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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Is For Intense

As Indian Town Gap sending people off to their permanent dwelling, the hospital received visitors from the camp everyday for their final vaccinations. The problem arose when there was no translator accompanying the group.

Chi' and I were drafted to do the job. We became translators! We didn't understand or speak English that well, but we knew enough to explain what needed to be done or what the doctors and nurses wanted. It was quite an exhilarated feeling to be able to help even though the task was very small.

We were then known as Vietnamese/English translators in the hospital. If anyone needed help, we were called to interpret. One day, while Chi' was undergoing medical examinations and tests for the upcoming surgery of his eyes, I was summoned to the top floor where Guy resided. Apparently, Guy refused to take any kind of drugs for his condition, and screamed uncontrollably in Vietnamese.

When I arrived to the top floor, my first notice was the many metal bar doors dividing the rooms of each patient, and the reception desk. I had not reached the nurse when I heard a loud voice "kill her, kill her, she is bad", and the banging on the metal bar to my right side. The scream and the noise of the metal shaking, stiffened me right on the spot. 

I just stood there, looking at this white rough looking man behind the bar door, and wondered why he got so angry at the sight of my being. He reached his hands through the metal bars and wanted desperately to grab me. The expression of fear, hatred, and violent on his face scared me to the point of shivering. He continued to scream "she is bad, she is bad, kill her" and frantically ran around his room in a crazy manner looking for things to throw at me.

When a nurse came to my rescue, she gently told me that he was a Vietnam veteran. He associated all Asian looking people as Viet-Cong (communist). She said she would bring Guy to my floor instead and I would never have to set foot on this floor again.

I went back to my room and was not sure how to dissolve his image in my mind...

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  1. How frightening. Prejudice is a terrible thing!

  2. I think I would run out of that room very fast! don't know how you have the strength to stand there.

  3. Mumsy, you have no idea just how many people are with you on this journey! Brava!!!

  4. That must have been quite a terrifying experience for you! I know I would have been traumatized by that experience.

  5. How sad.

    I can't imagine how awful it was for you...

  6. So many traumatic experiences for you in this narrative. Sorry you had to go through so much, Mumsy.


  7. intense indeed.
    bless your day.

  8. Gosh. What you've been through.

    A few years ago when my daughter was going through a really rough patch of hell, our oldest Granddaughter told me, "Just hold her on your lap and sing to her like you do for us. Maybe that would make her feel better."

    So I tried. My daughter is 5 inches taller than me. Thank heavens she is much skinnier than me. It took us some serious rearranging but I finally got her settled and I sang to her and she cried and I cried. And she said it helped.

    I have a lap. I'm a fairly good singer. I'm willing to give it a try for you.

    I'm so sorry about all the pain you've endured.

    Bless you.


  9. Yeah, that would certainly make your heart jump up into your throat! No fun for you! But neither is it for the poor man who is daily tortured in his mind.

  10. How frightening for you! First you feel appreciated for your ability then to have your life threatened for no reason other than a resemblance to someone he felt was the enemy. How absolutely traumatic!


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