Monday, November 22, 2004

A Dedicated Team

At our past Thursday meeting on Nov.18, we had a great experience to grow in our bond as a team. Ryan Carlson, an associate chaplain at OWU was kind enough to guide the team in some team bonding exercises. We first did the get-to-know-you exercises where we each said a little bit about ourselves. We then did an activity where we were each given a number, which was not known to any other member, and were then to line up in order without talking while our eyes were closed. This was definitely a challenging task, especially since there were not only whole numbers, but negative numbers and decimals! Although we did not accomplish the overall goal, we did learn a little more about ourselves as a team.
As we grow as a team we will be able to realize our assumptions and help each other understand how to better utilize our skills in a joint effort. If we all work with each other and each use our gifts and talents to accentuate others' gifts, we will be able to form a tightly bonded team that will be able to not only understand each other, but be able to help each other at our weakest and strongest moments. These gifts and talents of the team as a whole and of each individual can then be used to help in our mission of serving others in Vietnam. As we continue our emotional and spiritual growth throughout the year, I know we will learn so much about ourselves and about the issues most important to us when we will be serving the children in Vietnam.
Every week, I become more excited for this team and for the mission that we will be embarking on. At every mission team meeting, there is a great sense of love and caring and a true desire to learn. I have been trying to learn more about the Vietnam War and Agent Orange and am realizing how much more there is to know about these things, and that fact makes me all the more excited to learn. I had never realized or really looked into how affected the Vietnamese still are by the Agent Orange, and now I've come to see how devastating this herbicide still is by affecting multiple generations. I really hope to share love and happiness with these children and let them know that so many people still do care about them. I know that the entire mission team also shares this desire and dedication to serve and love whole-heartedly.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Another Fundraising Event

On Thursday Nov 18, Jess, Melanie, Nga, Kumar, Kevin and Thanh joined the Widerness Trek team at a fundraising event at Gooseberry Patch. Gooseberry Patch is a local Delaware company specialize in selling cookbooks and decorative items over catalog. Our job was simple: Bag the Bags, meaning, putting gift bags into plastic bags. It was an easy way to make some money and it was fun as well. We got pretty good at doing it. We even had like a mini-production line going on as one person gathers the gift bags, one put in the plastic bags, and one seals. It was a good time for team bonding as well. As the work does not require much thinking, Jess, Mel, Nga and Kumar decided to dig into each others' lives and get to know one another at a deeper level. I heard questions like "Who are your favorite boys/girls on campus?" asked. Somebody said.."too many to count".

By the way, my apology this time for the pictures. I must be hungry or something because all the pictures turned out a little bit blurry.

From left to right: Jess, Melanie, Nga and Kumar

@ Gooseberry Patch

Kevin waves at the VN team
Click on the picture for larger size

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Online Petition Supporting Agent Orange Victims

Here is the online petition created by Len Aldis calling the international support for the Vietnamese Agent Orange victims .

Len is a British, founder and currently the secretary of the Britain-Vietnam Friendship Society. He is very passionate about Vietnam, especially the Agent Orange issue. He has worked tirelessly to bring justice to these people. If you feel the same way, please sign your name to the petition below and forward to others who could also support the cause. Len's goal is to get 1 million signatures. Currently the signature stands at 660,000s.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Articles to read

I have done some surfing today (yes, again) and found these few articles from BBC about Agent Orange.

Agent Orange blights Vietnam
Robert Deselow reports that poisons dropped by the US forces during the Vietnam War have left a long-lasting legacy

