On the 3rd August we were on the last
day of a trek through the area surrounding Sapa in Vietnam. That
morning a few of us, all staying at the samehomestay, went with our guides to see this beautiful waterhole just outside the village. We went swimming while our guides waited for us on the small rocky beach area. Within minutes a deluge of water came sweeping down the river from what is believed to be a dam opening further up the mountain. The guides screamed at us to get out as they heard it approaching but it was too later. We were caught up in the force of the water and were very lucky to survive being swept into the turbulent rapids below. Briohny's beautiful guide, My, was not so fortunate and was drowned. She was the main income earner of her family and leaves behind a 14 year old daughter and 8 year old son. Her husband maintains the family rice crop that provides their staple diet for the year and cares for the children. My spoke of a desire for her daughter to finish her schooling but this is expensive and less likely now that she may be required to take over the home duties.
There is no form of financial support, compensation or welfare for the family. It is our hope to raise money to be reserved for the children's ongoing support and education. We also hope to provide a small amount to the other two guides that survived and who, alongside My, stayed to warn and help us rather than run and save themselves. There is no provision for them to access any kind of support or to take time from work as they recover from the trauma. We will be getting advice as to the most practical and helpful options and method of achieving these goals.
We ask those that have followed our journey and others who feel impressed to give to open their hearts and donate within their means to help those who are traumatised, grieving and facing a difficult future.
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