Reunite with Family
It was the last time I saw my family and friends in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Despite spending all of these years apart, I've never gone one day without thinking of them. I often dream of reuniting with my family again. I wish they are closer geographically.
How I came here...
Once upon a time when I was 14 years old, I escaped my homeland hoping to find a better life elsewhere. Wherever it might be as long as it is peaceful and free. Free to survive, to be accepted as a human being.
Half a world apart...
I speak and see my family through Skype. Thanks to technology, I am able to communicate with them and share our stories like the good old days.
Even though Skype is able to provide them through voices and images, it is not the same as seeing them in person.
After 10 years of dilegence, I have my United States of America Citizenship and passport. It is now safe for me to visit to my homeland.
Spring of 2015 I am returning to my homeland the Central Highlands of Vietnam. This trip is both a joyous reunion with my family and an opportunity to help support them. We will be assisting my siblings with various improvement projects: installing windows, repairing roofs, and building a chicken coop. We are also hoping to help my sister start a Banh Mi shop.
Your donations will go toward these projects, as well as travel expenses.
To read more about my story and about Montagnard people...
Here is a lenghtly report from the Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/vietnam/
Here is a part of the report that focuses on the 1990's when I was growing up: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/vietnam/viet0402-09.htm#P977_185207
Here is a stylized article on Cracked.com: http://www.cracked.com/article_21870_i-dont-know-my-age-5-things-i-learned-in-my-isolated-tribe.html
Thank you for your support and generosity!
We raised a net profit of about $2,400 at the event to help my family. This money will be used to support infrastructure and improvement projects for my family in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, including installing windows, roof repair, and building chicken coops. (Kegan, Michal, Guy, Al, and Connor are long-time friends of mine and locals who helped organize this pho-undraiser, who [Kegan and Michal] will also be traveling with me to Vietnam this April)
If you missed the event, you can still support the cause and learn more about my story and journey from a remove indigenous village in Vietnam, to 14 years as a political refugee in the US, and now finally return visit to my family. Learn more here: www.gofundme.com/reunitevn.
I was overcome with the support and generosity! We are all so grateful to all the hearts, hands, and mouths that contributed to this event and this cause in general. Many thanks to Kismet and donating farms as well!!
Lots of love,
Just a quick update:
My sincere apology, I never posted the link to my story on Cracked.com. Here it is:
Rich, I enjoy getting these updates. I wish I could donate more! Pulling for you brother. All the best, Joe
Thank you Cang, I'm so glad you had the chance to visit the homeland :). i hope it was a memorable experience. I am exited and a bit nervous at the same time. Again, thank you so much for your support. I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.
I saw your story on Cracked. I was lucky enough to visit my parents' homeland about ten years ago so I am wishing you luck that you'll see your family again soon.
⇩Or you could use his email address to donate through PayPal... ?
What a shame Gofundme does not use Paypal! I have no creditcard and I would like to donate something to your cause. Maybe you can send me your bank's IBAN/BIC accountnumber? Hopefully you can make your trip back home and be with your family again. Good luck to you and a very safe trip! Greetings and love from The Netherlands/Holland