Thứ Ba , 7 Tháng Hai 2023
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My Boyhood In Vietnam


My Boyhood In Vietnam.


My village was called Ky Phu. It means wealthy and wonderful, but actually, there wasn’t any significant natural resource here. My village is really a poor countryside however it has got a very beautiful scenery with Truong Giang River flowing quietly through white sand. There were a lot of rice and kumara fields here. The southern of the village was a beautiful natural harbor. That is a place where the US Army chose to set up a huge military base, called  Chu Lai  Base during the Vietnam War. Chu Lai also closes to My Lai, a famous place because of the massacre of civilians that occurred during the war. My Lai is now a historical site recording traces of war. American veterans often visit that place.

My dad was a chairman of  Ky Phu Commune for 9 years. Mr. Ngo Dinh Diem was the President of  South Vietnam Government at that time. I began to understand the background of my family. My family was loved and respected. But after 1975, my dad spent 5 years in jail because he used to be an officer of the South Vietnam Government.  During the time as the leader of Commune, my dad also was a fisher because of his salary was not enough to support the family. There were not a lot of fish in my homeland sea. Sometimes the fishers went fishing for some weeks, then came back home with nothing. The villagers and fishers were very poor although they had to work hard. The small fishing boats haven’t got any engines, so they have just caught fish around the inshore. Fishermen have to use hands and a rope to pull their boats for every sailing.  When the boats came back from the sea, they had to pull them back to the shore. The level of awareness of the people was very low. Only a few people graduated High School. One day, there was a massive black died whale drifted on shore. People did set up a shrine to worship him.

Although the villagers were very poor, but they lived in harmony and love each other. The days of rough seas,  the fishing boats could not work, then living in the village was very sad. But in summer, the fishing activities were very busy. The fishermen often catch more fish on the nice days. The boats laden with many kinds of fish. Those who did not sail the sea were also received fish by other fishermen.

One day, I went to a boat full of fish and ask some fish. The owner saw me. He said: “He is a chairman of Commune’s son. Let’s give him some fish.” Actually, I would like to ask the fish for the poor. But that day I was cautioned by my dad. He thought that  I dare to misuse the name “son of the chairman” to ask some fish. My dad was a talented and honest man. He couldn’t only compose poems, but also build the houses, make the small boats, weave the baskets, gardening and farming. He has got a great affection for people and nature.

I was the only member of the family to go to High school. When I did pass my High School test, my dad was sailing the sea. At noon, I ran to the beach to meet him coming back. He went fishing alone with a small boat. He caught a big fish and some small fish. I approached but not to tell him about my good news. My dad sold the big fish and kept some small fish for the family. Then, I told him I had passed.  My dad was happy, but he said: “Why did not you say this earlier  so that I  save  the big fish for special lunch today?” I was very happy to hear his words. On that day my family rejoiced very much in my good news.


Pastor Hue Nguyen   

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