Cuộc thi “Cảm Xúc Mùa Hè 2009” lần 1

Cuộc thi “Cảm Xúc Mùa Hè 2009” lần 1 đã chính thức khép lại. Các giải thưởng quý giá cũng đã có chủ nhân. Nhưng cảm xúc vẫn luôn đọng lại trong lòng mỗi người không chỉ là ban tổ chức chương trình, không chỉ là các bạn đã đoạt giải. Mà cảm xúc về một mùa hè ý nghĩa sẽ mãi trong trái tim của mỗi người.

Chúng ta hãy cùng chia sẻ những cảm xúc rất thật và cũng rất chân thành của bạn Trần Thị Trang – bạn đã đoạt giải Nhất của cuộc thi “Cảm Xúc Mùa Hè 2009” lần 1 nhé. Hãy cùng lắng nghe cảm xúc của Trang và chia sẻ cùng bạn ý nhé.

“Loving others, loving God, and turning the world upside down. I will always remember these traits about my American friends whom I met during my summer holiday. They traveled halfway around the world to come to Vietnam, and with such a great compassion they brought hope so that they may bridge the distance among people and share love. The greatest thing I have ever learned is that there are so many kind-hearted people out there who are willing to share their lives to make a better world.

I joined the trip and worked as an interpreter for GVI (Global Venture Incorporate), an American non-governmental organization. This was the third team of Forefront Church of Christ sent this year, and I was incredibly blessed to join them as a member of the team by translating for them and working with them in the village of Ta Phin.

The team members were so great in all they did and that I could easily recall. In spite of the wet and muddy path, the team was determined to find the water source for the kindergarten filtration system. This was the first challenge for the team because they soon realized that they could not build the water system for the schools this time and had to leave it for the next team. Right on the first tough day, I discovered that they were not discouraged but kept moving until they found the water source and made a draft of the plan for the next team with details of location and climate conditions.

This plan will be excellent preparation for the next team, which will aid them in the continuation of the water project. Despite the unexpected changes, I learned the lesson that dogged persistence and dedication to work is essential even when things don’t go according to plan and that one can make a new plan!

On the second day, they all put their hands into tearing down the old water tanks and uprooted the garden area of rocks and weeds so vegetables can be grown near the primary school. No matter how harsh and humid the weather was, they did not hesitate in the work that was greatly needed in order to make better use of the resources near the school.

Moreover, they appeared to get along well with the Mien, or Red Dao people. Their intimate relationship was built day by day. Jason, a big and funny man, was so kind to buy some women some pairs of sandals. Scott, a devoted doctor, examined the local people and kindly advised them how to prevent feet aches. Stacy, an adorable teacher, showed so much love for the kids and taught them such simple but meaningful games and lessons. Something I think that considerably changed the kids’ behavior is that she taught them how to keep the school clean by collecting the trash and placing it in the proper place.

These are such simple lessons for the kids, but worthwhile and beneficial for them to remember and practice. Abby and Kasey were so gifted for painting the school’s murals, and I was extremely eager to join them in brightening up the school! Michael, Bob, and Keith also did a terrific job in providing considerable support and assistance in the construction of new water holding tanks. Just imagine how enthusiastic and committed they were.

There I was, taking part in every activity and happily discovering that I was not merely a translator, but I could become their friend who found the common contentment when I could do something to help people bring about a better life. What they were doing was just what I wanted to do so long ago, but it was not until this summer that I had the chance to make it come true.

Therefore, I tried hard to fulfill my role as an interpreter and a good friend of theirs by showing up every time they needed me. On behalf of anyone who was helped by them, I wanted to express my deep gratitude for their kind-heartedness. I cannot wait to see them again!

They have opened my eyes, and now I can see that we can change the world with every little and simple thing we do. Helping people and bringing them happiness is the most meaningful way that they can see the value and the happiness in their own lives. That’s the way Forefront teams have been doing for years to make impact and bring out transformation in Vietnam.

