Viet Nam – Spring 2017

# 5 – Đông Sơn, Hà Tĩnh

On Highway # 1

Here’s the map of Viet Nam to help us following all the locations that Bridging Hope involved.

I left Vinh heading south along Highway #1 on a public bus to Đồng Hới, Quảng Bình.   It was a cloudy and rainy day.

The bus drive was good until it got to Đông Sơn, Hà Tĩnh.  It got congested because of the protest right on Highway # 1.  I then learned that it was one year anniversary of the mass fish kills in several coastal provinces:  Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên, which caused by the Formosa, a Taiwan-based Formosa Plastic Corporation.  This corporation strongly supported by the local government.  The intention of the protest was to demand the government for the damage compensations and to boycott the Formosa. For more information about dead fish in Viet Nam, see links below.

The traffic was immovable in both directions for about 4 hours.   Fr. Năng’s plan was for me to get off from the bus at Ba Đồn, Quảng Bình around 3:00 pm and he will pick me up.  But now it’s already after 6:00 pm.  He came up with another plan.  He made arrangement for his friends who live in the village nearby to pick me up on their motorcycles, (motorcycles can get through the traffic jam), and take me to their home.  After many phone calls between me, Fr. Năng, the bus driver, and the motorcyclists.  They picked me up around 7:00 pm – one for my suitcase; another for me.  They rode through protest lines. I witnessed first hand – seemed most of them were women – and a few children.  (a video was taped but need to edit it.  Insert it later).

They took me to their house.  While waiting for Fr. Nang to come picking me up, I had dinner with the family.  Fr. Nang called later to let me know that the traffic line was too long — wasn’t quite sure when it would be moving again.  He recommended me to stay with the family overnight. He will pick me up the next day.  It would be about an hour drive by car.

Through this “eventful incident”,  I had an opportunity meeting more people, making more new friends.  During our conversation, I learned that I already met their son in November 2016 while I was on the mission of helping the flood victims in Tam Trạch, Quảng Bình.  He just got ordained as a priest a few weeks ago in Japan. The husband got his IPad logged on to Facetime with his son in Japan.  I had a chance to congratulate him.  He asked his parents how they ran into me!  (smiles!!!!!)  Yes, it’s a small world after all.


This entry was posted in Spring 2018 - Sites Visits , on May 01, 2017 by .