I went to the high school the girl was supposed to study at to see the principal on Monday morning to ask if he could write us a letter of recommendation. He was willing to do that.
At 7:30, I met my friend at Gieng Nuoc Crossing corner (Well Crossing Corner) then we went to see the girl together.
The stories we shared with each other made the long road shorter.
We arrived in the house of girl’s grandparents at 9:30. We were welcomed to be there. Perhaps her family had understood our mission.
I called Mr. B, a worker at the child protection service at the commune. He showed us the way to go to the girl’s school to see her principal. Mr. B was the one who encouraged T. to get back to school after she left there for a long time with lots of reasons.
When we arrived in her school, T. had been standing at the school gate to wait for us. She was very excited to know that “people from the city” would come to see her that day.
After that, Mr. B went to look for the principal’s room with us, while T. was taking to the journalist. At the moment seeing the principal’s room was locked, I began to think that there was not good news coming. We went to see the secretary and were told that the principal had come to China for work and wouldn’t come back until Thursday night. She introduced us to the Deputy. He also had sympathy for T. and was glad to know that OBV was helping her to study in Ho Chi Minh City. Because the Deputy was not allowed to make the decision for T. to leave her school for another one, he promised to tell our mission to the Principal when he came back from China.
Leaving school, we came to the girls’ home. We were told that after our last trip, both of the girls began to have meal at their grandparents’ home. Their grandmother did not scold them anymore. This was really great news to us. Perhaps our mission and love had changed the thoughts of the girls’ relatives.
The people who were and are still taking care of her…
Before saying goodbye, I begged Mr. B. to help us finish her formality to attend the new school and gave him some money for the formality progress. The girls’ grandfather couldn’t read and write so we asked Mr. B. if he could help us. He was touched and didn’t take the money. He said: “You have come here to help T. That is also helping my people, my community. I own you so much. I can follow the formality for her to go to the new school. Don’t worry…”
Saying goodbye to Tay Ninh Province, our souls were still heavy because T’s formality was still on its way. We could see how much she wanted to move to Ho Chi Minh City as early as she could. Her sufferings, one could be seen on her body and one was deep in her soul, and the misery caused by surrounding people’s sayings, were getting to be too much to handle to a 15 year-old girl.
Be patient, little girl, for just a little short time. Then OBV will try its best to take you to a brighter future.
Nov 1, 2010
Translated by Le Nhat Lam. The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Tây ...Ninh Ký (Phần II)"