Members of the UCLA and UC Irvine student service group Medical, Educational Missions and Outreach traveled to Vietnam July 9-19. They made their way up north, starting in Ho Chi Minh City and ending in Hanoi.
The students land in Ho Chi Minh City.
Out of the City: MEMO holds its annual scholarship ceremony for the students of Bìh Hòa Nam Elementary School in Long An province. After a brief ceremony, the visit is cut short by the rain, and the children quickly return home. Meanwhile, two MEMO students visited a house the group donated money to build.
Clinging to Hope: The students spend the next several days touring University Hospital, one of Vietnamfs leading public hospitals. In the cardiac ward, they meet the two young patients whom MEMO sponsors to receive life-saving heart surgeries to treat congenital heart defects.
Common Goal: MEMO students spend the day at Thiên Bình Orphanage just outside Ho Chi Minh City. The group has a long history with the orphanage and plays an annual soccer game with the kids.
Turned Away: The group lands in the city of Hue in central Vietnam. That morning, the students were given a 50 percent chance that their scheduled health clinics would be allowed to happen. That evening, the news came that MEMO’s permission to hold the clinics had been rescinded.
Common Goal: MEMO schedules a last-minute visit to SOS Childrenfs Village in Quang Bình Province. The students stay at the orphanage for an afternoon.
The students pack up and fly to the Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
In Hanoi, the college students spend a free day sightseeing and shopping before flying home.