A birthday party

Every first Friday of the month I usually go to the meeting of the Reach Alumni Club. At our meetings we ask and share many things together. Besides my fellow students from REACH we also have Miss. Trang from Plan at our meetings as well as in all the activities of the Club.

At our usual meeting on the first Friday of March, our members were very excited and talkative because we found out that on March 20th, Plan would celebrate its 75th birthday and they were looking for five volunteers to help with their birthday celebrations. Actually I love travelling and like to meet new people and have new experiences with friends far and near, so I applied to be one of those volunteers. From that day onwards I couldn’t wait and was full of excitement and anticipation about what the birthday event would be like. I did not know what would happen and what I would have to do, but the thought of meeting new people, and people I had secretly admired and the thought of soaking up the atmosphere of the birthday party made me feel excited.

The next day, I woke up early preparing breakfast for my brother then hit the road to the address Miss. Trang gave me, I went along West Lake road. The distance from my house to West Lake is not far, it just takes about 10 to 15 minutes by motorbike. Walking and breathing the morning air was pleasant. ‘Where is it?’? ‘Where is No. 2’? To save time, I found help from a sticky rice street vender and knew that the place I was seeking for was right behind her.

Taboo Bar was a very nice boat on West Lake, its outside was decorated with many trees to make it more beautiful. ‘This was the birthday venue.The weather was great! Being a bit chilly the last days of Spring made the air clear. The Ban trees bloomed pink swaying flowers. The Sua trees showed off themselves with white flower branches. At that moment, I wished that I had a camera to capture these memorable images.

The friends in the Club have come. We talked for a while and Miss. Trang appeared. Our task today was to care for the children – the main characters of the party. I felt a bit nervous because I had not ever taken care of children, I did not know if I could do it. However, I really wanted to be the best governess today.

There were 25 children and teachers coming from Soc Son. After being introduced to them, the children were divided into 5 groups. We told each other about ourselves, about our studies, our family and we sang to each other. I was like a teacher, a gentle teacher that I wished to become when I was at the age of these children. At that moment, I felt myself so strong and loving.

2 p.m, the party officially began, the guests arrived. My group made birthday hats fitted with funny multi-colored paper petals. Others had cakes, pictures or modeling clay, etc. All were so lovely.

The “Releasing of the Balloons” was performed beautifully and solemnly by the children. Their dreams were written on small pieces of paper attached to the balloons and released into the blue sky.

‘Come on, let’s blow out the candles and cut the cake together!’ The voice of speech and laughter rang out again. The applause and the lyrics of the song “Happy Birthday” was sung all at once over and over again, joyfully, joyfully. We blew candles, cut the cake together and talked while eating cake. When we were bringing their belongings and cakes to the bus, we were asked for our phone numbers so that the children can call when they miss us. It is so happy to be the anchor for someone.

Thanks to all who created this opportunity for the children and for us to attend this very meaningful and special birthday party.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang – Web and Graphic Design class – Batch 20

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