Sharing in Life Essay

Submitted By trungnguyen01
Words: 1133
Pages: 5

Travis Nguyen
English 101
Instructor: Dela-Cruz
Feb 15th 2013
Exploratory Essay 2
The Meaning Of Life In 2010, I had an unforgettable opportunity to participate in a campaign called “Life is beautiful”, an international organization raising funds to help poor people living with disabilities in Vietnam. As a result of that trip, I came to realize how fortunate I was and what the meaning of life really is. Our destination of that journey was a village located in the mountainous region of Lao Cai Province, in the very northern reaches of Vietnam. The aim of the two-day trip was to help its poor ethnic people by providing them primarily with food and other supplies. It was my first time going on a journey away from my family, but even more special was the fact that it was for charity. In the week before the trip, Tam, our leader, had prepared everything carefully. He brought a stack of instant noodles and many boxes with used warm clothes donated by the organization. I also brought some blankets, notebooks, and basic medicines. As everything had been set up, twenty other people and I got on the night train heading to Lao Cai, the home of the hill tribe ethnic minorities of Vietnam. It was an extremely long trip, taking us eight hours to finally reach our destination. When we were about to arrive at early dawn, a golden glow spread across the sky as the sun chased away the darkness. From my window I could see clearly the view outside early that morning. There were a few people heading to their farm. We could see that they were excited to welcome a new day. On the way to our destination, the scenery was so beautiful and exquisite. Alongside the road, there were countless pine trees perfuming the air with their sweet scent which came through our open train windows. I can still remember the peaceful feeling it brought to us all. After checking in at the small hotel near the city, we took a short rest and unpacked our personal belongings. When we were done, it was almost 9 o’clock in the morning. After being picked up by the mini bus arranged by the leader, we were all taken to meet the local people. It was a small village with a population of 300 people living below poverty. Many obsolete houses which were nearly broken down lay next to each other. They must be over 50 years old because all of the tiles were completely detached. The humid air smelled musky after the first rain the summer. In spite of their poor conditions, they welcomed us with a very special local traditional dance. The villagers were wearing their modest and simple traditional costumes. A variety of dragon-like patterns thoroughly embroidered made those villagers look so beautiful and unique. We respectfully asked to know more about their lives. We learned that they had to face many difficulties such as a lack of electricity, which we were all used to having. They were experiencing a shortage of clean water. Another hardship was the lack of proper medical assistance. There were very few hospitals, most of which were located nearly 10 kilometers away, and of course, medicines were insufficient. Almost all of the villagers had been suffering from the disastrous consequences of Agent Orange, a deadly chemical sprayed over the war years back in 1960. Some of their limbs were missing; others were clearly disabled. Sadly, these people’s main and only income was the market which took place twice a week. There they could sell their simple food products, such as fruits and vegetables grown in their modest farms; some sold their handiwork, and others sold cattle. However, it only brought them barely enough money to buy rice, spices, and to pay for their water. For others, the money they made at the market was just enough to pay for a few hours of electricity. We also noticed that their children, wearing torn clothes, looked sad and hungry. In their future, they would probably continue to live in poverty as their parents; they received no schooling because