and sterile to me. Clean is good and wonderful, but it looks like Sunburn and little man will need a stimulation and lovin' blitzkrieg!

Considering the record breaking cold winter that VietNam had this winter, and the many orphans that died on account of the cold, we are SO thankful that these babies are in southern VietNam, where it is quite hot year round.
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