by Van Dat
Finding love in the strangest places
Kurt Lender Jensen of Denmark and Tieu Thi Ngoc Sang have never forgotten the day they met in HCM City 22 years ago.
Jensen, now 78, was on his first trip to Viet Nam when he stopped to buy some rambutan fruit from Sang, 67. They could not understand each other, but, as the saying goes, they clicked.
On that day, Sang sold 30 rambutan to Jensen for one US dollar. He returned to buy more fruit, and then came back, again and again. When Sang visited him later, she was shocked to see how many rambutan were stored in his room.
They fell in love, and when Jensen went back to Denmark, he promised Sang that he would return to Viet Nam in one year. He sent her letters, which Sang had translated into Vietnamese.
However, he returned to Viet Nam even earlier than planned, about six months later. They married and moved to Denmark.
In 1996, they decided to come back to Viet Nam to start a project to build 23 cable-stayed bridges and five schools in disadvantaged areas in Lam Dong, Dak Lak and Ninh Thuan provinces.
Donors in Denmark gave Jensen 500 metres of cable, which he shipped to Viet Nam. To build the bridge, the couple worked with local governments to enlist the help of residents from Bao Loc City in Lam Dong Province.
Following Jensen's design, the bridge was completed in one month, and after that, they built several others in remote areas.
Before meeting Sang many years ago, Jensen had worked for three years on a tourist cruise ship, and then bought a small fishing boat, spending 22 years as a fisherman in Netherlands, Poland and Denmark.
When the Danish government enacted legislation that limited fishing, he bought a small workshop and practiced carpentry until he retired in 1992, shortly before he visited Viet Nam for the first time. Today, he continues to use his woodworking skills to help the Vietnamese community.
Photographer's patriotic stand strikes a chord
When China illegally put its Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone, young photographer Dang Long wanted to do something to express his patriotism. He posed with a Vietnamese flag and uploaded a photo of himself on social networks.
Then, the requests from people who wanted similar photos of themselves started pouring in, Long told Dan Tri newspaper. He has now taken, free of charge, about 10,000 photos of people posing with the Vietnamese flag.
Long says he has had the opportunity to meet thousands of people from many provinces and cities, including Phu Tho, Bac Giang, Quang Ninh, Hung Yen, Hai Phong, and others.
Long has also selected 5,600 of the photos to make a map of the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos and other islands.
Seeing the success of his project, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and Viet Nam Students Association have asked Long to take similar photos of people around the country who want to pose with the flag, as well as photos of overseas Vietnamese around the world. — VNS