My first visit to Saigon was back in 1993. Like Christina, Vietnam immediately captured my heart. It was the first Asian country I had ever visited and it assaulted all of my senses. The sights, the sounds, the smells….I had never experienced anything like it! We vowed to come back and live there one day. Upon my return to Australia I devoured all things Vietnam. This included reading “Bridge Across My Sorrows”.
I'm sure like most, Christina’s story resonated with me and I never forgot it. So much so that back in 2009 when a group of my girlfriends and I went over for a holiday we decided to fill our suitcases with donations and also raise money for the CNCF Bicycle Program. It was the absolute highlight of a wonderful holiday. We arrived at the Foundation not expecting the ceremony that was awaiting us. 20 shiny new bikes for 20 excited families. If you have ever tried making a speech that is being translated whilst crying let me tell you it’s not easy! I often wonder if maybe one day a young Vietnamese university student remembers the day that a crying Aussie mum gave them the bike that enable them to get to primary school…..