“In the dream, I have ever imagined another image about my Vietnamese homeland but when I returned I was suprised. The herd boys are funny, rice fields are green and people are friendly and hospitable.”
These thoughts were hurriedly recorded in a diary during the journey at the beginning of July of Linh La, one of 76 members who are Vietnamese-American students and physicians from the Project Vietnam Foundation (PVF) involved the program “Return to Central 2010”.
The first destination they set foot was Thua Thien-Hue province. Vietnamese-American young people were involved in examination and granting medicines free of charge to 1,600 local people in communes of Quang An, Quang Ngan, Quang Thai and Sia town in Quang Dien district. Another group consulted locals with how to protect tooth and delivered toothpaste and toothbrushes free of charge to local children.
During their volunteer trip, they also got acquainted with traditional cultures of Vietnamese people such as pouring out water to invite women and leading the old to the consulting-room.
Local children are taught English and computing by Vietnamese-American students. More happily, the volunteers white-wash the whole house and draw mural paintings with messages of peace and a beautiful earth.
Many members from PVF said that this is like a return to their homeland because they are all Vietnamese origin. Kevin, from a US University of Medicine, examined a boy whose second set of teeth are decaying. After finishing the examination and preparing to get in a car, Kevin was surprised and moved to see him standing at the gate of the medical station and waiting to give him a cute candy floss.
“I myself will go to a lot of poor lands to help local people and children. I will surely continue to return," Kevin shared.
Anna led each old person to consulting-room, listened to their heart and shared with them. Anna admired Vietnamese people’s character, facing ahead difficulties but being still optimistic and not giving way ... "I'm surprised because even though their life is poor, their beliefs are still strong," Anna said.
After leaving Hue, Vietnamese-American young people plan to arrive Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City.