The House Mother – Eing
My name is Eing. I am the night house mother at Peuan Mit transitional home (TH). I started with Peuan Mit as a volunteer with the mobile school team during 2007-2008 when I was a student. When I graduated I applied for the house mother position in 2011.
My busy week runs Mondays – Fridays 8am-4pm, as I am a Chemistry teacher at the University of Health, then from 5pm to 8am I work in Peuan Mit as a house mother responsible for children under 12 years old. At 4:30pm I arrive at the transitional home, having picked them up from kindergarten and primary school. We walk as it is very near. I help them change clothes, and then have a snack, then we play some games together for 30 minutes to relax. They like singing songs and dancing, pretending to be singers on a stage! After that is shower time, the big girls and I help children under 5years old and make sure they clean properly. When they have finished I do small first aid for them everyday. Even little wounds or spots I have to clean with Betadin – I think they really love the attention.
The small children tidy the shoes and the books on the shelves, prepare plates for eating and do small house work which they enjoy but the older ones sometimes are slower at doing things, however some days they wake up at 4am and cook the rice without anyone asking them!
Dinner time starts at 6:30. The house parents at the dormitory along with young people from Mechanics training prepare dinner for everyone. In the morning the Makphet (hospitality training) students prepare breakfast and make lunch boxes for the children that go to school. Older children at the transitional home prepare the rice.
After dinner the children have to do their home work with help from me and the house father who is also a high school teacher. When they’ve finished they can watch TV, but by 9pm everyone is in bed as they need to get a good rest. Before bed time we prepare clothes and school materials for the morning. On Thursdays or Fridays we all have a night out; we go to the Mekong River, Patuxay, French Center or Itech if there are any events on, so that night bed time can be later!
In the morning everyone wakes up at 5am, although students in the dormitory can wake up later because they come back later at night after training in the restaurant. Only those who have daily tasks will wake up with the house parents to prepare food. The first thing the children do in the morning is small exercise for 10 minutes with the house father, then shower and get ready for breakfast at 6:30am. I bring the older children to school at 7:30, then I come back with the house fathers make sure the TH is tidy and clean, then we close the door, switch off the electricity and leave the TH around 8:30. My teaching at the Faculty is quite flexible and allows me to come to the office in the morning to get approval, request or return money with accounting and also discuss any issues with my team leader or pass messages from other house parents.
On my weekends, every second Saturday morning I have meetings with the team leader and the eight other house parents. One Saturday a month I join the case manager meetings with other case managers in the office. Sometimes I go to the library, there are two that I like in Vientiane.
I also join an English Class with the restaurant teacher every Saturday afternoon and if there is no class I go to help my friend who volunteers doing activities/games with disabled children in the disabled center.
Saturday nights I go out with friends and I usually stay at home Sunday with my parents. I want to continue my education, as a Chemistry Bachelor allows me to do a master in Medical Science.
I like being with the children because we can play – although teaching at the Faculty is quite easy as all of my students are adults or working already, they are not as much fun as the TH children and I can’t really play with them!