Friendship Foundation of American Vietnamese

Dr. George McCarthy

Thank you to all for your hard work

This has been a long journey for all of us. When you reflect upon it, every moment will be close to your heart. For myself, I can recall my first trip. Now I have been back a number of times and everything has changed from what I thought about on my first trip. The problems I encountered then have become insignificant now when I reflect on all I have seen and learned.

One quality that stands out from both past trips and on this one is the way in which people help each other. This begins with all that you have done. We may wish that we could see all the help we have given, but we often cannot.

What will you do with all you have experienced?

If you perhaps cannot see it, I think you can still feel it, that emotional sense that connects together us and all the people we have met. Remember this feeling. Recall all the children and the old people. You can feel the difference that we made.

I do want to thank all of you for all of your hard work. I thank you for doing everything scheduled on the project even though at times you may not have been feeling that well.

The question now is, "What will you do with all you have experienced?" I urge you to conduct a self-reflection and self-examination. Figure out who you were and who you now are after all these experiences. Compare this with who you want to be. You have seen poverty and wealth; you have seen people enjoying themselves and others who are suffering. You have met many people, from the children, to the adults, to the elderly. You have met teachers and lawyers, doctors and nurses, students and mothers, priests and monks, patients in hospitals, the disabled, the mentally ill and the strong, the kids selling at beaches and the beggars sometimes demanding hand-outs. They are now all a part of your consciousness.

"What will you do with all of this?" That is your challenge now. I know you will treasure and remember all of this. But do not simply store this away in some secret part of your soul. Use this new knowledge and these new friendships to make the world a little better for everyone.



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