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Some of the Sisters and children with play equipment donated by Rev David Braithwaite SJ (SAC 1990) with Mother Hoa, Superior of SACOBU. the Sisters of the Lovers of the Holy Cross. were mainly there to learn from the Christian witness of the our adventure. The experiences we shared as a group nuns and the orphans they care for. offered us unique friendships that could last a lifetime, and During the middle of the Immersion, our group took a relationships with those that would not have happened few days off to visit some of the parishes in the province in any other circumstance. I can honestly say that the that some young Old Boys would be staying for either six things that I encountered, experienced, thought about and months or a year. By doing so we were offered an intimate reflected on have shaped my character and have renewed insight into the life of a Vietnamese catholic priest, and the my perceptions of the society around me. Furthermore village life in the country. Each parish we visited accepted the friendships developed on that immersion are ones us in with open arms, despite the language barrier, and that I hope will continue to grow in Sydney and into our told us stories of the oppression and violence that they adulthood. My sincere thanks go out to David Braithwaite had to endure under their communist government to remain SJ and Phil Moller SJ for their guidance and friendship loyal to their faith. Such devotion prompted many late night throughout the immersion. Thanks also to Benji Pfister for discussions and debates on topics such as faith, theology, helping to organise, and help us immersionists, while still philosophy and love. Under the guide of David Braithwaite always offering a laugh. To the other boys in the Immersion, SJ and Philip Moller SJ, we were prompted to challenge our thank you for creating one of the best adventures one could spiritual selves, and try to understand how the selfless love possibly have! Finally to any current students considering shown by these Vietnamese people could be translated into the Immersion (or to any that aren’t) do everything within our completely alien lives in a first world city. your power to get involved in The Cardoner Project – it is one of the most challenging, satisfying and incredible things After a challenging and insightful four days, we returned you can do! back to the orphanage to both continue our work, and to celebrate Tet with the nuns and orphans. Tet is a highlight Josh Begbie (SAC 2011) of the Vietnamese calendar and marks the beginning of the lunar New Year. During this time, many of the children The February 2012 India/Nepal are taken in by local families or return to their own families Immersion who cannot afford to care for them throughout the year. celebrate the New Year together. This created a strong and Tled five Old Boys of the Class of 2010 on a newhis past February, David Braithwaite SJ A(SAC 1990) We were left with a small group of orphans and the nuns to cherished connection between us and those who remained, Immersion through India and Nepal. On a trip making it that much harder to say goodbye a few days that combined religious pilgrimage, service and cultural later. The weeks had gone by so quickly, yet it felt like we immersion, we collectively sought an enriching experience had we had made relationships that would affect us for of two diverse and vibrant countries. In turn, we were a lifetime. After some sad goodbyes and thankyous, we presented with a confronting insight into vast cultures, a left the orphanage that had taught us all so much for Phu deeply spiritual society and persistent gastro. Quoc – our final destination that allowed us an opportunity The Immersion began at 3am in New Delhi airport, to relax and reflect on the immense wave of emotional, with Sean Casey, Matt Little and Julian Wilson (after a spiritual and physical work that had exhausted us for the 52 hour transit from home) searching for David and Benji past few weeks. Pfister (en route from Vietnam) and myself (swooping in from And so, after three weeks of being together, we parted Singapore). Confused and bleary eyed, we stumbled out ways and headed home again, saying our goodbyes in of the airport, craving sleep and affronted by yelling taxi the lobby of the small hotel in Saigon where we began drivers, eventually arrived at our brother Jesuit school, St St Aloysius’ College A Jesuit School for Boys _ Founded 1879 a l oy s i a d / page 55


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