ELTOs meet the Prime Minster

Intake 40 ELTOs meet the PM
Intake 40 ELTOs meet the PM
By Thi Thu Huong Tran (ELTO Official from Vietnam)
 
ANZAC Day an annual event on 25April, is an opportunity to remember all the New Zealanders who served and sacrificed in wars and  peacekeeping missions in other countries. This year 2015 is more special as it is the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in World War I.
 
The Saturday before Anzac day Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington opened officially.
 
This park is to remind people about unforgettable memories of World War I and its impact on New Zealand.
 
In the solemn atmosphere of ANZAC day, I could feel the pride on veterans’ faces because of their significant contribution to New Zealand’s development today, the fond remembrance hidden in the tears of wives and children whose husbands and fathers had passed away and the deep gratitude in the eyes of young generations who are living and studying in New Zealand. Taking part in this occasion I could not avoid being moved.
During the opening of the Pukeahu Park a very special thing happened to me and my two Vietnamese ELTO colleagues. We had a chance to shake hands and have our photo taken with the Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key. It occurred unexpectedly to me as a dream. Actually, we just dared to look at him from a distance, waiting for him finish the interview so we could express our appreciation of him as well as the New Zealand people and country.
 
So the moment when he smiled warmly, waved gently and gradually came nearer to us will be an unforgettable memory in my life. His warm-hearted smile, friendly words and behaviour are highlights that will never fade from my heart and soul. Being a person who always believe miracles will happen surprisingly and accidentally, by dint of that moment, I felt as if I was on the top of the world. This has also motivated me to strive for and determine to seize aims in my career to catch up any opportunity to have longer conversation with this respectful person in the future. If this may happen, I will definitely tell him what I always keep in mind that “we love your country”, the words we would have liked to say but could not do at that time because of our short meeting and the admiration for him that occupied our thinking.
 
Thi Thanh Hoa Vu was also photographed that day. “No word can express my feeling at this time, extremely awesome, now I am still on cloud nine.
 
“While I and my friends were at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park opening, I saw Andrew Little who is leader of Labour Party and two MPs.  They were standing very near me, I could not believe that I could see them with very short distance. Immediately, we really wanted to take a photo with them. Astonishingly, they agreed at once after listening to our introduction. They were so extremely friendly and polite. Then when we went to the museum, we saw John Key, he was answering the journalist’s questions. We waited for 15 minutes but we were not sure if we would be able to see him closer because of his bodyguards. After answering questions, he came toward us, we waved our hands. When he found out that we came from Vietnam, he said ‘Oh we are friends’, and then we took pictures together.
 
I have never met Vietnam’s President or Prime Minister. However, I have been living in New Zealand for three months and I have met New Zealand’s Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. That made my day. I think it was once in a lifetime opportunity.”
 
ELTOs meet Labour Party leader