A Mother's Reflection
by Thuy Nguyen
My name is Thuy Nguyen and I am Sara’s mom. Some of you might know my sisters: Stephanie and Yen. Stephanie is Zoe and Zak’s mom. Yen is Kyra’s mom. They all had volunteered for Sunflower Mission previously.
My sisters had told me about SM—how great the organization is, how impactful the experience is and how going through the workcamp experience can enable us to learn more about where we come from.
This workcamp is Sara’s and my first time. I have to say Sunflower Mission stands up to its reputation and then some. The connection and bond we formed with SM members and the locals, the service we performed for the Vietnamese community, and the strengthened connection we obtained to our family’s root were all precious.
There were many lessons I learned, teachable moments, and takeaways. In particular, I want to talk about one for me and Sara.
I will not forget when we visited the first house of the locals, Sara didn’t want to go in. She hesitated, shook her head and said, “No. I can’t.” I asked why and she couldn’t explain to me but I saw her body language. The scenery was hard for her to take in. I knew she was sad, scared, and in front of her face the realization that this is how the locals lived. I encouraged her to greet the lady of the house to show our respect. The lady smiled and gave us a necklace as a thank you. I said to Sara that she didn’t have to go in but to peek. The space was for a family of 5 or 6 and living in one room. This one space is where they ate, slept, and did everything.
The takeaway I am going to carry for the both of us is: when Sara says her life is hard, I will say it is not hard at all. I will remind her of that time when we went to Vietnam with SM and saw that house that she didn’t want to go in. The locals have a hard life but you know what? Even when life was hard for them, they persevered with a smile and didn’t loose their sense of gratitude. They had very little compared to what we have ; our life is not hard at all.
The locals have a hard life but you know what? Even when life was hard for them, they persevered with a smile and didn’t loose their sense of gratitude. They had very little compared to what we have ; our life is not hard at all.
This takeaway will put a stamp in our lives and helps us move forward when we have hard moments in life.
All of you will have takeaways. I hope that your takeaway experience from this work camp will carry you and your family through hard times as ours will.
I want to thank all of you for our experiences and wanted to let you know each one of you have placed a stamp in our heart and lives.