Friday, 11 November 2011

Why go now?

Phil, his brothers and parents arrived in Canada in 1979 leaving the two eldest siblings (sisters) behind with their husbands. 8 years later one of the sisters and her family came to join the others here in Canada. For over 30 years now Phil's only contact with the one remaining sister in Vietnam was the occasional phone call during family gatherings where he would politely say hello and pass the phone along to the next in line. She is a successful business woman running her own farm. She has four grown children and one granddaughter who is 9 years old. Her husband passed away a few years ago. She has tried twice to come and visit but has been denied by the Canadian government. (i don't fully understand why)
Anyway last Christmas during the family gathering in Ottawa we were able to see his sister via Skype! She never left her computer screen during the whole party even though she was 12 hours ahead of us because she didn't want to miss a thing! She was facinated to see everyones personalities come to life. She even joined us in a game of Bingo. A Tieu family tradition since being in Canada. Thankfully she never won a round because it would have been difficult for her to collect!

After that, Phil started Skyping with her from our house and it didn't take much to see that he was missing his sister and his birthplace. Now, anyone who knows Phil knows that he is not an emotional kind of guy. He looks the same when he is happy as he does when he's annoyed. (in other words he is not an emotional roller coaster like me! :) But I have to say, when I suggested in April that he go visit Vietnam in December he visibly lit up! (like a kid on Christmas morning before they realize that not every gift under the tree is for them) Because of the cost of the trip I had suggested that he just take Emily this time around and he agreed they would go. I tried my very best to show only excitment for him and not my dissappointment at being left behind but, allong with being an emotional roller coaster, I am also an open book! So as I was listenning to him tell Emily all about the amazing places he would take her to and the people he couldn't wait for her to meet, I kept reminding them that I expected them to document everything with photos and a journal. I explained (with happy for them tears in my eyes) that I would need a full report not only about what they saw but how they FELT about what they saw. This is pretty much when Phil decided that he would rather go into debt bringing me along than have to try to report his feelings to my satisfaction. (works for me!) And so it was agreed that this trip had to be a family adventure that all 4 of us would experience together! Yipeeee!

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