By Dr. Yen Hai Do, Lecturer at Tan Trao University, Vietnam
Stepping foot in a new country for the first time, especially when the destination is great America, is a captivating and wonderful experience, filled with anticipation, excitement, and a touch of wanderlust. It has been two weeks since the first day I arrived the U.S. Everything has come to me as if I am in a sweet, real and emotional dream. I live in a country, Viet Nam, which is half-way across the globe to the U.S. I wish I could visit the country many times but I have never thought that this dream would come true because of the long distance. It has been my pride, honor, and a big gift when I was selected to be one of 18 scholars participating SUSI programs. Through everyday academic sessions and field trips, I have gained more understanding about one of the most excellent economies in the world and gradually immersed myself in different aspects of the American culture and society.
Today, we had the opportunity to explore New Bedford, a coastal city that serves as the epitome of the United States’ remarkable progress in developing the blue economy. Through visiting the Fishing Heritage Center and New Bedford Port Authority, I realized that the city, with its long historic connection to the sea and as the nation’s top commercial fishing port, plays a pivotal role in providing fresh seafood to both domestic and international markets. Its robust fleet of fishing vessels, state-of-the-art processing facilities, and renowned seafood auctions have propelled New Bedford to the forefront of the industry.
In addition, we had the opportunity to explore the bustling fishing port and step on to a scallop fishing boat. It is accurate to state that this is an exhilarating experience that immersed me in the interesting world of the fishing industry. In listening to the captain’s stories, I was imagining when the boats venture farther into the open waters, a feeling of awe and admiration takes hold in my mind. The immense size and strength of the vessels, designed to withstand the unpredictable nature of the sea, command respect. Thinking about the harsh working environment on the boat of the crew, I can feel the dedication and bravery of these fishermen, who face the elements daily to provide for their communities, and inspire a deep admiration for their resilience and unwavering spirit
Leaving with the memories and experiences about New Bedford, its vibrant culture, rich history, and embrace of the blue economy have left an indelible mark in my mind. The knowledge I gained today will much help me to upgrade my lecture about blue economy for students in home country. Thanks to SUSI program, thanks to ITD I had a great day!
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.