Vietnam's war against Agent Orange
The title says it all

Friday, November 12, 2004

Meeting Minute - Nov 11, 04

The meeting this week went well. Say hi to Lisa in CA and Jennie B. who could not come, we hope you feel better, Jennie (Chaplain will take over your Pizza delivery spot on Friday).
We discussed the following:
1.We decided to do an online journal. Everyweek, there will be a person in the team post a summary of the week. Anyone in the team can post their thoughts about the trip or our activity anytime.
2.Website for the Vietnam trip: we would like everyone to email Thanh with an introduction about yourself
3.Bazaar event: December 12, 1-5 pm at Gray Chapel.
- We plan to sell Vietnamese food (fingerfood), everyone will help. Nga is in charge of this food business.
-Origami/Craft/Slates: contact Lauren and Melanie.
-Calligraphy: possibly Eric and his mom (who is a professional calligrapher)
These are the ideas we come up with for Bazaar during this meeting. Lisa and Jennie let us know what your thoughts and any suggestions!!!
4. Derived from the Bazaar discussion, we are also plan to do a Garage Sale or Whatever Can be for Sale event next spring for fundrairing. This event is to be discussed in detail later!!!

This minute was put together by Nga. I just post it up here so we can keep everything together.

Monday, November 08, 2004

A volunteer in Hanoi

Yesterday, I was just blog-surfing and came across this blog from a fundraiser in Hanoi. He told his experience at the Friendship village with Agent Orange children. Friendship Village is on our itinerary so I think it would be helfpful for us to check this out.
Our Man in Hanoi: Happy Christmas - War is Over?

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Fund raising activities

God really blesses us. Last night we had pizza delivery and it was not too busy a night. Today we raked leaves for Sue Pasters and the weather is just so gorgeous. Orignially, we were supposed to rake the front yard only. We did it so fast and so professionally that Sue decided to hire us to rake her back yard as well. We did not complain. The money was good and we were having so much fun as well. So far we have raised as a team $400! Not so bad...$200 more to come for 2 nights of pizza delivery next week. We are getting there!! Good work, team!
By the way, Jess and Eric, I like your little duet on the way back.

The professional leaf-raking team -- 2 hours for front yard and back yard. Anyone wants to hire us?
The behind row (from left to right): Chaplain John Powers, Jennie, Jess, Kevin (he is the one with the bag on top of his head)
The front row (from left to right): Eric, Thanh, Jenny, Matt

The resurrection of Eric Magnus

Jess -- you are getting really good at this :)

Full view of the front yard
Click on the picture for larger size

Picture of the team

From left to right: Nga Nguyen, Matt Laferty, Lauren Griffith, Jess Schaffner, Melanie Hill, Eric Magnus, Thanh Nguyen, Kumar Chheda, Jennifer Fabritius, Jennie Brundson, Kevin Barron, Lisa Spradley and Chaplain Jon Powers

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Vietnam team and first impressions

Finally a team is selected and ready to go. For those who just pass by this page and have no idea where we are coming from. We are a group of Ohio Wesleyan students and faculty going to Vietnam over our Spring Break to share our love and care to the children victimized by Agent Orange. Agent Orange was the herbicide dropped by the American army during the Vietnam War to wipe out the jungles where the Viet Cong were supposedly hiding. The effects of Agent Orange are noted among many Vietnam veteran in the U.S. and even more so for many Vietnamese soldiers and people. Hundreds of thousands have died as a result of the on-going problems caused by Agent Orange. It is even more devastating as many more children are still being born with serious defects, such as peculiar body shapes, limbless, mental disabilities, etc.

Before I go on with the Agent Orange effects, which I am sure will come up many times going forward, I want to talk about our team. I am very happy about it, 11 students and 2 faculties. I think we have the very best people on campus. I was so touched to read the essays from the team members (I am sure Chaplain, Lisa, Nga and Jenny can echo on this). They are very thoughtful, deep and moving. I have very positive feelings toward our team and our trip. Everyone will have a great experience!

Last Saturday at the first Spring Break Mission Week seminar was the first time our team got together. We enjoyed learning a little bit about each other during the "speed date" activity. I am sure there is much more to learn about one another going forward. The team is just as excited as I am about the trip. The fundraising goal does not seem to set anyone back at all. Our trip is expensive...we need to raise around $18,000 by February 1st, 2005 to be able to go. We, however, are determined to raise more than that to not just cover our cost but also to help the poor children. Some help can really change a child's life.