Study Abroad

Saying Goodbye

January 13, 2017

Today is our final full day in Da Nang. Yesterday the SOS Village held closing ceremonies for our visit. We created costumes with the children and were treated to speeches, where we were presented with artwork done by the children and a special dance performance. It was hard to say goodbye.

Today we are wrapping up with a visit to the Lady Buddha, located at Linh Ung Pagoda on Son Tra Peninsula, where she faces the sea. Also packing, and last minute shopping. We'll be home soon.  

Today's reporters are Leanne Signoriello and Dorothy Payne.  

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Leanne Signoriello writes:

Hello! I am Leanne Signoriello and I'm currently a junior communications student with a concentration in sports communication and a minor in event management.

Going into the trip, I was apprehensive about meeting the children of the village. All my nerves went away within minutes of meeting the kids as they welcomed us with open arms, homemade gifts, and a lot of hair braiding sessions.

Throughout the trip, I became particularly close with two young girls: Chi and Sang. Before we left the village one last time, they presented me with gifts and reassured me they would not forget about me as well as thanking me for all I had done for them.

However, the children of the village taught more than I was able to teach them. They taught me that it is possible to build a bond with someone even though you may not speak the same language. They also taught me that we are all capable of reaching our full potential as individuals, no matter what circumstances we may come from.

Saying goodbye to the kids was the most difficult part of the trip and I can't thank the kids enough for the unconditional love they have expressed to all of us in our short time here.

Group Shot

Dorothy Payne writes:

I'm Dorothy Payne, a business management major and fashion and retail merchandising minor. This is my third year at Lasell College but my first trip abroad with the school, and my first experience with leaving the country. While I was nervous at first about visiting Vietnam because I didn't know what to expect, I couldn't be happier with the places we've seen, the things we've done, and especially the people we've met.  

What has impressed me the most about this trip is the level of commitment the SOS Children's Village gives to its residents. The property, homes, and buildings are beautifully kept. More importantly, the children live fairly conventional lives; they receive a high quality education, are given time to play with their friends, and are loved dearly by their mothers and teachers. One can't help but notice a strong sense of gratitude about the families and employees alike.

This appreciation for what many consider to be the most basic aspects of everyday life is what I am most excited to bring home and utilize whenever possible. The spirit of these people has changed me forever in ways that I never expected, and my hope is that I had a similar impact on their lives, too.