Monday, July 21, 2008
On Sunday Anna and I had an hour to kill before meeting Ryan's class at the bowling alley so I suggested a walk around Lenin Park. Immediately upon entering the park I knew something was different. Usually the park entrance fee is 2,000 Dong (roughly fourteen cents) but on Sunday it was 10,000 Dong. At first I thought the park cashier was trying to rip me off , but in the end it was worth every damn dong.
Anna and I happened to stroll into an event called "Circle Painting." (http://www.circlepainting.com -- Dad, take notes. This could be a great event in Livingston). Basically tons of people paint on a canvas together and then the art is auctioned and donated to "poor children." After further investigation it turns out the poor children are kids who are born with a cleft lip and the money is given to operation smile -- a very worthy cause. (http://www.operationsmile.org)
(PICTURE: A circle painting done by children. The adult ones were about six times larger than this.)
Anna and I decided to participate and were given a number. Because we were American and totally awesome they decided to give us #23, like Michael Jordan. The only problme with #23 was that we had to wait about an hour or so before it was our turn to paint. However, waiting an hour was no problem since all the workers kept grabbing us to participate in different events. Basically we became free white models. We were escorted back and forth to different games/events going on and were followed by a camera crew and our own papparazzi. Okay, that's not totally true. Anna was followed around while I just stood to the side and giggled. Supposedly she was on the Vietnam News that night.
My favorite part of the day though was when one overly eager worker insisted Anna and I join a painting contest. We obliged and walked over to the contest...which consisted of a dozen or so Elementary school children painting with water colors. We entered the contest and began to paint as well. Three hilarious things then happened:
1. A gang of little girls came up to me and said, "Your painting is so ugly. So ugly!!!"
2. The "MC" came up to me with a microphone to interview me. The problem was the microphone wasn't connected to anything. Literally she was just holding a microphone and asking questions.
3. After we finished our paintings the "MC" told us to come back in half an hour for our prizes. I asked her, "You're going to give us the prizes instead of the children?" She looked at me and said, "Maybe." My initial reaction was, "AWESOME! First the blog award and now a painting award. I really do rock."...but then I said, "I think you should give the kids the prizes."