Outstanding students 2018: The journey of youth

(Admission Office – Văn Lang, 4/9/2018) - “We started this journey as excellent students but ended it as a cosy family, “said Duyen while we were getting together at Doc Lech beach in the last evening of the journey. In deed, although the tour has already finished, its great moments are still very vivid, and revive. Especially, when I am writing these lines, it seems to me that there is an invisible and intimate connection among us.

On the first day returning to HCMC, all of us got up at 5 in the early morning, texted to each other excitedly to wake up one another for a start off. Funny though it seemed to be, I found it extremely meaningful. That journey was really a miracle which turned strangers into members in a family.

Honestly, I have not been ready to drop down some lines about the recent excursion unitil now. One reason is that I dare not remember those wonderful memories, which may make me not only smile in great happiness but also not be able to hold back my tears of regret.  That those memorable stories passed. It is a truth we all can’t deny. That twelve – day-and-night journey was a vast sky of youth inspiration, for myself and the other members (24 ones).

THE FIRST THREE DAYS OF THE EXCURSION    

My name’s Hong Hai – a member of the Outstanding Student Delegation who visited King Hung shine in 2018. People often called me as Sis Three. I have no idea about where the name came from, but find myself very happy with that name and have no offense at all when being called that name. Unless other members loved me, they wouldn’t call me endearingly like that.

I still remember the first day of that journey when I had to spend over 14 hours on the coach to Quy Nhon. It was also the largest distance we covered in the tour. At first, 24 members were still shy and embarrassed because they came from different regions with a large variety of cultural backgrounds as well as diverse life style and personalities. I thought that if all members continued to be that timid, we would waste a couple of first days. What a real pity!

Nevertheless, three days travelling from Sai Gon to Quy Nhon, Da Nang, Quang Tri and Nghe An went by in a blink of an eye. We altoghether experienced a great number of various feelings. We felt moved to tears about Ms. Dang Thuy Tram’s life, bowed our head in respect for heroes who had scarificed their life for peace at the Ancient Citadel in Quang Tri province, observed in silence the high-mindedness of Mother Thu, or respectfully offered incense to martyrs at Truong Son magnanimous cemetery.

Another member whose name was Quang The (the leader of the Outstanding Student Delegation) was extremely moved when he first set foot on those locations mentioned aboved. “It seems to me that there is no gap between the two worlds. There is no distinguishment between the dead and the alive. Here, we perceive only love, great respect from the young generation for the previous ones and peace in mind as in heaven.

vlu journey of youth 1All memebers took a photo with the statue of Ms. Dang Thuy Tram awarded by Van Lang University to Traditional Office, at Dang Thuy Tram clinic, on 20/12/2016.

We were not only excited but also felt touched when seeing the statue of Ms. Dang Thuy Tram respectfully given by VLU. It was displayed in a formal place at Display Room for national heroes’pictures, at Traditional Office – Dang Thuy Tram clinic (Quang ngai province). It was such a surprising coincidence that our happiness was doubled when we all heard that the street leading to VLU, Campus 3 had named after Dang Thuy Tram in stead of Truc street as before. Once again, we felt a tight bond between VLU and the great heroine, or a close connection between the university history and the national history.

On the first 3 days, we also droped by Sen village where Mr. Ho Chi Minh, a great leader of Vietnam in the war period, was born. It was the simple house made of dry straws and leaves as well as peaceful scenes here that had brought up a grandiose man and a respected Father of of the whole nation.

vlu journey of youth 2Along with the T-shirt of The youth League, we were very proud when visiting Uncle Ho’s hometown.

HANOI CAPITAL (THE NEXT 3 DAYS)

We were burst into tears when we reached Hanoi for the first time. Here, we ourselves witnessed Sword Lake, 36 strees in Hanoi, and met residents. What a beautiful, peaceful and lyrical the place is! It seemed as if we became innocent children who found it quite brand new to stay at a strange place as Hanoi. Therefore, a feeling of anxiety and curiosity emerged in each of us.

The landmark of Hanoi let us know that it was time we fulfilled our mission which was given by VLU, departments and fellows: Offering incense to King Hung and reporting achievements. We were on behalf of all the excellent students as well as other students studying at VLU. As a result, not only did we felt proud of ourselves and honorable but full of responsibility as well.

It gave me a goose pimples just to think about the moment when we sang the song “Van Lang – the University for Giant Minds” before going to Thuong temple- the highest one on Nghia Linh Mountain, considered as a holy land where vitality and energy from the universe concentrates.

        “From the earliest day, there was a hero who made countless impressive feats and established Van Lang country…”

Each line of the song’s lyric was sung loud with full of respect, admiration as well as pride for heroic nation founders.

vlu journey of youth 3All member took photos to record their arrival at the entrance of King Hung’s shrine.

Uncle Ho’s mausoleum is my dreamy destination and now I have fulfiled my dream. Uncle Ho was still there and looked as if he was sleeping with nearly closed eyes. Over twenty years went by in a blink of an eye! We joined in the crowds lining up to visit Uncle Ho and had the opportunity to witness him directly.

vlu journey of youth 4All members took photos in front of Uncle Ho’s mausoleum

That’s not enough for Hanoi’s taste. This capital also brings a lot of delicious dishes for visitors; Upin, Phúc, sister Thu were really into the food here. Bi was addicted to egg coffee while Mai, Hoang and Phuong mentioned La Vong grilled fish, which people often debscribe humorously as “must-eat” food if you reach Hanoi. Otherwise, you would be considered as not yet arriving in Hanoi.

