Customer story: Van

Vietnamese man painting watercolour flowers in his home

We love getting to know our customers and listening to their life stories. Learning what someone has been through, where they are in their life right now and what makes them tick means that we gain a much better understanding of who they really are, and how we can best help them.

We’re so grateful every time one of our customers shares their life with us. Huge thanks to Van for sharing his.

Van came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam via Malaysia and New Zealand. Van left Vietnam in 1977 with his wife and six children, and finally arrived in Australia in 1984. He made the difficult decision to leave because he didn’t want his children to have to become soldiers and face the very likely possibly of death in the war.

Van is incredibly proud of his children, of the education and qualifications they have received, and feels grateful that they can live healthy, safe lives.

He is 85 now. Van wears a prosthesis on his amputated left leg. After having bone cancer 10 years ago, he developed an infection resulting in him having his leg amputated from the knee. As hard as that was for Van, he has learned to put aside negative feelings and focussed on all of the good things he has and has achieved. He credits his recovery from the cancer to the otherwise good health he was in and his healthy lifestyle.

Every Saturday, Van’s wife cooks a big meal and prior to COVID-19, some of his children and grandchildren would visit. They regularly brought their parents freshly made orange juice and other healthy foods. Van continues to help his family whenever he can, such as doing paperwork in his daughter’s shop. Van and his wife also enjoy going to eat out, particularly for a buffet meal.

Van exercises daily and he often walks around his local Westfield shopping centre for exercise. He goes to the library and reads Vietnamese books or books on the History of China. Van also enjoys Vietnamese music.

Van loves to paint, particularly flowers, and his home is filled with artwork. Wonderful statues and ornaments adorn the cabinets and benches. Remarkably, in line with Van’s Karmic methodology of giving and receiving, he sells his artwork (his daughter does this for him) for $5 each, and the proceeds go to charity, to help those who are less fortunate.

Van tries to keep focussed on the good in life, keep busy and he likes to try and give back so that his family will stay safe and have a good life.