On December 8, I left Houston to fly back and spend 3 days in Viet Nam. The main purpose is to attend the completion ceremony for the 3 schools in the vicinity of Kien Giang that SM has just finished: Binh Giang 2 (4 classrooms), Nam Thai (2 classrooms) and Co Khia. (2 classrooms).
Sunflower Mission (SM) VN Project Coordinator, SM VN Scholarship Coordinator and SM supporters from Vietnam were at the Completion Ceremony. As usual, the students who attended the ceremony received gifts from the SM representatives.
Dinh Hoa 1 - Rung Cam elementary school is a two classrooms project which was completed in July 2006. Completion ceremony was held July 21, 2006.
Dinh Hoa commune is located in the remote area of Go Quao district of Kien Giang province. This commune has a large number of Khmer population and is considered to be one of the poorest commune in the area.
I was born and raised in Texas, which makes me 100% American, or so I thought.
For this reason, I never thought I would survive a trip to Vietnam without my parents. When I was asked to join a small group of Vietnamese-Americans on a trip to my parents’ birthplace, I was reluctant for a number of reasons—but mostly, I knew it was because I was afraid to know what my life could have been like. The more I learned about the Vietnam War, the aftermath, and the effects on those who survived and those who escaped, the more I was ridden with guilt that more than half of my relatives were still in Saigon.
For Pauline Tran, born in Saigon in 1952, her dream of "Bonjour Vietnam" is "always very pretty." Her motherland has fields coated in green, trees filled with coconuts and bananas, lazy rivers and mountain backdrops. It is nature unravaged.
In May of 2006, I had the opportunity to go and help build a school in a poor and rural village of Vietnam. Prior to arriving at the school site, I felt excited, not knowing what really to expect.