November 24, 2007

Formerly the Vietnam Library Association (VLA), this non-profit is aimed to help build learning centers / libraries all across southern Vietnam.  We had to change our name because of the government and other conflicts.  I haven’t talked about it much since we are waiting for our trip in March to help build our first center for some credibility.  It’s based over in Boston by the most caring couple I’ve met, Hao & Chris, both of which are still very young, intelligent, and charismatic.  I fell in love with this organization because I have always wanted to establish a Vietnamese learning center in Orange County.  My parents always taught me to respect and love my native tongue and I was fortunate to have taken classes since grade school and know how to read and write.  English was my secondary language.  Yes, I’m some sort of a FOB and proud of it too. Even though I was born here in the U.S., I was in ESL until the third grade.

Vietnam Learning Association's Website
Earlier this year, I decided to partake on this organization and created my own chapter in Orange County.  It’s really hard to start something so new, especially if it’s a “charity.”  There are plenty Vietnamese ones down here, and most of the time when people think of non-profits, a bit of shadiness creeps over.  A lot of non-profits are shady, where as they keep a percentage of the funds they raise to themselves for useless bullshit.  I’ve approached many “prominent” figures in the Vietnamese industry about the VLA and many have asked why should we give money to a learning center whereas we can fund hospitals, healthcare, doctors in Vietnam?  Why a library, and not a computer center?

My reasons are these:

  • Did you know that Vietnam is 90% literate?  Education there is free up to the 8th grade however with the low infrastructure, a majority of the population cannot afford books.  They are thirsty for knowledge.
  • True that technology is the future, but only for countries or I should say major cities that have the fundamental resources for it.  Electricity, computer technicians, updated software, internet, etc. are needed and those are just extra funds that can be used elsewhere for the center.  There are many areas in Vietnam that have even yet to set up lan lines, phone lines, or even electricity lines.  Books can last for decades and are cheap.
  • Also, when we’re talking about library books, we’re not talking about J.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series.  We’re talking about how-to books, instruction manuals, healthcare books – books full of helpful knowledge in areas that need it the most.

I thank the people that offered to donate books.  However, you must also remember that we’re donating books to Vietnam.  Vietnamese written books are hard to come by and we’re always looking for translators/scholars.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at: lyndzi@vietnamlibrary.org or visit our website at http://www.vietnamlearning.org.

Because of my involvement with the Vietnamese community here in southern California, I planned a 2008 ao dai calendar project as a means for fundraising.  I’d figure since I know some photographers, makeup artists, and a designer; I might as well take advantage of it.  However with personal, private family matters, I had to postpone the project until next year.  I’m quite sadden about the postponement, and felt as if I had failed, but my reasons are justifiable and only time will tell.  But here’s a few “behind the scenes” shots by Duc the photographer:

Remember these are only previews and aren’t the actual pictures selected for the calendar.  Nifty huh? Can you find me?


Models (starting left): Tiffany Duong, Thuy Phan, Lyndzi Phan, Gina Tran, and Susan Tran.
Photographer: Dr. Duc Pham
Ao Dai Designer: Cynthia Bui Collection (www.myspace.com/cynthiabui_aodai)
Makeup & Hair: Hue & Hien Truong, Staci Huynh, Anha Nguyen, and Lyndzi Phan
Assistants: Tai Bui, Donny Tran, Derick Le, and Lyndzi Phan

Tonight is Hollywood’s biggest night, and a group of Carson High School students is trying to figure out how to get there.

Student Television Network, a nationally recognized group of schools from across the country, holds an annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., to improve video production and broadcast journalism skills.

The conference, which runs March 6-10, will feature keynote speakers, demonstrations from Hollywood’s elite and competitions amongst the 1,500 students who attend.

Last year, a group of four students from Carson High School placed fourth out of the 63 teams competing in the music video competition.

Tyler Bourns, 18, a Carson High School senior, competed last year and would like to return again this year.

He said he learned different tips and tricks from the workshops, but the competitions served as the greatest teaching tool.

Students were given eight hours to produce the music video.

“You want to work on a high-quality product, but you also have to meet the deadline,” Bourns explained. “It’s difficult, but it’s a great experience, especially in this business, which is all about making deadlines.”

Bourns said he was able to get experience from the conference to put on his résumé, which will help him as he pursues his goal of becoming a feature film director.

Jordan Nash, 17, attended the conference last year as a sophomore.

“It was my first real taste of Hollywood,” he said. “I got there, and I’m talking to real Hollywood actors – it’s the real stuff. It’s just this feeling of being there. I’ll never forget that. I’ll take that with me forever.”

Nash is more interested in film advertising than making movies, and says the conference teaches things he wouldn’t learn elsewhere.

For example, in a workshop last year, students were shown how to create special effects against a green screen.

“With the skills comes a boost of confidence,” Nash said. “They’re showing you step-by-step how they get a shot. It just blows you away they’re sharing all their secrets.”

Video production teacher Brian Reedy said he’d like to take the four who attended last year, along with six additional students.

However, at $500 apiece for travel, accommodations and registration, the cost may be too prohibitive.

“I hope they can all go,” Reedy said. “It definitely infuses them with a greater zeal and understanding.”

Video production students at the school host a daily news program as well as create various community projects. Last year, they were amongst the top 10 teams nationwide in a contest to create a video promoting safe driving.

They have also worked with community leaders to document problems facing the school district as well as the dangers of drug abuse.

