Leaving Ho Chi Minh / ホーチミンを去りながら

From Charlotte:


We are leaving the land of phó and motorbikes, and there are so many impressions to attempt to sum up. We’ve met so many people with bright open faces and smiles, though many of them deal with extremely difficult life circumstances. During our presentations, we had to try to play many roles at once—artists immersed in an art form, engaging public speakers, and new friends sharing genuine connections. It was impossible not to feel unbelievably privileged to have a healthy body and mind, meaningful work, a supportive family and culture, and the ability to devote myself to making music. Midori has lead us by example how to use these privileges to give back directly to some of those who the world would often prefer to forget. We brought the gift of our music-making, and we received the gifts of perspective, humility, and gratitude.


From Tanja:


It’s time to begrudgingly say goodbye. Words cannot express how much the last couple weeks have taught me. Connecting with people on such a human level has undoubtedly opened my eyes to what is important in life. As students, we worry about if we’re leading the right path in life, whether a phrase is convincing, or whether or not homework has been completed. One never stops to think how much we notice and engage people in our own communities, let alone on the other side of the world. Vietnamese people have been so incredibly warm, and open with us, despite some of them living in difficult circumstances. It makes me want to come back and play and talk to them, because that is where true connection is made. On Christmas Day, we visited an orphanage for disabled children. We played and saw their big smiles, but we also helped to feed the children for lunch. A little girl jumped on my lap, and helped me help other kids who were less able to move. Just then and there, I noticed how beautiful that was. I have also learnt a great deal from Midori and my peers here, playing numerous times together, in sometimes quite trying circumstances! At the end of the day, the music is the only thing that matters, and to have been able to share that means a great deal. A huge thank you to all involved.


From Alan:


Thank you!


On the eve of my departure from Vietnam, I find myself processing myriad thoughts and impressions.  In particular, I keep coming back to the fleeting encounters with individuals along our journey.  Of course, there were the wonderful tribespeople, children, and assisted living center residents for whom we performed, and the NGO and local government personnel who guided us.  I also think back fondly on the spontaneous interactions with hotel staff in Hanoi who chatted with us about their lives and business; and the interpreters who took time out of their busy schedules to simply socialize with us in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, and elsewhere.  One of the beauties of this program, in my opinion, lay in such unstructured moments.  They provided a window onto the diverse personal perspectives, concerns, and aspirations of those for whom Vietnam is both deeply familiar as their home, but also represents an exciting international frontier for development.  Having the opportunity to learn firsthand about the varied circumstances of such a wide swath of Vietnamese society – all while doing and sharing something I love – was an immense (and occasionally bittersweet) privilege.  I’ll be leaving with many treasured memories and fresh ideas on what it means to be a classical musician in the midst of dynamic cultural crosscurrents and socioeconomic change.








名残惜しいけれど、さよならのときです。この2週間でどれほど多くのことを教わったか、とても言葉では言い表せません。いろいろな方の人間性に触れて、本当に人生で大切なこととは何か、かっと目を開かされたような思いです。学生としての私たちの心配事といえば、人生のレールから外れていないかとか、このフレーズ(旋律)に説得力はあるだろうかとか、宿題が終わっている終わっていないとか、そんなところです。ふと立ち止まって、自分が何かを見過ごしていないかを思い返し、あらためて周囲の人たちを気にかける、なんてことはありません。自分と関わりのない人たちのことなら、なおさらです。でも、ベトナムの人たちは本当に温かくて、中には困難な状況で生きている人もいるのに、みんな、私たちに心を開いてくれました。またここに戻ってきて、演奏を聴いてもらったり、みんなと話をしたりしたいなと思います。ここは人としての関係を築けるところです。クリスマスの日、私たちは障がいのある子どもたちが暮らす孤児院を訪れました。そこでは演奏をして、子どもたちのとびきりの笑顔を目にしただけではなく、彼らがお昼ごはんを食べるお手伝いもしました。小さな女の子が私のひざに飛び乗ってきて、自分では動くのが難しい子どもたちの手助けを、私と一緒にしてくれました。そのとき、それがどれほど美しいことか、はっと気がつきました。ミドリと他の仲間からもたくさんのことを学びました。数えきれないほど何度も一緒に演奏をしましたが、時には我慢しないといけないこともありました! その日は音楽の問題で頭がいっぱいになりましたが、そんな時間を仲間と持てたことも私にとっては大きな財産です。みんなに心から感謝します。