The 47 children living in YWAM Mercy Vietnam’s three community-based Children’s Homes had never been on a journey like this. It had been a tradition for members of the three homes to go together on a summer outing every few years to the beach or other vacation spot. However, this could not happen for the last five years so, everyone was especially looking forward to the upcoming summer outing.
From July 24 to 28, we traveled over 2,000 kilometers to historical and cultural sites in six central provinces of Vietnam. We visited the ancient capital Lam Kinh in Thanh Hoa province, which was built in 1428 with a distinctive architecture composed of ironwood, the Citadel at Quang Tri (photo above) and the Hue Imperial City (photo below), which was constructed in the 19th century and was the spot where the 13 monarchs of the Nguyen Dynasty reigned for 140 years.
History is an important part of a child’s education. By studying history, students can explore the past and understand what has created the Vietnam we live in today. On this trip, the children had the opportunity to be immersed in history and to learn lessons directly at the sites where historical events happened, which is more exciting than learning about history in a textbook! This is why we decided a summer outing to historical sites would be an important trip for the children in the Homes.
The ancient well in Lam Kinh particularly impressed me. I’ve never seen such a large well.
The Hue Imperial City is so amazing–a gorgeousness of beauty. I also walked across the Truong Tien Bridge, which I’d only seen on television and in photos. Wow!
When visiting each location, tour guides explained the historical significance of that site to the children.
Children immersed themselves in the maze-like small tunnels up to 23 meters deep in Quang Tri province. These tunnels are where Vinh Linh citizens lived and fought bravely throughout the war that occurred in the 1960s.
At various museums, children also watched documentaries and saw historical objects with their own eyes–even touching these objects in many cases–making them more sympathetic, tolerant, and positive thinking about the world around them. This also gave the children a chance to take on a different perspective.
I have never been on a trip like that. I feel very lucky.
I went down to the bomb shelter, which was very dark. When I got down, I saw statues of a family with five members living in a 2m2 space.
When I arrived here, I could feel the ferocity of war. Ten small young girls between the ages of 18 and 20 volunteered to flight. They should have been living peacefully with their families at that age, but when there was a war, they left the arms of their families to fight and gave their lives to the peace of their motherland.
I am grateful for the sacrifices of heroes and martyrs that have allowed us to live in peace today. They are the ones who wrote Vietnam’s history.
I feel awful about war, which I can only read about in books.
The trip experience made me appreciate the peace that we have, and it also gave me more motivation to contribute my small part to the development of Vietnam.
I was able to see the bomb crater and the real bomb.
During the war, 7 tons of bombs fell for each Vinh Linh resident. Despite everything, they persisted in living, working, and fighting. My lesson from them is to always face all difficulties with courage, and never give up.
After visiting Lam Kinh and seeing a special tree and hearing the tree’s story, I realized that failure can happen a few times, but not always and forever. That tree was overtaken by another tree and thought to be dead, but it survived inside the other. After five years, a branch of the first tree emerged. I learned that even though the travel was exhausting, it was worthwhile when what we experienced was so beyond our expectations.
Children not only visited historical and cultural places but also the THIEN DUONG (Paradise) Cave, which is known as the underground palace and one of the world’s most stunning wonders.
This is my first time going into the cave. I was truly overwhelmed by the grandeur. It blew my mind.
We traveled to the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park on the second morning to see the Paradise Cave. We had to walk 500 meters up the mountain before reaching the cave gate. It’s like a morning workout for the whole family. Many lovely stalactites are inside the cave. Nature is great!
When I was in the Paradise Cave, just looking up made me feel like I was looking at the brilliant Milky Way. Nature is amazing and great! This site really is fantastic.
I am really grateful for the opportunity to hear and experience historical events with my own eyes. Thank you, my sponsors, for providing me with the opportunity to participate in such an exciting and gratifying vacation.