Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Vietnam Culture Camp
When I first heard about this 4-day camp, I wasn't sure it was for us. I thought Phoebe might be too young to absorb it all, and I didn't think we had the issues some people have of their child having no one in their school or town who looks like them. Boy, was I wrong. The camp was founded by a visionary Vietnamese American named Caroline Nguyen Ticarro-Parker founded. The main idea was to inspire connections between families and celebrate Vietnamese culture. Over one long weekend, their counselors–all teens and college students who were also adopted from Vietnam, treated the kids to games and activities. At the same time, the parents attended workshops (one was on DNA testing that was fascinating) and saw documentary films. The Teen panel was made up of middle school and high school students. They talked about their experiences of being adopted, finding birth parents, not wanting to find birth parents, the gamut. How amazing it was to see in their faces and picture how my child might be in 9 or 10 years. How enlightening it was to listen to their struggles and fears and triumphs. It was a small window into the future. It filled me with emotions and questions I had no idea I would have. In the evenings we participated the talent show (with our own rendition of a Pippin song) and attended a culture show where the kids got to dress up in traditional Vietnamese Aoi Dais and perform with their groups. They were all so beautiful in their vibrant colors.