To donate to the Student Television Network conference, call Brian Reedy at 283-1652, or send a check payable to Carson High School Video Production to Carson High School, 1111 N. Saliman Road, Carson City, NV 89702

“Do Vui Co Thuong”

In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness month in January, OCAPICA is providing a contest about cervical cancer awareness for the Vietnamese American community. Participants that get the most answers correct will have an opportunity to win one of the 12 cash prizes. All forms must be either fax or postmarked by Wednesday, February 28, 2007 to the OCAPICA office. Participants must be present at Nguoi Viet Conference Room (14775 Moran St. , Westminster, CA 92683) on Friday, March 16, 2007 from 6:30PM-8:30PM to receive prize. There will be entertainment, refreshments, and free music CD giveaways

1.      For information sheet http://www.ocapica. org/documents/ 2007FebThangCanh Giac.pdf

2.      For contest form http://www.ocapica. org/documents/ 2007FebPhieuDuTh i.pdf

Please either fax or postmarked by Wednesday, 02/28/07


12900 Garden Grove Blvd., Suite 214A Garden Grove, CA 92843

(714) 636-8828 fax

12 Cash Prizes Total

•   2 Grand Prizes of $100

•   10 Cash Prizes of $50


For more information, please contact:

Lucy Huynh lhuynh@ocapica. org

(714) 530-2323


Dragons and fairies are coming to the Children’s Museum of Stockton as part of the largest touring exhibit the downtown attraction has ever hosted.

“Dragons & Fairies: Exploring Vietnam Through Folktales” opens Wednesday and continues through June 2. It is the first travelling exhibit to appear at the museum since spring 2002, said city recreation supervisor Gina Delucchi.

“It’s awesome,” Delucchi said. “It’s very interactive, it’s easy for children to understand, it’s colorful, it’s beautiful.”


“Dragons & Fairies: Exploring Vietnam through Folktales”

When: Wednesday through June 2

Where: Children’s Museum of Stockton, 402 W. Weber Ave.

Admission: $4.50

Information: (209) 465-4386, http://www.stocktongov.com/childrensmuseum

The 1,400-square-foot exhibit includes interactive activities based on Vietnamese folktales about dragons, orphans, magical trees, kings and emperors. The activities are designed to teach visitors about Vietnamese culture.

Visitors can try on traditional Vietnamese masks and clothing and check out an interactive model houseboat. There is also a scooter that allows riders to feel like they’re navigating Vietnamese urban traffic.

Museum admission will be half-price – $2.25 – from 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays in March, April, and May to encourage people to see the exhibit.

Christina Schmidt McKee, an exhibit developer for the Children’s Museum of Houston, said she hopes “Dragons & Fairies” encourages visitors to reconsider any stereotypes they might hold about Vietnam. The Houston museum created “Dragons & Fairies” as part of the Freeman Foundation’s Asian Exhibit Initiative.

“(Visitors) can gain an appreciation of other cultures,” Schmidt McKee said. “You’ll reconsider who these other people are. They become no longer ‘the other,’ but one of us.”

The Asian Exhibit Initiative includes seven travelling exhibits using a $7 million grant from the Vermont-based Freeman Foundation and administered by the Association of Children’s Museums. The foundation hopes the initiative would give American children an opportunity to experience Asian culture.

Other exhibits focus on Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Hmong culture.

The Stockton museum applied to the Association of Children’s Museum nearly four years ago to host one of the exhibits. Association executive director Janet Rice Elman said that in addition to helping teach Americans about Asian culture, the initiative also provides smaller children’s museums like the one in Stockton with the experience of hosting a large travelling exhibit.

Delucchi said the Stockton museum’s board has discussed hosted more travelling exhibits in the future.

Contact reporter Ian Hill at (209) 943-8571 or ihill@recordnet.com. Visit his blog.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Sixth graders at a Bentonville school are learning a lesson in goodwill from a school project, putting together and sending care packages to Vietnam. The students at Spring Hill Middle School have been seeking donations from local businesses and filling boxes with toiletries, toys and candy. They also are writting letters, sharing information about American culture and asking Vietnamese children about theirs. In addition, the boxes will have booklets that teach the English language alphabet. The students will send the goods to an orphanage in Vietnam. Their project is part of a social studies class.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

project vietnam trip

October 1, 2006

Fall Medical Mission October 27 – November 11

On this trip Project Vietnam which will seek to deliver comprehensive health assistance to a needy province in
Vietnam and to bring updated knowledge to health professionals nationwide. Educational and medical institutions
in North and South Vietnam have come to regard the conferences as regular events.

There will be two teams: medical team and training team.

The medical team will start their work in Nge An Province on November 3, 2006 while the training team will start in South Vietnam on October 29, 2006 and ending their mission along with the medical team in North Vietnam. Please click here for a cost break down estimate for each team.

  1. Training in Hanoi, Saigon and chosen provinces on pediatric and medical topics on multiple specialty areas.
  2. Present Newborn Care Skills Training in north and south Vietnam in conjunction with the National Hospital of
    Pediatrics and the School of Medicine-HCM city, within the Newborn Care Initiative launched by PV in 2005.
  3. Primary Care work at a chosen needy province: treat patients at commune clinics & rural schools, survey for
    prevalent primary care problems, train rural health personnel.
  4. Develop pilot programs in Maternal/Newborn care, Malnutrition, School health, Emergency care.
    Cost of the trip including airfare from Los Angeles/San Francisco & land cost: about $2100

For a complete description of this trip in PDF format, please click here.

Please click here for a cost break down estimate for this 2006 Medical Mission Trip.