In 1998, a civil war broke out around the district of Mai Chau in Vietnam and Luang Prabang in Laos. Both sides’ respective leaders had a conflict regarding the goal of uniting these two countries under a communist rule ruled by the Army of Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). Instead of discussing the current issue together, both sides decided to become juvenile and resort to violence instead.
Almost all districts of Hanoi were severely disrupted. Historical buildings and residential compounds collapsed and destroyed by the tanks and military armies. The town suffered a rash of arson attacks. Dead corpses lying on the ground, children crying and screaming everywhere, terrifying sounds of gun shots and bombs. It was an utter mess.
Before the war was getting much more chaotic than it already is, my family and I decided to flee from Vietnam. We packed all the necessary things and sneaked out of Hanoi using an overnight train that lead us to the city of Bac Ninh. Upon our arrival, we rushed to the International Airport of Bac Ninh. Luckily, with the help of our cousin, Vrinh who worked as an officer there, we were able to bypass the strict airport checkups and landed ourselves in Minnesota, USA.
Things were complicated when we first started our “new” lives in the United States of America. My parents and older siblings were trying their hardest to make ends meet in order to support the family. Being a naive 10 years old I was back then, I could only sit there and watch. After awhile, my family was finally financially stable; we were able to buy a comfortable ranch-styled house big enough for us to live in and I was enrolled to an Asian American private school. 15 years later, I find myself working as a music teacher in a public school.
Every time I played the piano, I always reminisce the memories during my time in Vietnam. So, me and my brother decided to pay a visit to our home in Vietnam. Both of us flew to Mai Chau to witness the current condition of the...