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Dear Friends of SMILE,

SMILE GROUP, all 70 of us, just spent four blissful days of vacation by the sea, swimming in the ocean, making kites out of local bamboo and old newspapers, sand castles, barbecuing fresh fish, learning about each other, and as always lots of love and sharing. The natural beauty of the site and the exuberance of the children and families drove me to shoot 847 pictures! 847 happy faces that were all lost when my professional NIKON camera was stolen at the train station upon our return to the city. So, unfortunately, we won't be able to share our trip with you. However, we have collected a couple of other pictures from other cameras.


In any case, we want to thank all of you that made it possible for us to offer the children and their families moments they will certainly remember, moments that will build their character and perhaps bring just one more ray of light into their lives.

The Trip:

We go to a place called Mui Ne, an old fishing village, where the beaches are long and wide, and most of all - TOTALLY empty!

The fishing boats anchor here in the summer when the sea is calm.
As usual, the day begins with Yoga Class taught by Elisabeth. Meanwhile the adults are preparing a fresh breakfast for 70 back in the kitchen.
Something funny happens when kids are happy. They behave incredibly well.
We never have to tell the kids twice to put on their swim suits and go to the sea.

For some, including the adults, this is their first time on a train, first time to the sea, a lot of firsts...

Why buy expensive rafts when you can just blow up a couple of balloons.
Family picture - sad to leave, looking forward to next year.
And for those of you who never had kids like me and lack affection - rent one!  They're scrumptious.
PS: Wish we could show you all the beautiful kites we made and flew, the castles we made in the sand, ....but as the Buddhists say - if you don't own anything, you've got nothing to steal!