Teachers at remote mountainous school find love

Update: March, 20/2018 - 09:00
A teacher in Măng Ri Boarding School. -- Photo
Viet Nam News

KON TUM – With the desire to help minority children gain a brighter future, teachers have volunteered to leave their families for the remote Central Highlands (Tây Nguyên) Province of Kon Tum to work at the Măng Ri Boarding School, reported the Lao Động (Labour) newspaper.

The boarding school serves ethnic minority students in the Măng Ri Commune of Tu Mơ Rông District in Kon Tum. The school is located in an isolated area of Ngọc Linh Mountain, home to the Xê Đăng people, many of whom live in poverty.

For many teachers, the journey of travelling to an isolated area, working with students whose lives are marked by difficulty, and living alongside them in the commune was a difficult one.

Teacher Phạm Thị Trà My, 28, who has worked at the school for five years, told the paper that the difficulties and hardships faced by the teachers here were uncountable.

“In the winter, both teachers and students have to withstand freezing weather in the classrooms because of glassless windows”, My said. “It looked so pitiful. The children with thin clothes wrote lectures as they were shaken by gusts of cold wind.”

When she left Đắk Lắk Province as a new university graduate five years ago, she knew that teaching in a poor commune would be challenging. But the reality was beyond what she could imagine.

In the early days, the scene of gloomy and silent mountainous areas made My and her colleagues cry during lonely nights.

When students dropped out of school, their teachers became discouraged.

Many Xê Đăng people do not speak or understand the Vietnamese language, so studying is especially difficult for them. Many of the families are so poor that they require their children to stop studying and work.  

“In fact, many students like going to school so we had to visit their families to persuade their parents to allow them to return”, My said.

My says this school-year was her proudest in teaching, because she was able to retain more than 20 students.

Love stories

Many beautiful love stories among dedicated teachers have blossomed at this school in the remote mountainous area.

My married a colleague three years ago; today they have a 2-year-old child.

Like My, many teachers found true love amid the arduous work.

Cao Đăng Thành – a 30-year-old male teacher from northern Thanh Hóa Province – developed a crush on Nguyễn Thị Thùy Tuyên, 26, who works as a cook in the school’s canteen.

 “I was working in the school for seven years. Many times, I fell disheartened”, Thành said. “In the moments of loneliness and boredom, Tuyên – my wife now – came to me and cooked hot meals for me”.

Her kindness made him fall in love with her, he remembered.

Tuyên was very happy to report that “my husband was very thin before marrying me. Now he is more handsome”.

Meanwhile, the love story between school deputy head Nguyễn Xuân Hạnh and young teacher Trần Thị Huyền Diệu has the mark of destiny.

Seven years ago, Hạnh was a teacher in Kon Plông District of Kon Tum Province. On a business trip, he met Diệu for the first time in neighboring Quảng Nam Province, where she was a student at the teaching college.

Hạnh fell in love with her but he did not have the chance to meet her again.

In a twist of fate, the two met again at the Măng Ri Boarding School, after Hạnh was designated as deputy head of the school and Diệu was allocated a job as a teacher.

They now have two children after five years of marriage, and the school is still an integral part of their lives together.

“My wedding took place in the schoolyard blessed by all the teachers, students and parents”, Hạnh said.

“This was unforgettable moment”, Diệu added. – VNS