We wrapped up our week at Children’s Hospital 1 with a Parent Program with about 30 families. I always enjoy these sessions for the palpable energy that comes with talking with parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Judy, Jacque, and Lauri spoke to their areas of expertise and I shared some personal insights and suggestions about growing up with hearing loss. They asked good questions at the end, including one to me about what was most difficult about my schooling experience in the mainstream.

After the closing cermony, I met with the heads of the departments at Children’s Hospital 1 to gather feedback on the week. They all had positive things to say and are enthusiastic about having us return later this year to build on the training that we provided. The Global Foundation has been focused on the education sector in Vietnam for the past few years. It would be wonderful to continue to make inroads in the healthcare sector as well. And so, after the meeting, we agreed that it was “Hen Gap Lai” — See You Later — as opposed to goodbye.

We’re now on to Thuan An Center in Lai Thieu. Our packed schedule for the next week features lecture and engagement with teachers and therapists as they work with children with hearing loss in the early intervention and kindergarten programs. We’ll also be providing training to educational audiologists and a hearing aid dispenser about audiology and how to counsel parents. We have a supply of Phonak hearing aids provided by Hear The World Foundation that we and the Vietnamese will be fitting on young children who need them as part of the audiology training program.

As our team bus cruised into the countryside where Thuan An Center is located, I felt increasingly wistful. I went for a jog several days ago and tripped over a rope strung across the pathway. I quickly learned that concrete and bone are not friends as I landed hard on my knee and fractured my knee cap. I’m scheduled to have surgery here in Vietnam tomorrow and will be out of commission for a few days. It kills me not to be a part of everything at Thuan An Center but we have a terrific team and I know our program won’t miss a beat in my absence. With luck, I will be back with the team and writing the next blog post by the end of the week. Thank you for continuing to follow us and…Hen Gap Lai — in a few days!