Cyclo couple, street vendors raise children to become doctorates


HueWhen her daughter entered the first grade, Mrs. Mount said she would send her children to college, the neighbors laughed, thinking that the woman had not finished the fourth grade.

After 28 years, she proved that she can do even more when her eldest daughter Quach My Uyen Nhi (33 years old) has a PhD in Physics at Sokendai University, Japan. The second son is the valedictorian for a master’s degree, currently a professional assistant (professional vice principal) of an international high school in Hue. The youngest daughter has just completed a master’s program in France, continues to receive a scholarship to be a PhD student here.

“Having a full education is a childhood dream that my husband and I did not have. So I put my trust in my children,” said Mrs. Tran Thi Mount, 55, from Hue City, as she watched her children grow up after all these hardships. nan.

Mrs. Mount took a souvenir photo with her children on the occasion of Tet in 1997. Photo: Characters provided

Ms. Mount said, when she was 11 years old, the father, before he closed his eyes, held his hand and told his first daughter that he had quit school to help his mother raise juniors. “I cried a lot, crying because I lost my father and had to miss school,” she recalls. At the age of 13, she went to sell water in Dong Ba market, wandered around Hue city selling lottery tickets, selling tea, selling banh can… to help her mother raise her younger brother. Many times, watching her friends go to high school wearing ao dai riding their bicycles to school, Mrs. Mount wiped her tears from self-pity.

When she reached the age of marriage, she chose a man two years older than her but in the same situation to easily sympathize. “He studied well, but because of his poor family, he rode a cyclo while going to school. Being ridiculed by his friends, he was discouraged and quit when he was in 11th grade,” she said. Coming together empty-handed, but they agreed to raise their children properly.

Ms. Uyen Nhi, Mrs. Mount’s daughter still remembers, the three sisters grew up in a low thatched house close to the top of their father’s head, a patch of bamboo mixed with buffalo dung about to collapse at any moment. Every time it rained, the whole house would scramble to arrange the basin to catch the leak. “In the rainy season, our parents split up to carry us to the neighbors,” she said.

When Nhi entered the first grade, Mrs. Mount told the neighbors to try to raise their children to school, they just laughed because in this neighborhood, most of the children dropped out of school, choosing to make a living from adolescence.

“Despite the criticism from outsiders, we have never left our goals,” she said. On a hot sunny day or a bone-chilling rain, she and her husband never took a day off from work. Mrs. Mount sells street tea, her husband rides a cyclo and carries goods. A year, the couple only has a few days off Tet to worship ancestors.

Quach Anh Tai, the second son, said that in his middle school year, the school was far from home, so every time he rode his bicycle to school in the hot sun at noon, he felt discouraged because he was so hard working. But once, while walking with his friends, Tai looked from afar and saw his father arching his back and pushing a cart loaded close to his face. He took a heavy step forward, not knowing that the child standing behind was crying.

“That image is forever imprinted in my mind. Later, every time I have a difficult time on my way, I will remember that scene and motivate me to continue,” he said.

Heavy burden to make a living, but Mrs. Mount and her husband did not let their children suffer. Grandparents always prioritize spending money to pay school for their children, accept fasting, fasting. “Children are small, but they have dignity. If they are embarrassed, they will not want to go to school,” the wife told her husband.

Once, the eldest daughter got a bad grade in Chemistry and sat crying. At 9 o’clock at night, when she returned home with a full load of sweat, her husband mounted a bowl of rice while teaching his children how to balance chemical equations. With white chalk, Mr. Quach So wrote on the ground, instructing his children. Dad’s tutoring sessions help his daughter to love Chemistry more. Later, she was selected to join the city’s excellent student team, scoring 9.75 points in the university exam.

Whether busy selling or transporting goods, she and her husband never miss any parent meeting of the children. They took turns driving their children to the exam for excellent students at all levels by bicycle. Until now, the father still goes to the train station and airport by himself to pick up his children after school trips, business trips, even outings…

With the children, Mrs. Mount is also a friend. Uyen Nhi, Anh Tai, Nhat Anh often talk about school stories with their mother, and she talks about her dream of going to school. “We understand that going to school is both an obligation and a right. Parents work hard, we also have to study hard,” said Ms. Uyen Nhi. As the first child, Nhi is aware that she must study hard to change her fate and set an example for her younger siblings.

In 2013, Ms. Nhi passed a master’s and doctoral program in Japan. But difficulties surrounded when Nhi’s scholarship money dwindled. Because of the overlapping and complicated procedures, she was not able to receive additional scholarships. Money pressure led to serious illness, Uyen Nhi had to return to Vietnam, temporarily putting aside her dream of studying.

Mount and his wife, Mr. So and their three children, take souvenir photos on the occasion of their 30th wedding anniversary.  Photo: Character provided

Mount and his wife, Mr. So and their three children, take souvenir photos on the occasion of their 30th wedding anniversary. Image: Characters provided

The day she knew her child had an accident in Japan, the mother was shocked, confused and cried a lot. But then, she was the one to revive the spirit and encourage her daughter. The whole family helped Nhi calm down and gradually lead her daughter back to a normal life. Uyen Nhi returned to Japan to finish her doctoral program while selling cosmetics online to have money to pay. “Teachers in Japan told me that I had a samurai spirit, but I knew that I learned the spirit of not leaving my parents’ goals,” she said.

The eldest sister is an example for Anh Tai and Nhat Anh to follow. Up to now, all three children of Mrs. Mount and her husband have stable careers. They no longer have to live in the sun and rain on the streets to feed their children. The old thatched roof house, after four renovations, is now kept as a souvenir. Currently, the family of five is building a new two-story house. There, the old couple grew roses and vegetables.

Mr. Phan Dinh Ty, the leader of the neighborhood group where Mrs. Mount’s family lives, said that life is difficult, but she and her husband endure hardships, raise their children to study and succeed, and are a shining example in the locality. “It’s rare for families to do that,” he said.

Compared to the majority, Ms. Mount said the results were not great, but she was satisfied. “We have a very low starting point, we can still turn our dreams into reality. I believe, young people will also be able to do everything they want, if they try hard enough,” contemplative Mrs. Cam.

Pham Nga

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