A Seed for New Beginnings
by Kobe Ngo
As we all sat on the bus ride that most of us have gotten the hang of, there was a sense of anticipation and excitement in the air. Along with the hundreds of elementary school students that we knew were waiting anxiously for us at the school, this feeling brought by the completion ceremony of the school that each and every member in the bus has laboriously worked towards in the previous week.
This was my third completion ceremony as well as my third work camp that I have participated in. However, each and every occasion never gets old, because the humbling feeling of aiding a child advance his or her education and expand their opportunities never gets old. The completion ceremony went smoothly as several students and teachers performed, and speeches were made by “Vietnamese Big Ballers” in the words of my little brother, Kory.
One speech, however, that significantly stood out was Cô Duy Loan’s. It really caught my attention, as it was empowering, inspiring, and well-spoken, as usual. Following the completion ceremony, we went into the village, in which multiple of the students live in. We brought food as gifts, and one family, as so kindly, welcomed us into their home. This trip to the village would be the concluding part of the work camp.
“The humbling feeling of aiding a child advance his or her education and expand their opportunities never gets old”
Once we got back to the school, it was time to say gather all our belongings and say our final fair wells to the locals that we have made such a close bond with within the terse amount of time we had with them. The bus ride back was one quieter than usual. An accumulation of a week’s long worth of work and sorrow goodbyes were my best guess for the unconventional silence that suddenly permeated throughout the bus. This work camp has been remarkable and exceeded my already excessively high expectations, and as our journey comes to a melancholy end, we know that we have planted a seed for new beginnings.