Home' Navy News : November 12th 2009 Contents MORE POWER TO YOU.
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November 12, 2009
By LEUT Jennifer Parker
AS SOME sailors of HMAS Darwin
(CMDR Chris Smith) will tell you,
it's often hard to make new friends
when you visit a new country, espe-
cially when you don't even know a
word of the native language.
This becomes very apparent when
you find yourself standing in front
of 200 orphaned children waiting in
anticipation for you to do something.
It's hard not to feel like a fish out of
water, but communicating with chil-
dren, no matter where they are from,
is as simple as child's play.
During Darwin's recent port visit
to Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 30 mem-
bers of the ship's company visited the
Enfants de Sihanoukville orphanage
to spend the day lending a hand.
Upon arriving at the orphanage,
those with mechanical nous took to
repairing door knobs, beds, soccer
goal posts and other handyman jobs.
Others took to entertaining the
children by playing various games.
Both the children and the ship's
company alike appeared entertained,
the group often breaking into laugh-
ter over the coordination of their new
One of the many highlights of the
day was when the Navy Band per-
formed a concert. Leading the band's
performance was POMUS Mark
"Music is universal and language
is no longer a barrier when we play,"
"It was a real thrill for us to see
Darwin helps out
the kids laughing, clapping and smil-
The band's music and antics had
both the children and the ship's com-
pany dancing in the aisles.
After the band's performance
Darwin's ship's company were
treated to an impromptu concert by
the orphanage's own musical ensem-
ble playing traditional Khmer instru-
Before leaving their new-found
friends, Darwin's team gave the
children toys, sports equipment and
stationery donated by the welfare
committee and individual sailors.
Darwin's doctor also paid a visit
to the orphanage, conducting medi-
cal check ups on the children and
HMAS Darwin was in Cambodia
as part of her South East Asian
TIME FOR GAMES: LSNPC Adam Jacobs stacks dominos
with some kids from the Enfants de Sihanoukville orphanage in
Photo: ABIS Evan Murphy
By LEUT Aaron Convery
TO MANY it may seem unusual that a
large RAN warship might take time out
of its busy schedule to make a group of
kids smile, but the ship's company of
HMAS Darwin (CMDR Chris Smith)
that did just that.
On October 1, 26 children from a
Vietnamese Government-funded orphan-
age in Ho Chi Minh City, aged 7 to
14, visited Darwin as part of the ship's
goodwill port visit to Ho Chi Minh City.
The visit started with a tour of the
ship where the ship's 76mm gun particu-
larly impressed the children, along with
the biscuits and cordial in the junior sail-
After morning tea and watching
DVDs, it was on to the flight deck where
the kids took on the ship's company in
a no-holds-barred game of tunnel-ball.
It was the kids that showed far more
cohesion than the team from Darwin and
came away as convincing winners.
Before leaving, each child was pre-
sented with a gift containing books,
stickers and colouring pencils.
From there a final headcount was
conducted and, with a flurry of high
fives and waves, they crossed the gang-
way with a smart salute.
Members of the ship's company said
it had been a motivating experience and
that they had got as much out of the visit
as the kids.
WELCOME: HMAS Darwin opens her doors to 26 children from the Ho Chi
Minh City Youth Vocational Training and Education centre during the ship's
goodwill visit to Vietnam.
Photo: ABIS Evan Murphy
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