I was born and raised in an impoverished area of Cao Bang province. Both of my parents are farmers who work on mountain fields. I have nine siblings and one of them -my older brother is also totally blind due to a sickness in childhood
When I was born, I was able to see as other children. At two years old, I was infected with measles which made me lose all of my sight. After the sickness, the cornea of my eyes became damaged and could not be replaced. Since then I have been living in the dark.
During my childhood, I only spent most of time at home and roaming around the village. I neither had many friends nor attended school. I felt self-pity when seeing children at my age go to class. I wanted to be like them. When I was seventeen years old, the blind association in my province offered me an opportunity to learn Braille.
Three years later, I asked my parents to borrow money for me so that I could attend a vocational training course in the downtown of the province. Initially I worked in a relative’s massage parlor to learn traditional massage techniques from colleagues for almost a year. Then I moved to Hanoi to participate in a three-month massage training course in the Training and Rehabilitation Center for the Vietnamese blind. After graduation, I decided to stay in Hanoi and have worked at a bunch of blind massage parlors. My job was quite arduous and risky. Official working hours are from 9AM to midnight; however, sometimes, I finished my work by 1AM or 2AM the next day. Most of my customers are blue-collar workers. Drunken clients sometimes were rude when threatening and violently beating me.. A customer once even suspected me of having stolen his 10 million VND (or $500) as he could not remember where he had put his money. Although I had been declared not guilty by the police, I still felt severely hurt by this incident.
While I was looking for a new working place, my friend introduced me to the Omamori Spa and Blind-Link. The working environment in Omamori Spa as well as its massage techniques istotally new and challenging to me. I had to learn new massage modalities and practiced extensively for three months to receive an employment offer from the Omamori Spa since July, 2014. Although I am earning less income than before, I am having access to tons of learning opportunities. Thanks to Blind-Link, the first time in my life, I have been taught English and have been acquiring new knowledge of many types of massage techniques. The compliments and good feedbacks I have received from the customers make me feel valued and respected, which are truly meaningful to me.