Study Abroad

So Hard to Say Goodbye

January 11, 2016

The last day at SOS Da Nang Children’s Village was both wonderful and hard. Wonderful because we had made friends with the children and had come to know them on a personal level. Hard because we knew we had to leave.

Instead of the usual lesson, on the last day at the Village the students were charged with creating costumes from materials such as paper, cardboard, flowers, garlands, etc. The SOS children are wonderfully creative when it comes to making things from found materials. In addition, there was hair braiding, origami, drawing and painting, and hugging.

Peter and Alex

The afternoon was devoted to a farewell ceremony. The Lasell students were really enthusiastic participants, some of them playing leading roles in the costumed skits.

There were speeches, gifts, and many a tearful goodbye.

To complete our cultural immersion, our last days were full of activity. We attended a poetry reading and concert of traditional music.

Saying Goodbye to our FamilyVietnamese traditional music

Our Professor Tran arranged for us to have a private tour of Sơn Trà Mountain reserve. The mountain overlooks Da Nang and is a beautiful natural area. We could see the mountains to the north and the ocean.


During the war, the mountain was known to American soldiers as “Monkey Mountain,” and we were excited to spot one of the monkeys who live there as it watched us from a tree. At one point the guide stopped to let us see a level area which was used as helicopter landing pad. This was where war casualties were transported to ships for the sad journey back to the US. As we traveled through the narrow winding roads and through the mists we stopped to visit the 800-year-old “National Heritage Banyan Tree,” a tree of great size and mysterious beauty.

Banyan Tree

Now we are packing up and preparing to catch our flight tonight. Da Nang has been our home away for the last two weeks. The challenges of navigating a strange city, utilizing unfamiliar currency, and working at SOS Village are all in the past.

See you soon!