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immersion (cont'd) Nick Elderton (SAC 2011) plays with some of the children in the Rev Philip Moller SJ with some of the children of the orphanage. orphanage. Upon arrival we were immediately inducted into their for their friendship and camaraderie as well as always family and we were treated that way. After a few days providing themselves for a talk or discussion. of labouring, we went on a trip to Vinh City and the surrounding areas. We visited and stayed at the parishes Ben Jacobs (SAC 2011) of Fathers Hoa, Trung and Binh and also visited Father Chinh (who Bernie Greaves and Ben Holmes (SAC 2009) The January 2012 Vietnam stayed with when they did a Gap Year in 2010). We even Immersion led into battle on the soccer field by our captain Declan played soccer on the Immersion, against the Seminarians Tbegan with a group of fifteen enthusiastic young Oldhe Class of 2011 January Immersion to Vietnam Wakefield (SAC 2010) – one of three boys who actually (somehow drawing 7 – 7). Many of the priests had Boys, two exhausted Jesuits, David Braithwaite SJ incredible stories of their fight against oppression and their (SAC 1990) and Philip Moller SJ, and one all-knowing dedication to their faith. student leader, Benji Pfister (SAC 2010) gathering in the After this trip, we went back to the orphanage for foyer of the Saigon Kingston Hotel on 10 January. After some more labouring and recollection about the feelings a few days of sightseeing, dining and banter our group unearthed from being at the orphanage, then went to Hoi began the journey away from the loud bustling tourist Anh for some relaxation and fun. This part of the trip was city of Saigon and into the heart of Vietnam to try and very relaxing but not as rewarding as the previous days, experience and immerse ourselves in as much genuine but of course very enjoyable. We relaxed during the day, Vietnamese culture as we could. Our destination was a going out into the markets and visiting tailors during the small Catholic village in the Province of Vinh which is day and then going to lovely restaurants at night. This part home to the Saint Vincent Diem Orphanage for children showed a different aspect of the Vietnamese culture, one with disabilities who are cared for the Sisters of the Lovers side which many tourists would only see, yet due to our of the Holy Cross. It would be our home for most of the extensive travels we could recognise that this wasn’t the true coming three weeks. Vietnam. After spending a few days in Hoi Anh we travelled After a seemingly never ending transit that lasted late back to Saigon where we spent one night, spending all our into the night and through every game we could think extra money and just preparing ourselves for going home. of to entertain ourselves – we arrived at the orphanage The morning of our departure, we had our final to be greeted by the smiling Vietnamese nuns. As we Vietnamese meals (Bun Cha from a café across the road disembarked the bus we all felt many emotions. Tired form from our hotel), packed our bags and the time came for us the trip, relieved to finally be there, but most of all excited to leave and say goodbye to the Declan Johnston and Seb to wake up and meet the orphans that we have heard so Trevaskis who were staying on for one year and six months much about. This orphanage was home to many children respectively. After our goodbyes, we travelled to the airport who were disabled. The nuns devoted their lives to the care and got on the plane, thankfully without delay, heading and upbringing of these children. Despite being persecuted back to home, which despite the fun and rewarding time for their religion in Vietnam, the nuns provided this service of we had had, is always a nice feeling. I’d like to thank all care to the country that opresses them despite their genuine the leaders especially Dave Braithwaite SJ (SAC 1990) for compassion for the dignity of all people. Despite the his tireless efforts in organising this great experience, Philip work we were in the orphanage to do, and the amazing Moller SJ for helping lead us on the Immersion, as well as progress our group and past groups had provided for the the student leaders Declan Wakefield and Bernard Greaves construction and upkeep of the orphanage, I felt that we St Aloysius’ College A Jesuit School for Boys _ Founded 1879 a l oy s i a d / page 54


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