I am trying to find a way to live a more meaningful life after looking back on the time with all of these friends. One is to love people, love what you have from the very little things to the great things, and love the life you lead. Love is the gift that you give yourself, and only when you know how to love others can you truly grow and discover more about the meaning of life.”

Chúng ta cùng lắng nghe những dòng tâm sự của bạn Nguyễn Xuân Triều – chủ nhân của suất học bổng thứ 2 của chương trình nhé.

“It was a summer morning. Birds were twittering the same old song on the trees. The air was still fresh with the delicious breath of yesterday night’s rain. The water has refueled the dry soil below and flamed up countless little buds, as green as the fire of youth’s hope, on the branches. Everything was perfect and promising for a vacation. Hand in hand, they came through the small window of a man’s room to be admiringly captured in his eyes.

About the man? He’s still young, 20, simple, good looking, at least this is what other girls described him and was feverishly preparing for his first trip to the countryside. He was raised up in a good family with two decent incomes from both parents. Being the only child, he was early immune from the outside world. This is to say he doesn’t have much social experience and lives of other people are still a mystery to him.

Summer sunset is like a girl, hot and beautiful. The rosy horizon looked similar to her skirt wavering in the last vast of sunlight, which all soothed the man’s mind.

He was falling asleep and the car carrying him was flying like bullet towards the destination.
The following morning, fresh air of the previous days still lingered but the endemic hot of big cities had been dispelled, leaving space for a faint veil of fog to encompass the green rice fields. The young man eagerly walked along the small dyke, singing something unclear and thinking something so vague. He was allowed to go around in the town, for the very first time, all alone on a strange land.

He and his bicycle slowly passed several places. He saw a woman, who was about his mother’s age, and other four children living in a nearly-to-shatter cottage. Their house was no better than what the man, when a boy, built from banana leaves to play with his friends, he thought. He also saw the happiness brightening their grey faces when some little loaves of bread were brought home by the breadwinner of the house.

On his iron horse, he continued the trip. Sounds of laughter reached him faintly. Children, as young as his nephew, were going to school. Their trousers had been worn out and although they were dark blue, some areas had been whitened, a brutal result of excessive usage over long period of time. They did not have white shoes to go to school as did the man but old sandals made heavier by mud on the rural road. In spite of that, they were still happy; their laughing could be heard from far away, as clear as the bell and as beautiful as morning dew.

For a moment, a glance of reflection and then a suspension of thought crossed his mind. It brought him to the past when he was this age. He still remembered his reaction when his mother bought him the shoes with wrong color or how irritated he was when some mud accidentally fell on his shirt, leaving indelible marks.

Now, he’s ashamed, by what reason was still unknown. It was suspended by something. Strangely enough, in 20 years of living, this might be the first time a young man thought seriously on what he had and how he treated his life. “Oh, I’m hungry”. The flow of thinking was disrupted as hunger rang its alarm. “Should there be any place to have breakfast in this town?” he thought, “there must be. No one can live without eating. Such a smart inference” he pleased. After a while, “aha, it was there”, a modest but clean place selling “banh canh”, a Vietnamese traditional fast food.

When he nearly finished his breakfast, the man saw a woman entering. She quickly offered her lotteries to a nearby man, who seemed to be wealthy, maybe a civil worker. Her voice was soft and she was lightly trembling. He did not pay any attention and she went away to another table. No reply either from the customer and the process repeated several times. Everyone simply ignored the woman as if she wasn’t there. They just carried on their eating without saying any slightest refusal, let alone a polite one. The young man was stunned, literally, by that which he entitled “the bitter indifference”. He was so because he knew well that it is up to everyone to buy lottery or not but the problem is the people’s attitude towards the woman.

They might have thought that she was just like an animal wandering around in search of food and that their indifference might be their most polite behaviour, if not they would shout at and throw her out. The young man realized immediately after her entering that she was the woman he saw with four children earlier this day.

Being full, he slowly came back and when the night fell, the silence of the countryside was deafening, especially when compared to the incessant noise in the city.”

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