In the past four days, we’ve had some celebrating to do.
First, there was International Women’s Day on March 8. This is like rolling Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Secretary’s Day all into one! Flowers are the predominant gift, and this is the right place to get the freshest most beautiful bouquets and arrangements you’ve ever seen.
The days running up to International Women’s Day are somewhat like a big shopping holiday back home. Flower vendors spring up on every street, and for some of them, these seasonal entrepreneurs make their living for the entire year on this one major event. It’s truly a big deal, and if you don’t think so just forget your wife, co-worker, secretary, or the professional woman in your office and see how that works out for you.
This past week Chinh and I went over to Hue Central Hospital to settle-up an account for a patient, and found only men working behind the counter. They had sent the women home early, so they could actually begin celebrating their holiday the afternoon before it officially began. That was nice of them, but when we tried to pay our bill the men couldn’t figure out to do it. They asked us to come back Friday when the regular staff was there (i.e.; the women). How does that expression go? “When you want a man’s job done right, call a woman!” And having the Women’s Friendship Union on your side in this country is a way to get anything done.
Then there is the second thing, March 12, 2012. A seemingly unimportant date until you know it’s the “Queen’s” Birthday! Last night she received a bouquet of flowers and a nice little bracelet from one of her favorite bellmen, today the Furama gave her nice flower arrangement, and this evening I’m taking her to Don Cipriani’s an outstanding 5 Star restaurant right here at the hotel. The hotel gave her a little gift…
And Housekeeping gave her a puppy…
Then her two best friends here, Tram and Quyen, gave her a birthday cake and a dozen yellow roses! Joette shopped in Hoi An today, and I told her, “Honey, get yourself something nice!”
Yes, I’m treating her to a classy meal tonight, but the best Birthday gift I can give her is Proverbs 31. You ought to read it.
I don’t know what I would do without her in this ministry, she’s a terrific partner in Vietnam. And the women here, they love her and she loves them. It’s a special connection. Officially she is a part-time employee who gives more than a full-time employee, and most team members have no idea of all she does behind the scenes because they only observe her day-to-day work.
But Proverbs 31 pretty much describes Joette. On this day I feel like I’m the recipient of a Birthday gift. ”Happy Birthday, Queen!”
Chuck in Da Nang
PS: No, I’m not going to say how young she is. You’ll have to ask her that herself.