Elaine Dang went to Vietnam with VNHOPE

Elaine is a graduating senior at UCSD that dreams of helping to establish a regulatory agency for nonprofits to do more effective and meaningful work.

She attended VNHOPE’s two-week summer service camp which provides much needed medical, dental and optometric care to the underserved population in Vietnam unable to access healthcare services due to financial, logistical or social reasons.

Elaine noted the language barrier as the largest obstacle she and her peers faced. Although Elaine had a limited fluency in Vietnamese, her non-Vietnamese speaking peers heavily relied on her and other native speakers.

“I appreciated the challenge to improve my skills at a language I barely used in my everyday life and would look to google translate for the words I could not find in my own vocabulary.”

Despite this challenge, Elaine mentioned that during her time with VNHOPE, she was able to overcome obstacles like these because of the valuable friendships she made, all of which inspired her to keep a positive attitude throughout her experience.

When there was down time, Elaine fondly reme