We started the trip exactly 2 weeks ago, also on a Thursday night (July 5), with a group of 41 eager individuals ready to embark on this journey. We landed in LAX earlier today with just 22, since the rest remained in Vietnam to spend times with their respective families. Within that two weeks, things happened that will forever remains in my heart.
With the trip coming to a close, here's a recap of what we were able to accomplished:
Scholarship: The number of students from Duc Hue, Long An receiving scholarships increased from 50 to 70 this year. From the region's reports this year, 100% of students from Duc Hue finish primary and secondary education, while 98% finish high school. This is definitely a big jump, for the percentage of primary education graduate was only about 70% six years ago. I am extremely proud that MEMO is able to be a part of this change. In addition, around 40 students were able to received dental check up at the award ceremony.
Heart Program: If everything goes accordingly, 6 young patients will be receiving life saving heart-surgeries this year.
Orphanage: Monetary support ($1000 each) were donated to Ky Quang Pagoda and Thien Binh orphanage for their upkeeps. Toys, toothpaste, and toothbrushes were also given out. Beyond that, smiles and laughter were shared between orphans and MEMO students.
Clinics: Approximately 1,800 patients were seen between four days of clinics in Tan Dong and Long Son of Long An and My Tay Phuoc and Thanh Hoa of Tien Giang. These patients were able to have their blood pressure measured, consult a doctor, get screened for EKG/Ultrasound, have a dental check up (Long An only), and receive free medications for their respective health conditions.
I would like to express a few thanks:
Thank you to the Nguyen family: Co Kim, Dr. Duy, Au Co, Long Co, and Long for being the foundation of this organization, for taking care of it and entrusting us with this mission.
Thank you to the adults: Dr. Bui, Dr. Belville, Dr. Phung, Rosalie, Mr. and Mrs. Ly, and Dr. Ninh for helping us in various aspects throughout the trip.
Thank you to all of the officers: Cecilia, Long, Andrew, Natalie, and Albert for sacrificing so much of your time (ESPECIALLY sleep time) in planning before as well as during the mission. Thank you for the love and passion you have for this organization <3
Finally, thank you to everyone who goes on this trip. Due to the length of this entry, I cannot individually thank everyone. But thank you for always being supportive of us despite changes in schedules on the trip, for being on time, for being so hardworking, and for being such an amazing and inspirational group that I had the honor to work with. I love you all to death.
Maybe I get more sentimental as I become older, but I cannot help this weird tingling feeling that is overtaking me at the moment. I can see it clear in my head everything. I remember the adrenaline rushing through everyone's face at LAX and everyone's tiredness plus excitement when we landed in Tan Son Nhat Airport. On day 2, I remembered Anton, Jonathan, Jamie, and Vina playing and laughing with the kids at the scholarship venue. On day 3, I remembered Dr. Bui and Dr. Belville refusing to eat to finish helping all of the patients and Bryant's sweaty face from working in the dental station all day. On day 4, I remembered Andrew hustle from place to place trying to keep our clinics in order. On hospital days, I remembered Ronald and Alex expressed how exciting it was for them to witness surgeries with their own eyes. On day 8, I remembered the superior crowd control team. On day 9, I remembered the lady who went beyond her duty to help out older villagers. On day 10, I remembered Hoanh and Tuan Anh, the two innocent boys who became victims of fate. On day 11, I remembered the laughter that were shared between students, orphans and doctors alike. On day 12, I remembered the bittersweet of goodbyes as we parted ways and returned to our normal lives. This was just my own memory, for I know everyone had their own memories and stories on this trip.
|Another year, another piece of memory.|
I came home finding that the shoes that I worn in Vietnam had now covered in mud. With the first intention to wash it, I quickly decided against it. Like the shoes still carrying the mud from Vietnam, I will continue to carry the memories of this trip with me for a long, long time. I hope that everyone also carries that special piece that memory of 6G with them, and hold it close to your heart.
With this my job in this blog is done. Thank you for reading and hope to see you in 7G.