Wednesday, December 28, 2005
STORY WRITTEN BY AN A/O VICTIM
The story below is written by Giap Thi Giang, a 23 years old girl, living in the Van Canh Friendship Village. Except for her withered legs, Giang is a lovely girl with a good looking face. She is wellread, and like many million children in the world, she is reading Harry Potter...
Giang wrote this story in both Vietnamese and English. I have made some minor grammar and spelling checks for her.
If you read this story carefully, you will find behind the story is a delicate and sensitive soul that needs much caring...
THE SEA'S ECHOES FROM A SHELL
“A boy dreams of becoming a painter,
but he is blind.
A girl dreams of becoming a student,
but she is mentally insufficient.
A young girl dreams of becoming a model,
but her face is deformed.
Along time ago, in a beautiful Kingdom with green countryside and busy towns and endless glittering sand beaches. The people lived in happiness and harmony there.
However, in a village, there was an unfortunate girl who fell sick. Even though her parents invited all the best doctors in that Kingdom to their home to cure her sickness, all of they came and left with a same words: “Sorry, I can’t help your daughter”.
The girl’s sickness got worse day by day, and her world was only a room with four walls, and a piece of sky through the window.
To comfort the girl, her parents bought many toys for her, and they read stories for her every day.
One of the stories was about the sea. Even though she never saw the sea, but in her mind the sea was a beautiful and wonderful place with the glittering sand beach, the soft blue water and the melodious sound of the waves rushing to shore, the rustle of the casuarina trees in wind.
Since then, she dreamed of a day when she would go to the sea to see waves lapping the beach, run on the glittering sand, and hear the the mellodious sound of the waves, the rustle of the casuarina trees in wind.
Her parent really wanted to help her realise her dream but they couldnot. However, they thought of a way so that the girl still in her room can feel like standing in front of the sea.
On the walls they hang the pictures of the sea with heaving waves like real, they lit glitering lanterns in the room, they even tried to mimick the sound of the waves, and the sound of the casuarina trees rustling in wind.
However, the girl still said:
“No. That is not the sea.
The sea is beautiful and wonderful.
The sea is not like this”.
An the girl still longed for her dream, but her parents couldn’t do anything further.
One day, there was a traveler passing by that village. He called at her house to ask for some water, he by chance learned about the girl and her dream. The traveler gave the girl a glittering shell of a sea snail and said: “Before you sleep, put this shell the next to your ear, and then close your eyes, it will help you realize your dream”.
That night, the girl followed the traveler’s advice, then fell sleep and dream…
In the dream, the girl saw herself running on the glittering sand beach between the casuarina trees rustling in the wind and the waves singing to comfort the golden beach....
Andexen once said: “The best fairy tale is the tale written by real
Like the little girl in the story, we (AO victims) have many dreams. We believe that the fairies will make our dream come true. And like the little girl in the story we make them come true by the “fairy of imagination”
And I just want to tell Giang: Come on, my little sister. Let your imagination be the wings to flutter you to the sky of dreams and wishes. If only I can do anything for you....
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
MILLIONS OF HANDSTEPS TO SCHOOL
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May God the New Year bring to you happiness, health, and good lucks. For those who are expecting, may your babies are all as beautiful as angels.
Now, I am thinking about my weblog. Should I continue to write about those AO victims as "victims", miserable, pitiful?
Perhaps yes, because the plights are there, and I just simply reflect them on this weblog. I do not try to emphasise the trauma of AO parents of whom many have become mentally ill due to the suffering of their children.
But I also would like to tell you that among them there are many heroes and heroins, because of their persistence, their desire of study, and their struggles to overcome illnesses and physical disadvantages.
Here is one:
MILLIONS OF HANDSTEPS TO SCHOOL
Yes, I am not mis-spelling....
Truong Thi Sen, 16 years old, is the youngest daughter of Mr Truong Thanh Hai, a veteran from North Quang Tri front, and Mrs Le Thi Y. Sen was born with a beautiful face but withering legs. When Sen turned 7, her father died of many illnesses due to the consequences of agent orange in the Vietnam war.
Sen was brought up with the love of her mother and her eldest sister. Everyday she would drag herself to a kindergarten nearby. Upon seeing that, her mother decided to apply her to the kindergarten with the hope that she would find some comfort there.
Since then, Sen began her journey to education. The school was not far away, but the road was really a challenge for her. The little girl used her hands in turn to drag herself forwards, hand step by hand step. The bumpy road to school is mainly basalt soil (red soil) and cobbles. On rainy days, the road was covered by a porridge of red mud, her mother and her sister would carry Sen to school on their backs. But on sunny days, Sen went by herself.
In 1996, her eldest sister got married and moved away, Sen still got support from her mother to continue studying. With the love and help from her mother, teachers, and friends, Sen made her best in studying and get through the next class every years. In school year 2002-2003, she was selected as a representative of Nghia Mai Secondary School to take part in a gifted student’s competition of the district.
From class 1 to class 9, everyday, Sen wore a pairs of plastic slippers to her hands and dragged herself over the one-kilometer road to school. For nine years up to now, Sen probably has made a record of travelling thousands of kilometers by hands.
Sen is one of the moving examples of a little girl whose braveness, persistence, and her desire of study worth to be told to the world!
(Translated from www.vietnamnet.vn)
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I am writing to you
Today, I am not writing about the Vietnamese victims of agent orange, although there are more and more stories of them will be told here...
Today, I spare some time and some space on this weblog to write to you and about you.
I placed a counter on my weblog a few days ago, and I am happy to find out that there is an average of 20 visitors to my web per day.
Yes, the counter is fair and objective. It simply counts and tells me how many of you have come. This means my website is being known, and being read. And this is what I want! I don't want to be known for doing the "good work" so I have hidden my profile ( but I have yet known how to hide my name at the end of each post). On the other hand, I really want the stories I told to be known to more and more to the kind-hearted people in the world, like you!
So far, the number in the counter has been growing, which telling me that you are here, or have been here, or have just gone....
Your visits are highly appreciate! I know that it is not easy to go to the internet just to see some images of deformed children, read the stories of badluck parents. This is NOT at all interesting. There are plenty of lovely things on the internet: beautiful ecards, sports news, music, movies, celebrity gossips, etc....
My website is not for entertainment. It requires a strong heart filled with compassion and humanity. And by visiting my web, you may gain nothing but sadness. But let the sadness beautify your soul, make you feel much luckier to be born normal, make you think more of how to help the people who are less lucky than you.
You are my silent supporters.
Collecting stories of the victims of agent orange takes time and always makes me feel sad. But I am so happy that I have been backed up by you. But you can also make your voice heard by writing to me or leave your comments on my web.
Please help me by telling your friends about this web, read the HOW TO HELP and do something!
Thank you and I wish you all lucks and happiness!
Please come back!