Life Life

29/09/2021 - 17:25

Love from Hue

Speaking of the love from Hue to people in the covid-19 affected areas in the South, there are various touching stories: a 73-year-old woman donating all her savings, a farmer giving all lemongrass in the garden, female workers spending evening time preparing food for people in the South.

Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper staff distributing relief packages at the Headquarters

The full-of-love relief packages

To start with the story of Nguyen Thi Chanh. The 73-year-old woman saves her money in a piggy bank in case she is under weather. She has had VND 14 million after two years’ saving, but she decided to donate all to buy rice and milk for the covid-19 frontliners.

Old lady Chanh said that what she heard and saw on the media about the frontliners’ efforts to protect the community from the pandemic really urged her to do something helpful and meaningful.

“I have thought more about this. I have realized that I am still healthy at this old age, and I still have more time for savings. So I decided that this amount of money was worthier to spend on the pandemic prevention,” she said.

Residents in the lockdown area receiving the reliefs at the checkpoint

On the news of the tragic widespread of the pandemic in the southern provinces, many people in Hue have tried to do something for fellowship solidarity. Thus, women in Hue were more than ready to give a hand in response to the charity appeal from the provincial Women’s Union.

Chau Thi Be (from An Tay Ward, Hue city) had no hesitation to give all her garden of lemongrass at harvest time plus VND 500,000 so that other women in the ward can make muoi sa (salted lemongrass) for people in Saigon. Many women stayed the whole night to make stewed fish and stewed pork to send to people in the South just in time. There have been many trucks loaded with thousands of pots of stewed fish, pork and shrimps, packages of noodle and vermicelli, and Hue specialties, going southwards.

While this story is being told, we came across a status on Tran Thi Quy’s Facebook (from Vinh My ward, Phu Loc district) with loving message: “Those students in Saigon who run out of food and have difficulties just let me know. I will have some support.”

Delivering the reliefs to people in need directly

Quy was one of the women initiating the preparation of muoi sa (salted lemongrass) and mam (salt-fermented fish) for people in Saigon. Thinking that giving loving care will get loving care in return, she has been an active liaison in the delivery of tons of rice, hundreds of salted lemongrass pots to people in the South.

According to statistics, the provincial Women’s Union has raised the donation of 43 tons of goods and supplies to pack into the love-carrying reliefs.

On the news of “unwell” Saigon

Phan Thi My Hanh (Thanh Do florist’s) called for help from her friends and donated 1,000 packages of stewed fish in response to the appeal from Green Lotus Foundation of Thua Thien Hue Newspaper.

Necessities in each relief package

She left her husband with her business and two young children to stew the fish from early morning till late at night. Hanh said, “I heard that Saigon was unwell, and I wanted to support them to overcome the pandemic.”

Via Thua Thien Hue Online fan page, residents from Huong Chu, Huong Xuan, Huong Van and Tu Ha town (Huong Tra district) have contributed and sent 5 trucks of agricultural produce to the South. Many retired people went to the villages and called for help from their relatives.

Regardless of the burning summer heat, aid-station kitchens were set up. The children were shelling the nuts and chopping the lemongrass, while adults were cooking foods for Saigon.

Tran Thi Minh Tam, from Tu Ha, who has prepared hundreds of stewed fish pots, said: “with all the heart in these little gifts, we wish to express our empathy to people in the South during the pandemic time.”

In Phu Vang district, Phu Da women’s charity group has contributed over 3 tons of goods to Thua Thien Hue Newspaper’s Foundation. It was touching to receive the packages of rice, which are “home produce”. The Foundation staff felt energized to see these women raising the rice the whole night or preparing the foods through noon.

In Phu Loc, women in Loc Thuy ward contributed green produce. A truck carrying 500 kilograms of produce arrived at Thua Thien Hue Newspaper Headquarters to send to Saigon just hours before their ward was locked down.

Le Nhung, who is a liaison at Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper Headquarters, said: “We were moved to tear to receive the food that people in Hue prepared for people in Saigon. Those necessities were distributed to the frontliners and the disadvantaged people in districts such as Binh Thanh, Go Vap, Binh Tan and Thu Duc.

The rear and the front

Until August 2021, there were 18 tons of rice, 10 tons of grocery and many tons of foods and a great amount of money raised by the farmer associations provincewide to help people in the pandemic-stricken areas. Embedded in these necessities were touching stories.

A farmer who raised VND 31 million among family members to help people in Ho Chi Minh City refused to have his information known to the public when he was interviewed.

“It is not too much. We are much luckier than people in the South who have been suffering from the pandemic. It is our love in the small gift,” he said in a humble manner and a warm voice.

The amount of VND 31 million is quite much to a farmer who lives on rice field work during the day and fishing during the night. Yet, he was quite relaxed to talk about it as he regarded it a normal thing to do for his fellow people.

Also with the kindness, a member of Phu Ho farmer association sent a ton of specialty rice to support the South. Asked about his feeling, he said: “It is just a little. I know it cannot heal the suffering of people in the pandemic-stricken areas, nor can it compensate the sacrifice and devotion of the frontliners.

The heartfelt words reminded us of the warm hugs of hundreds of healthcare workers when they said goodbye their nears and dears to go to the pandemic center in the South.

One of the southward volunteers, Doctor Phan Hai Thanh, from Hue Central Hospital, has worked in various pandemic sites from Sa Dec, to district 10 and Field Hospital No. 14 in Ho Chi Minh City.

He has spent overnight transferring treatment techniques and curing patients. He said on a Facebook post on August 20 that it was unforgettable memory as there were 2,300 frontliners being exposed to Covid-19 while on duty.

On the day we saw off the healthcare staff to Ho Chi Minh city, one of the last-year medical student sent me message, saying “I’m sorry I was not selected. Many of my classmates are in the delegate.”

The peaceful life suddenly turned into a battle field at the pandemic center.  In that fierce battle, many young people bravely volunteered to go to the fronts.

Other women – mothers and sisters, and the hard-working farmers have become solid supporters. All of them have contributed to a very beautiful song – a melody of “love from Hue”.

Story contributed by a group of reporters; photos by Le Nhung