Connect with us

Your Vietnam

Enjoying happiness and safety in Việt Nam

Published

on

Lê Hương

Việt Nam was the first place Charlotte Lou visited in Asia back in 2016. After falling in love with the country, she decided to make it her home. 

That summer, Charlotte backpacked for a month from HCM City to Hà Nội.

Anyone following her Instagram account can see beautiful landscapes throughout Việt Nam, while clips on her TikTok page are funny, with the young woman sharing her feelings and incidents when trying to speak Vietnamese.

What shines through social media is an energetic woman with a deep love for Việt Nam and the Vietnamese people.

Charlotte Lou enjoys travelling throughout Việt Nam. — Photos courtesy of Charlotte Lou

“It just clicked, like I had an epiphany, I just fell in love with Việt Nam,” she told Việt Nam News. In the summer of 2017, she backpacked alone in Indonesia for a month and in 2018, again, she backpacked for three months in Thailand and Cambodia.

When she came back after her summer break, she knew she wanted to stay longer than three months. She then asked her boyfriend if he wanted to do something crazy – travel more, for even longer. They prepared and then in January 2019 they left Switzerland with their backpacks.

They went to the Philippines for one month but it didn’t go as planned, she didn’t feel the same connection and it wasn’t as awesome as she expected.

They decided to go to Việt Nam.

Charlotte’s main vehicle is a motorbike. 

“After all the countries I visited, Việt Nam was still number one for me in my heart, so I asked him if he wanted to go and he agreed,” she recalled. “We arrived in Sài Gòn, bought bikes and travelled from Vũng Tàu to Hà Nội.”

“We drove for two months, visited so many beautiful places, and met so many incredible people, even back then when we couldn’t speak any Vietnamese, the people, the culture, the landscapes, everything was incredible… So, when we arrived in Hà Nội, we talked, and decided that we would not leave.”

Lou said she hasn’t faced any big challenges living here.

“I guess the biggest challenge, was for me to adapt to one specific detail. In Switzerland we’re known to be right on time, if you tell a friend, let’s meet at 1pm, it’s really 1pm, not 1.15pm. We’re very punctual.

“So every time I travel, whether it’s in Brazil to see my family or even in other countries in Europe, I need to relax and remember that people are often late, or just not as punctual as in Switzerland. In Việt Nam, it’s the same thing, I regularly stress myself to be prompt and on time but then I remember that here, I can be late too; otherwise, I’ll be waiting,” she said.

Lou said she loves to hear her Vietnamese friend’s point of view on things, or about how people think about certain topics.

Charlotte Lou (second from left) with her friends during a trip to Bái Đính Pagoda in Ninh Bình Province. 

“Every country has its own culture, customs and manners and I really enjoy being able to understand more after every conversation,” she said.

She is interested in the history of the country, from Chinese oppression to the war with the US.

“It’s dark but so interesting and I see that the people are also really proud to have fought and won,” she said.

“Việt Nam is very unique and I love how Vietnamese people are so proud to be Vietnamese, proud of the country but still love foreigners and are so welcoming.”

She was also impressed that the Vietnamese people are so willing to help. She shared one such experience in a video.

Her motorbike broke down on Hai Bà Trưng Street at around 7pm. She went to a tea shop by the pavement and some men from the tea shop came to see her bike and tried their best to fix it.

“At first two men came, then three, then five men came to fix my bike,” she said. “They spent 30 minutes helping me. I intended to invite them for some beer but they refused.

“Hà Nội is a big city but anytime I have trouble, there is always someone helping me, which is quite different from other big cities in Europe and America that I have been to. People in such cities don’t often help strangers like here. This only happens in Việt Nam. This is one of the reasons I love the country so much.”

The clips received warm comments and reached over three million views.

Lou said her boyfriend has a stable job in Hà Nội, and has been with her for seven years. She also has a cat named Toosie.

“He’s a rescue, we brought him home two years ago after someone posted on Facebook that the cat was found trapped in a plastic box under the sun, covered in flees and bleeding,” she said.

Lou admitted she loves learning languages. Besides her mother tongues, which are French and Portuguese [her mother is Brazilian], she learned English, Spanish and Italian.

Charlotte Lou feels safe in Việt Nam.

Though she speaks a little Vietnamese, Lou said she gets nervous when she has to speak sometimes.

“I’m afraid people will not understand me, or I won’t understand them or they think I’m a bit dumb for not understanding,” she said. “Vietnamese is hard and it’s easy to make a mistake.”

