68 Qs with Chu Nghia
Hi Chú Nghĩa! How are you? I’m always good. What do you do here at VietAID? I post news on our website and translate documents into Vietnamese How long have you been working here at VietAID? Seven years, since 2011 When did you first come to the U.S.? 1981. How did you come here? I was a refugee (boat person). Where did you grow up in Vietnam? In Saigon. What did you do when you were
in Vietnam? Teach and I was in the Armed Forces. How many children do you have? Four children How old are they? Over 40 now. What do they do now? Work and live with their own families. What’s your favorite part about being a grandpa? Bicycling, going to the park, having conversations with
them in Vietnamese What do you do for fun? Take a walk in the park and watch children & grandchildren have fun and play. What’s your favorite food? Definitely phở (beef noodle soup) What is your least favorite food? Hard candies–I can’t chew them Coffee or tea? Neither, iced water or milk only Where did you go to school? Northeastern University in Boston What did you study in college? Engineering What’s your favorite part about Boston? That the city takes care of its residents. Favorite season? Spring How did you meet your wife? We were both in the army. If you won a million dollars right now, what would you do with it? Half for my family, half for charity- and VietAID would surely have a share! Can you tell me a joke or something fun? (tells a pun)
VietAID has two dedicated staff, Hoa Mai & Huong Thao and in Vietnamese their names mean Flower & Fragrance. Flowers and Fragrance need to go as a pair and our office needs both to be complete! And we have both! How’s that now? You’ve been a poll worker for every election every year here in Boston for more than 10 years. Why do you care so much about people voting? People say voting is a right and privilege but I’d also say a responsibility.We have to vote in (if not vote out) candidates
who will fight for our goals.And every single vote counts What do you think would help people in our community want to vote and be part of elections more? There is a language barrier so a lot of people are hesitant. We have to help them feel comfortable in the process …helping them understand since many people do not have the time to research or learn. What is your favorite color? Bright purple Have you been back to Vietnam since you came here? Not yet. Why not? Many people say they brought their country with them…I am the same I guess. There has been too many changes to the country I once knew. I would surely feel the loss and heartache if I went back How long have you lived in Boston? More than half of my life If you could travel anywhere in the world, without worry about money, where would you go? Hawaii. It seems tranquil and less noisy! And I could relax for a while there. What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to? Anywhere that’s sunny with a sandy sea shore. That’s suitable to me. What is your favorite word in English? ‘Dream’ because it’s a word that allows you to wish and hope. And in Vietnamese? ‘Diệu vợi’ means far away. Maybe because I miss my home country Where is your favorite place to eat in Dorchester? Phở Hòa Restaurant What is your favorite vegetable? Lettuce, with vinaigrette What do you grow in your garden? Scallions, cilantro, many kinds of herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers What is your favorite animal? Cat…meow! How many brothers and sisters do you have? Six siblings. What do you miss most about Vietnam? My relatives and neighbors How many languages do you speak? Just Vietnamese and American English which is enough trouble already What is your favorite childhood memory? Running naked and freely in the rain as a child What is your favorite movie? Here in the U.S.,”Stepmom.” It’s about society, it has a beautiful ending, and really tugs at your heartstrings. What is your favorite book? Probably the Bible for this old man. If you could have dinner with anybody, living or dead who would you choose? Mr. Nguyễn Du, the great Vietnamese poet What’s the best food you can cook? Braised pork with boiled whole eggs…it’s okay. Just okay? You’ll have to make some and bring it into the office some time! What do you like most about VietAID? The new, young leadership and the dedicated team What is your favorite dessert? Ice cream If you could learn any other language, what would it be? I would choose Spanish so I could travel Central and South America Dogs or cats? I already told you earlier! I like cats, especially kittens. They’re so cute. What is your favorite thing about yourself? My perseverance. I work hard slowly but surely. If you had a superpower what would it be? Be able to make people love and not turn to hatred What is your favorite smell? The smell of roses. It’s light and elegant. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My wife, telling me to hurry and come home for lunch! Would you rather bird watch or whale watch? Watching multicolored birds sing is much better than dark masses in the sea. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas because there are gifts, unlike Thanksgiving where I have to worry about the turkey! Do you play any instruments or sing? Not at all, I just enjoy listening to music and singers. Do you like surprises? I have a weak heart…so no. Worried my heart will fall right out! Would you rather live in the mountains or by the beach? By the beach with sand. Climbing up the mountain is too tiresome. If you could choose any profession and money did not matter, what would you choose? I would go back to teaching. Elementary school because good education starts with the basics. What are 3 things you cannot live without? Clothes. You cant go barefoot, so sandals. And at least water. You can go hungry though. Best advice you’ve received? Forgive and forget. Forgetting can be the easy part, but forgiving is hard sometimes when you still remember certain faces. Best gift you’ve ever received? Handmade birthday card from my granddaughter Best gift you’ve ever given? I don’t have much money so taking my grandchildren out to play and dedicating quality time with them. Favorite compliment? ‘Ba Hai’s son is so handsome!’ except my mom isn’t Ba Hai…so I’m not really sure if they meant I was handsome or not…. What always makes you laugh? Watching children explore and play in the playground amongst themselves. What do you want to be remembered for? That I may have grown old, but never senile Do you have a secret talent? I heard that I snore really loudly, but I’ve never heard it, so I don’t know if it’s true or not! What is your favorite time of day? Naptime. What does your name mean? Nghĩa means Uprightness (Honesty), one of the 5 virutues of Confucianism The five Constant Virtues include Kindness, Propriety, Uprightness, Wisdom, and Faithfulness. Thank you so much! Thank YOU so much. Wishing you perpetual happiness, health, and all good things with VietAID.