THE REMAINING TIME SIDE BY SIDE (THE 6 DAYS LEFT AT HANOI –QUANG NINH –NINH BINH –NGHE AN – HUE-HOI AN-DOC LET-SAI GON     

We covered half of the journey. All first embarrassment and shyness disappeared and gave room foom for affection, connection and anxiety of farewell.  At Halong bay, we acted out The Face program, went swimming at the beach and shared a bottle of water, a piece of cake, or a piece of fruit with each other. We also did crazy things together with a lot of fun. All those experiences will be the most splendid and memorable rolls of film of this journey.

The next destination is the beloved Middle of Vietnam, with a narrow shape as a bow overlooking the ocean. As we all know, there is no heat as severe as the one found in the Middle of Vietnam. Moreover, the sunshine in the Middle is extremely burning. The extremely hot and dry weather appeared to discourage us from moving forward or make us not want to leave the air-conditioned room. However, if the local people here could tolerate that kind of extreme weather, so could we.

While Hoi An has an ancient beauty, Hue has the charm of an elegant and timid girl. We had a good time going sightseeing the old scenes from thousands years ago as well as looked at the antique building constructed by people in the past. Stunned by the sparkling beauty of the night life at the ancient city as well as attracted by the charming singing voice along the Huong River.

Highly inspired by the breataking beauty here, I suddenly want to drop down some lines of poem:

Visiting this old land one day by chance
The place with great fame of courage and and full of morale
On the high observation tower flies a red flag
A fortified Meridian gate together with an indestructible citadel
Here stands red attic and there a reddish staircase
There stands still the sights, but where is the old friends?

vlu journey of youth 5A photo taken in front of the Meridian Gate

vlu journey of youth 6

 

Leaving Hue ancient citadel, we came back to Doc Let. At that night, we shared enjoyable moments with each other without using smartphone or any other distractors. All things left were only moonlight, sound of wave, warm flame, and love for each other.

When asked about the most memorable moments, Dat (often called Dat “chamber pot”) said that, “If I had an opportunity to come back, I wanted to get the final night of this journey back. It was the time when we were together. At that time, I was really satisfied with my decision about joining in this journey. At that night, we stayed side by side, close-knit as family memebers.

 

HOW ABOUT REGRETS…?

Anh Dao Orphanage is certainly the place we appreciated most but felt much regretful. Department of Social Services - Anh Dao orphanage is located at Tan My hamlet, Ninh Xuan commune, Ninh Hoa town (Khanh Hoa province). It was established by a Buddhist nun Thich Nu An Son, under the sponsor of Buddhists. Not only is it a department of social services but it was also a place that brought up and supported lots of disadvantaged children, including orphans and the disabled.  Arriving here offered a great opportunity to visit children whose were very obedient and smart. Due to the limited time (only one whole morning), we couldn’t help them much except for chatting to encourage them to make a great effort in their study so that their future life would be brighter. What is more, we also saved their friendly smiles, their warm hugs in our heart. Anh Dao orphanage has still been in need of care from the society. Waving goodbye to the “small - space - but – great - love” orphanage, each of us promised to ourselves to return and contribute more to help these poor children here. Regardless of much or little capacity, we all hope to bring these poor children a better life.

vlu journey of youth 7These children gave us a great motivation to make more efforts in life.

AND IMPRESSIONS LEFT     

What did we lose? Yes, we lost many things such as the fair complexion and the slim body. We also lost boring days and our laziness. We lost daily worries and temporay failures. However, we gained a lot. What we gained was sympathy, tolerance, courtesy, and maturity.

We will always remember what Ms.Nga, Deputy Head of delegation, whose nickname is Mama, said that, “Always remember that you are students on behalf of outstanding student of VLU to have the honor to offer incense to King Hung through this journey. There are still a lot of other outstanding students who are more intelligent and more dynamic than you. Therefore, always try your best to deserve with this representation.” Her statement was as a guide on life’s journey, which instructed us in every action or thought. Whatever we did, we try to do properly.

This journey brought us a family with a caring Mama and a responsible brother. All twelve days and nights gave us a pricelessly mental treasure. As Associate Professor – PhD. Tran Thi My Dieu emphasized, “There are things that happened only once in our life, so appreciate each precious moment you’re staying with each other.” We were a part of each other’s youth. Our youth will become more glorious thanks to this precious journey. I also believe that this feeling will last for a long time. When we reach the old age, we will be able to feel warm and proud of our energetic and inspring youth.

Finally, I am on behalf of this delegation to send our sincere gratitude to the Board of Administrators, lecturers and other students who trusted and supported us. I would like to send many thanks to Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Diep and Ms. Pham Thi Nga for their deditcation to the journey as well as to all of us. I am also appreciative of other members of the Delegation, including myself, for having made great efforts to stay with each other joyfully and to fulfil our responsibility.

vlu journey of youth 8A photo of the Delegation of outstanding studtens together with the Board of Administrators after the journey to King Hung‘s shrine (August 30th,2018)

 

Writer : Vo Hong Hai
a senior from Department of Public Relations – Art and Media
(The Board of Media of the Outstanding Students Delegation, 2018)
Translator:  Le Huynh Ha Van


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