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Nhan doc lai trang dau cua anh mong uoc afaronline la noi chia xe ky niem Alexandre de Rhodes voi con em chung ta, toi xin goi doan nay ,viet may nam truoc bang tieng Anh de giup cho cac con chau chung ta co the hieu duoc , ve ky niem o Foyer (excuse my English!)

 


 

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Foyer Alexandre de Rhodes

For six years out of my seven years of medical school, I lived in a hostel for students at 161 Yen Do Street, Saigon. If was founded and run by a Canadian Jesuit priest, Father Henri Forest.
Foyer Alexandre de Rhodes was named after the French priest who came to Vietnam in 1642 and codified the different existing systems for phonetically transcribing Vietnamese language using the Roman alphabet. He was widely recognized as the father of modern Vietnamese writing system, chu quoc ngu, which replaced chu nom (an adaptation of Chinese character to transcribe Vietnamese vernacular) and chu H Šn (Sinitic Vietnamese).
My brother, who was working in nearby Bien Hoa, was looking for a place in Saigon where I could stay and have a good learning environment. The Foyer was an ideal place for all that; only it was very difficult to get in. I have to give credit to my brother for being very patient and meticulous in preparing me for the interview with Father Forest. In Vietnam, we rarely had to go to any face-to-face interview. Application to most selective institutions was based solely on ďblindĒ entrance exam, the decision being base solely on oneís ranking, or possibly backdoor bribing. My brother asked me to copy all my transcripts from high school, by hand, because we didnít have easy access to a photocopying machine then. On the day of the appointment, he accompanied me to the Foyer. The Father, probably in his forties, talked mostly with my brother who fortunately spoke excellent French and, as lawyer, was very articulate and persuasive. I got in, thanks to my brotherís thoughtfulness and to some extent to my good grades and recommendation from my high school teachers.
Foyer Alexandre de Rhodes turned out to be one of the most educational, formative and decisive experiences of my whole life. There, I learned to live the autonomous life of an adult, to be aware of the broad range of societal issues that were affecting our country. It was an opportunity to look beyond the ivory tower of medical school. I was allowed to think and act freely, yet with guidance from a scholarly and fatherly role model and a within the framework of humanism and responsibility. On the logo of the Foyer, a compass needle pointed to the North, the ultimate aim: Esto Vir, Be a man, Sois homme.
Uninformed outsiders often described our Jesuit tradition elitism as a kind of snobbism that didnít fit well in a poor country at war. However, as many years have gone by, the influence of our Father Henri Forest on our life in our most formative years have inculcated in each of us the basics of leadership, and personal and social responsibility that are still alive in every one of us, the so called AFAR (Anciens du Foyer Alexandre de Rhodes/Alumni of the FAR).

Ho Van Hien