Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A College Students Education Includes Visit to Vietnam

Emma Smith completes voyage around the world

08 December 2010 - Emma Smith is a Louisburg resident who recently left for a journey around the Earth as part of her college education. The following is an update of what she has experienced since her last published story in the Nov. 3 issue of the Herald.

I wrote my last update from Singapore, and since then, I have been to Vietnam, Hong Kong, mainland China and Japan, and I have fallen in love with Asia


While I loved visiting all of these countries, Vietnam affected me the most, as I had several opportunities to participate in service projects, two of which I organized.

I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with young girls from the Little Rose Warm Shelter who had been rescued from human trafficking. The shelter was on the outskirts of the red-light district of Ho Chi Minh City, which was one of the poorest in all of Southeast Asia. The girls ranged in age from 10 to 17, and I was able to stay with them at their shelter, see where they lived and worked, hear their stories and just spend time with them.

All of these girls are placed into different occupational training, such as beauty school or learning how to be tailors, rather than school, so that they can provide for themselves once they are 18 and on their own. The resilience these young girls possessed was inspiring; it was astonishing to me that after all they had gone through in their short lives, they still were able to laugh and enjoy one another’s company.

I was also blessed with the opportunity to be able to stay for a couple days at Thien Phuoc Orphanage an hour outside of Ho Chi Minh City. The orphanage serves children who have been abandoned because of birth defects, most of which were caused by indirect exposure to Agent Orange. At least half of the 100 children living in the orphanage could not even hold their own heads up, so they lay on cots all day, every day. My job was to help feed, bathe and play with the children who could not do anything for themselves. It was heartbreaking to see and realize that it was my country that did that to them; that was our Agent Orange. {read rest}

Real Education not found in the classrooms of the education industry, but the type of life long direct experiences, life and work, we all individually have!

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