This time, we had known how to get there (that was the fourth time we went there) so it didn’t seem to be a long way anymore. Because we might be late, we didn’t stop by the house of the girl’s grandparents.
Arriving in her school, seeing the principal’s room was still opened, we felt so lucky (last time, although we had an appointment with him, he was still on his trip, so we had to go back to Ho Chi Minh City). Because Nguyen Van Troi High School was being repaired, the principal was busier.
Taking a brief look on the principal, we thought he was not very friendly. However, after talking with him, we got to understand his big heart. He helped us with all of his soul. He went to the deputy’s home to take the seal, because the deputy had taken it to his home for a sudden work.
After finishing all the formality at his school, the principal wrote us a recommendation letter to Tay Ninh Province Department of Education and Training.
The school was being repaired…
After saying thanks to teachers of Nguyen Van Troi High School for their help, we went to see the girl’s grandparents. It was about 11:00. Her family was very glad and thanked us for coming a long way to finish her formality. After that, we had to say goodbye to them to go to Department of Education and Training to finish the progress. We still had a 40 kilometer-trip to go.
When we got there, it was time for afternoon break so we couldn’t do our work at the department. We had our lunch and then stopped by a coffee shop to rest for a while. It was raining a little out there…
During our break, we saw two female students sharing a hammock in such a romantic way.
Although they’re girls, they seemed to enjoy smoking.
Another older girl with a tomboy hair style, holding a cigarette. The other looked pretty. Recently, there was news about lesbian in teenagers… We hoped these girls were not. Or if they were, we hoped they were just a rare case, not a familiar one.
At 2:00 P.M., we got back to Department of Education and Training while it was still raining. Talking to the receptionist, we were told that all of the directors had gone to other areas of the province for inspection and had not come back. The receptionist told us to go to the examination room to ask for certification of the transcript on entrance examination to high school. There, we were told to go for somewhere else and be back for 45 minutes… We didn’t know where to go, so we decided to sit there to wait.
The building of Department of Education and Training in Tay Ninh Province
At 3:30, we got the certification. But the recommendation letter was still not through because the teacher that was responsible for it had not come back. We also couldn’t contact her by phone. After talking about our mission with the receptionist, she seemed to have sympathy. She suggested talking directly to the captain teacher of the office, maybe he could help us…
Then we went to see him. He asked who introduced him to us. We answered that the receptionist did. He told us that the progress had changed. He used to be able to do this, but now, with the movement to another school in another province like this case, everyone had to work with another teacher who had gone to Ha Noi and would come back that night. The secretary teacher for this work also had gone for inspection and had not answered the phone. He told us to find a place to stay overnight because it was 4:00 P.M., so we could go back the following day’s morning to continue the progress…
I told him that I was going with a female colleague and both of us had not planned to stay here at night. I begged him to try his best to help us because this was a special case…
He asked us: “How is it special?”. I told him about NT’s story and said that was the fourth time I came to Tay Ninh to help her with her formality. I told him that last time when we came, the principal was on his trip to China (he was on the same trip with Nguyen Van Troi High School’s principal so he knew about that).
Listening to our story, he seemed to have sympathy. He told us to wait while he was asking the president if they could have another solution for our case.
It was 16:15, then 16:30 but he had not come back. I messaged my partner, who was waiting downstairs, and told her to pray with me for everything to go on well. We didn’t want to spend all day long here but have to come back with no result.
At 16:40, he opened the door and walked in. I was nervous and wondered if God had listened to our prayers. Seeing his stressful face, I thought we had to go to Tay Ninh for the fifth time to finish the progress. But he laughed and told me: “You’re so lucky; the president agreed with my suggestion: That is I will be in charge for your documents, instead of the teachers who are responsible for this but now are absent. But I had to copy your documents (so it took a little of time) so tomorrow, the other teachers will do their work with it.”
Holding in my hands the recommendation letter signed by the President of Tay Ninh Province Department of Education and Training in order to be sent to Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training, receiving lots of support from the captain teacher of the office, we felt like we had put down a very heavy thing. We felt so excited, no matter there were still 100 kilometers to go back to Ho Chi Minh City.
On the way home, we stopped by T’s grandparents’ home. She had messaged us since the afternoon, asking how thing was going and if it was going on well. We didn’t have much time to talk. So we just took some more T’s identity document for the rest of the progress to attend the new school. Then we said goodbye to her.
It began to rain more heavily as we went back home. The streets became flooded. We were afraid to fall into holes all over the way. Finally, we got home and both of us were as wet as a drowned rat.
Thank God for a day with lots of good memories and other things. Although we were tired, we were very happy to complete 2/3 of the progress to take T. to a better environment for her life and education.
We had 1/3 of the progress to complete. That had to be done in Ho Chi Minh City and also seemed to have lots of tiredness. But we trust in God and let him do the rest for us.
Nov 1, 2010
Translated by Le Nhat Lam. The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Tây Ninh Ký (Phần III) - Xin giấy giới thiệu của Sở Giáo Dục Tây Ninh..."