*Học sinh lớp 5 trường VN Lạc Hồng
Tháng Bảy năm 2015 nhận lời mời của truờng Việt Ngữ Lạc Hồng cô Carina Hoàng đã đến trường và nói chuyện với các em học sinh về đề tài thuyền nhân. Những câu chuyện sống động được kể bằng tiếng Anh đã giúp cho các em biết được về những chuyến vượt biển đầy nguy hiểm của người Việt tị nạn, hiểu được tại sao ông bà, ba mẹ các em đã bỏ xứ ra đi. Các bài dưới đây do các em học sinh lớp Năm viết sau khi nghe buổi nói chuyện về thuyền nhân.
Nguyen Thien An
After the Vietnam war, we tried to escape. Mum was looking after us. We walked for a long time. We saw people gathering around a swimming pool to drink from its water. We drank the water. It was terrible but at least we had a drink. We were hungry. There were some helicopters getting people on board to Australia. We missed the last helicopter and went back home and had something to eat. After a few days we weren’t allowed to live there anymore. We went back to the swimming pool and worked our way to the harbour to get on to a boat into Australia where there was freedom. We got a boat and went out to sea. It was terrible, crowded, stinky and people getting sick. We finally got to the Indonesian shore but the Government said that we weren’t allowed and the Indonesian troops were shooting but luckily I was at the bottom, inside the boat. We went back to sea and found another land and got off the boat. The boat left and we were curious. Was the boat ever going to turn up? It never did. People started to go into the forest to get food and turned the beach into a camp. It was horrific. Everyone was dying and having babies and diarrhoea. A helicopter rescued us and got us to Australia.
Carina Hoang Talk
Carina Hoang is one of the many migrants that survived during the Vietnam War. Carina Hoang shared her stories and thoughts with us as we pay our respects
to her. In her speech, she was sent to a re-education camp in Indonesia. While Carina Hoang was in Indonesia, she was accompanied by her brother, sister and
cousin. The four of them were at Kuku Island for 10 months before the Red Cross Helicopter saved them. It was extremely hard to find food and shelter.
On the journey, there was 373 people including 75 children. On the first day, there was a severe storm. After 7 days, they landed in a fisherman village in Indonesia.
After she was rescued from Kuku Island, she was in America. She found it hard to understand the different languages. She studied and worked hard but she wanted her parents to be with her. In 1989, she went back to Vietnam and visited her family. In 1992, she reunited with her family in America. After a couple of years, she went back to Kuku Island to find where she buried her cousin. She met a man and they prayed. Minutes later, they all agreed on the same place. After that, they dug it and it was the right spot. After they came back, Carina Hoang helped other people go back to Kuku Island where they prayed and dug holes until they found the bones. After she helped these people, she got married and had a daughter.
She recently visited Australia and explored many things. She released a book called, ‘Boat People.’ The book, ‘Boat People,’ won a silver medal. I enjoyed Carina Hoang’s speech because it talked about how lucky we are today and the speech she gave was very sad and scary.
Nothing...Not even the sound of a gunshot could scare anyone. Every Vietnamese person ran towards the helicopters, hoping to get a better life, a future...Tugging
and pushing each other over, they ran, screamed and attempted..
Helicopters took off one by one...until the last. Everyone stared with despair, screamed and shouted, but nothing could be done. Only a miracle could give them a chance ...the swarm of people decreased, only the people who had faith in them stayed behind and anticipated. ’
Another offer was announced for those who were filling to risk their lives. They were given a change to go on a crammed boat to an unknown destination.
The boat left with tonnes of people. They experience the horror and nightmare, thinking all over the place...not even knowing the destination nor whether you’ll make it or not...
Nguyen Ngoc Chau
Carina Hoang, daughter of a police chief, was born in Vietnam. After the North of Vietnam defeated the South, they wanted to punish the South. So they created
a ‘re-educational camp’ imprisoning government workers, supporters of the government etc. Because of this, Carina’s father was taken, leaving Carina’s family to
fight for themselves.
Carina’s family stayed in South Vietnam, waiting for the day Carina’s father returned. They stayed also because Carina’s mother was unable to let go of her children. As time passed, Carina’s mother finally had the strength to set her children free to go to a safer place.
Carina and her sister went on a boat, along with Carina’s brother and many other people wanting to escape the country. Fortunately, while travelling, Carina’s boat didn’t capture the sight of any pirates. The bad thing was that people died on the boat. Families had to throw their loved ones over board, and the though to having to throw her brother or her sister overboard made Carina worried.
The boat arrived at the shore of Malaysia. Sadly, the boat arrived after the Malaysian government decided to abandon refugees and forcefully get them away. Continuing their journey, the food on board became scarce.
The boat then found its way at the shore of Indonesia. With the help of refugees who made it there, the boat was pulled onto shore. Carina, her brother, her sister and the other people who survived the voyage were put in a refugee camp. It was on an island. Waiting for months, they weren’t supplied with any food, causing the deaths of many, including Carina’s cousin. A helicopter spotted this group of people and supplied them with food. Carina, along with her sister and brother, entered the United States of America.
In 1989, Carina went back to Vietnam to see her family. Her father was also released. Carina Hoang got married and had a daughter.
In 1998, Carina went back to Indonesia to find her cousin’s remains who died of malaria. Once she found the remains, this put hope into people’s hearts. They asked Carina to help them find their loved ones too. She then moved to Australia with her husband and daughter.
Of course she hasn’t forgotten about all the tough events she’s been through but sometimes, you’ve got to let it flow.
What I felt
My experience was very sad because I felt very sorry for her because she had to find her own food for up to 10 months. At the start of the story, my eyes stared to water because she said her mum had to let her go to a different Island with no one to care for her. But in the end, when she said that she was reunited with her family, if that was me, that would be my happiest day.
How did she survive through that?
Carina Hoang lived a hard life trying to escape Vietnam during the war. She and her family tried to escape on the plane but unfortunately, didn’t make it in time.
She stayed in Vietnam for a few years with her mother, siblings, grandparents and her father in prison. She moved from place to place for safety, until one day her
mother finally released her children so they could live a good and safe life. During her boat escape, she encountered many problems but an unfortunate event happened
when pirates came on board and did unimaginable things. Luckily, they were put in a refugee camp.
During her stay at the island, she encountered many friends, cousins and strangers dying. One thing she wished for is that if her siblings were to die, that they would die first so they would not have to feel the pain of no hope of escaping. Luckily, one day they all escaped to America and lived happily. I asked myself, ‘How did she survive through that?’