Lou made a TikTok clip on Vietnamese words that western people often mispronounce, including the words “mông” [bottom] for “món” [dish].

Having travelled throughout Việt Nam, Lou finds it hard to say where she was most impressed.

“I remember being so amazed by the beauty of the landscapes when driving on the coast… it was breathtaking,” she said. “And I remember once, me and some friends we slept on the beach, in hammocks, and during the night we saw a family of pigs on the beach, it was really unexpected and beautiful.”

Lou said she and her boyfriend were a bit stressed when the pandemic started and they didn’t know what to do.

“I remember calling my dad, I told him about my concerns.”

He told her to stay if she feels happier and safer in Việt Nam.

“I’m so proud to be here, I know I didn’t do anything except from staying at home but seriously, Việt Nam handled COVID-19 better than most other countries.

“We were ok for so long, my friends back home were in and out of lockdown for ages and we were here… chilling. The last lockdown was obviously tough but well… nothing compared to Europe,” she said. — VNS

Charlotte Lou is familiar to TikTok users with various funny clips.

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/life-in-vietnam/enjoying-happiness-and-safety-in-viet-nam_330769.html

Your Vietnam

Scientist brings solar energy closer to people

Published

on

When beginning his journey to the US at the age of 20, Nguyễn Trọng Hiếu showed an endless passion for science. From a young student, Hiếu has become one of the nation’s leading scientists in engineering. With pioneer initiatives in solar energy, he and his team have taken humanity one step closer to a future where solar energy can thrive. Việt Nam News reporter Hoàng Hồ talks with Hiếu about his journey.

With excellent scientific research works, Nguyễn Trọng Hiếu was honoured to be nominated by the Central Committee of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union in the list of 20 outstanding young Vietnamese in 2021. Photo courtesy of ANU

Inner Sanctum: How did you feel when your name was announced among 20 outstanding young Vietnamese in February? What were the turning points in your career?

I’m thrilled and proud to be honoured as one of the outstanding young faces of Việt Nam as a rep for the scientific research category. This motivates me to continue what I have been doing — performing good research and supervising and teaching my students, and mentoring junior colleagues.

I won a full scholarship to study at the Portland State University, USA, thanks to my performance in the first two years of studies at the Hồ Chí Minh City University of Technology. It was a huge step for me. But the turning point was when I started my PhD at the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, Australia, immersing myself in their world-class solar device fabrication and characterisation facilities. I received excellent mentoring from many world-renowned researchers and collaborated with many world-leading research groups.

Inner Sanctum: What are the challenges in reaching sustainable solar energy? 

The Earth receives thousands of times more solar energy from the Sun annually than the world’s total energy consumption. However, solar energy usage is still limited due to its higher cost than conventional electricity sources.

This is primarily because of the commercial solar cell efficiency (20 per cent), which is still far below the theoretical limit. The current challenge in improving solar cell efficiencies is the poor understanding of factors that can potentially cause efficiency losses at various stages. My work is well on the way to addressing this knowledge gap and providing the community with new tools to characterise these losses and novel processes to minimise them.

Inner Sanctum: Can you explain your research, its goals and the specific applicability of the research in daily life?

Dramatic climate change forces humanity to seek clean energy sources that are efficient, cost-effective, and reliable. Solar energy is an obvious solution. My research goal is to make solar energy cheaper and closer to everyone. I’m doing it innovatively – exploring light emitted from solar materials.

Nature gives physical things beautiful colours, which are a key to unlocking the potential of solar technologies. The secret is that every part of light emitted from materials contains important information. Examining the emitted light allows me to determine the most efficient material to use.

Because emitted light has unique features corresponding well to certain material properties, I can diagnose the material characteristics by just ‘looking at’ but not ‘touching’ them. I am taking it a step further – after understanding the material properties, I apply the knowledge to the fabrication process.

Much of my research directly supports R&D engineers to improve the efficiency of solar cells. These innovations could be applied to make better solar cells by different solar cell and module manufacturers. Then, the devices will be distributed around the globe, including in Việt Nam.

This will help the industry make more efficient and cheaper solar cells, unlocking the full potential of solar energy and providing low-cost renewable energy for humanity.

Hiếu founded two optical laboratories at the Australian National University, used by more than 50 researchers from nine different groups. Photo courtesy of ANU

Inner Sanctum: Can you share your passion for a field that is difficult for many people? Did you have any difficulties at the beginning of your journey in the US? 

