Heartfelt Journey - January 2006
Sister Ngoc Hoa Nguyen, an active Sunflower Mission volunteer in Vietnam, recently visited the Koho people, an ethnic minority group in Vietnam with volunteers from a sponsoring company, SDS. The trip was truly a "Heartfelt Journey" for the sponsors, volunteers, and Koho people themselves. Please read Sister Hoa's article to find out more.
The Heartfelt Journey
We gathered around six o’clock as planned for this special trip to the terrain of the highlanders. As we know there were many sadden deprived souls… waiting, in secluded darken poverty. They were longing for those with warm and generous hearts, those who could feel the hardship and indigence of these ethnic minorities.
Not only I, who prepared for the trip early, many others, started from three or four o’clock this morning due to limited transportation. We loaded supplies and gifts to the car and began our journey. Our goal for this trip was to reach out to the children of the highlanders of Duc Trong, a secluded community approximately 16 miles from Dalat. Many of us, especially the younger members, were not familiar with this highland area, but their spirit had already opened to embrace these underprivileged. Bringing with us small and insignificant gifts, we hoped to create little smiles and warm encouragements on the face of these poor children.
From Saigon, the trip took us through Gia Kiem, Phu Cung, La Nga, Dinh Quan, where we noticed plentiful of giant boulders, one on top of the others. The uneasy feelings when I saw under the foot of these boulders were also dwellings. What if ???
We drove through Phuong Lam, then Lam Dong. Lam Dong started from Banana Pass where plenty of yellow pines and cooler winds. Everybody felt so relaxing. There were plentiful of tea and coffee plantations here. You could also find variety of tropical fruit orchards such as durian, avocado, jackfruit, and lechee. The fresh air took away the hot and hasty air we felt in Saigon. About twenty miles further, we arrived at Duc Trong-Lien Khuong of Di Linh Province. And another forty miles into the forest was our destination. This was the place where the ethnic minorities live. It seemed as though they had been forced to move further and deeper into the forest and away from the competitive urbanism.