The Thrill of A New School Year
Bustling and busying! That is the atmosphere of the OBV house in preparation for a new school year.
Before entering the new school year, the first thing that the OBV pays attention to the most is stabilizing all of the children’s health. Uncle K., Aunt N along with Aunt L. took all of the kids to get full examinations carefully. It took two full days from morning to afternoon to finish; everyone has to eat lunch from street vendors while waiting for the exam results. The results showed that: a couple of the children are okay, one of the child’s mental health isn’t stable along with reduced vision. Another child suffers gynecological issues. There are also two children who have to take medicines constantly, so now after each meal, besides the desserts is the display of the medications in different forms and colors.
The next part is the application process for new students, ID pictures, supplementing missing forms, there are lines everywhere and the long wait time is consuming. The longer we wait, the more they leisurely move. “Uncle K will probably lose a few pounds. After securing the school and classrooms then we have to buy school supplies, uniforms, essential tasks arise everyday therefore Aunt N. and Aunt L. don’t need to go on any diets anymore.”
There are so many things to worry about when the children venture out, we’re not scared that they would skip school and go home but we are afraid of traffic and all the other enticing things. Especially the two frail children and the little one is still too young. We’re just being over protective and overly concerned but we have to accept the facts and let it be. Y. took the bus to school and got lost on the first day; was constantly dizzy and her eyes were weak so she couldn’t see the words very well.
X. is the “3rd sister” in the house, although she is physically big but she is quite naïve. One or two weeks before school started, we taught her how to ride a bike around the neighborhood and from the house to the school. The first day of class, we took her to school and asked some friends to watch over her. She is much taller and bigger than her classmates but she is also at a much lower level than her peers. If we constantly worry about it we wouldn’t have the courage to let her go to school by herself, so the only thing left is leaving her to God. Every day when school is out, we anxiously count the minutes, if she is only a few minutes late that would already cause us to worry tremendously. But now after a while, everything is falling to places, she is familiar with the routine and is very happy to be going to school.
And then there’s a child from Ca Mau, her family sent her files in late so she started school a few days after the rest. We don’t have to worry much because she is very wise and on top of that, she goes to the same school with the “4th sister” in the house at the same hour. They ride the bicycle together so we’re less worried.
Lastly, all the efforts are focused on the youngest one in the second grade. It was hard finding a school closer to the house so that we can easily drop and pick her up every day. She’s the youngest one so we are even more worried. All of the schools that we applied for rejected her saying that they are out of space (but perhaps it could be some other negative reasons). At last we found a school that was closer to her “3rd sister” so they go to school together. Everyone is not very comfortable with the idea of leaving the “youngest” one with her sister but we don’t have other options. When we took the little one to meet the vice principal and her teacher, both were pleased with her because she was quick and very responsive. The vice principal even gave her some candies and her teacher gave her some encouraging words. The teacher said if she doesn’t understand any assignments, the little one can come to her house and she can explain further since she lives close to the OBV. It was very comforting for the little one to receive the extra attention from her teacher. When we picked her up, she said she made many new friends and showed off the gifts they gave her that day. We can breathe a sigh of relief and conserve our strength to focus on other things.
What is the best things that these children need? Do the children themselves, know what are those good things that they need?
We all see that whenever a very important person arrives at a place, people put up fences and security is heightened to ensure safety for those VIPS guests. But here it is the opposite, we save the space for the children, making sure that they are well protected; pulling them against the current is our job here at the OBV.
But of course, things don’t always go smoothly. There are times when everything goes according to plan and it all fall to places and all the problems get resolved. Yet other times, everything is a big mess. “God is my companion, you are each other’s companion, and together we will tackle all obstacles along the way. I cannot water the field alone. Alone, I cannot create a love song.”
All the hassles of a new school year! Hoping that you all won’t pay attention to distracting things, focus on your studies. Only that, will be able to alter your fate.
M.J. Ho Ngoc