My love for physical science took me to engineering. Then, my bachelor’s study was in electrical engineering, grounded in semiconductors. Ten years ago, solar cells were a hot topic, a path to tackle our climate change. The bulk part of solar cells is semiconductors. I decided to follow this area to utilise my background and do something meaningful for the world.

The greatest difficulty at that time was my English, particularly my writing and speaking skills. To overcome them, I just practised and practised. Practice makes perfect.

Inner Sanctum: How is your time working abroad? What in the US and Australia can Việt Nam learn from?

So far, I have enjoyed my time working in the US and Australia very much. I have built collaborations with numerous leading research groups around the world. These collaborations have provided me with unique opportunities to learn a wide range of state-of-the-art solar cell fabrication processes and characterisation techniques.

I am happy with their open working culture. I’m free to express my opinions and ideas even though they sometimes contradict the majority. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/life-in-vietnam/scientist-brings-solar-energy-closer-to-people_333942.html

Continue Reading

Your Vietnam

National Senior Golf Championship to start early next month

Published

on

HÀ NỘI—The Vietnam Senior Championship presented by T99 2022 will open on June 4-5 at Vinpearl Golf Nam Hội An (Quảng Nam Province), the Việt Nam Golf Association (VGA) and the Vietnam Golf Services (VGS), it was announced yesterday.

The organisers said the tournament would be followed by the T99 Vietnam Amateur Series 2022.

Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Dung won VGA’s golf champions in 2008 and 2021. Photo by GolfNews

About 100 amateurs aged 45-55 for women and 50-60 for men and higher aged golfers are expected to join the tournament.

The championship started in 2008, with Andrew Hùng Phạm (men) bagging five championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2021.

Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Dung (women) won in 2008 and 2021.

The VGA and VGS signed a strategic cooperation deal with the Technology Finance, namely T99 Group, in which T99 will become the main sponsor of the T99 Vietnam Amateur Series 2022.

Andrew Hùng Phạm bagged five VGA golf championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021. Photo by GolfNews

Nguyễn Ngọc Tuấn, deputy general director of T99, said: “National golf tournaments have been improving over the past years and lured an increasing number of golfers into joining.

“T99 wishes to join the VGA to develop this sport further to attract more golfers, particularly to improve the quality of golf tournaments and bring the country’s golf to international tournaments.”

The tournament will be broadcast live by VGS Media via GolfNews channels. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/events/national-seniorgolf-championshipto-startearly-next-month_334016.html

Continue Reading

Your Vietnam

Fencer, volunteers collects rubbish in Mỹ Đình Gymnasium

Published

on

Lê Hương

HÀ NỘI — Famed fencer Vũ Thành An and nearly 100 volunteers collected plastic rubbish in Mỹ Đình Gymnasium on Friday in the “Collecting Plastic Rubbish – Getting Green Medals” activity as part of the ongoing ‘For A Green SEA Games’ campaign.

They divided into groups to pick up rubbish, bottles and cans. By the afternoon, over 30 volunteers who collected the most rubbish won Green medals from the SEA Games organiser.

Fencer An (right) collects rubbish with a volunteer at Mỹ Đình Gymnasium on Friday. —  Photo SEA Games organiser

With the spirit of “For a Stronger Southeast Asia”, the event has not aimed just at fair play but also for green-clean-beautiful and environment-friendly purposes.

The Natural Resources and Environment Communications Centre and the WWF have coordinated with the SEA Games 31 organiser on a project to minimise plastic disposal in the ocean and implement a national plan on controlling plastic disposal in the sea by 2030, aiming to set up a recycling economy and focus on environmental protection.

These plastic reducing activities are part of WWF efforts to protect Việt Nam’s biological diversity, including the Sao La (Asian unicorn), chosen as this SEA Games mascot.

This is the very first time such a rare and valuable mammal has been chosen as the mascot.

Volunteers at the event. —  Photo SEA Games organiser

The programmes “Collecting Plastic as Gifts” and “Collecting Plastic Rubbish  Getting Green Medals” have been implemented in Hà Nội’s Mỹ Đình Gymnasium since May 12.

They aim to enhance people’s awareness of various kinds of plastic that can be recycled and encourage people to sort rubbish to protect the environment.

Volunteers at SEA Games venues have been joining the activities. — VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/life-in-vietnam/fencer-volunteerscollects-rubbish-in-my-dinh-gymnasium_334007.html

Continue Reading

Trending