|Team Name||Canadian Academy Habitat (Canadian Academy)|
|Country||Vietnam Tien Giang|
|Work site||My Tho, 2 Families Bricks, Concrete (flooring)|
|Itinerary||8 Day(s) 27-Oct 2007(SAT) ? 03-Nov 2007(SAT)|
|Member||Total: 32 Adult(M): 5 , Adult(F): 1, High School(M): 3, High School(F): 23|
|Expense||Traveling:80000 JPY（taxes included）/person|
In-country:6000 JPY（taxes included）/person/day
|Route||Osaka-->Ho Chiminh (VN941)|
Ho chiminh-->Osaka (VN940)
|Report||We left Kobe on a cool and sunny Saturday morning. The group was the biggest wehave ever had in the CA Habitat history-26 sutudent volunteers. It was also the most ethnically diverse with students originally from Australia, Switzerland or the US but with many also from south-east Aisa: Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, India. We even had three volunteers from Japan which is an accomplishment since I have always find it challenging to attract Japanese students, However, the participants are not equal gender-wise: 22 girls and 3 boys. Every one was very motivated since every student had to raise his mandatory donation for HFH Japan.|
We arrived at Ho Chi Minh and were greeted by 2 Vietnamese translators. They ushered us to the bus ans we went straight to My Tho, a small town in the Mekong delta and the location of the Habitat site. On the bus, we chat with the translators and I quickly realized tht HFH Vietnam was experiencing some difficulties dealing with its exponential growth.
We arrived in our hotel, the Raddin in My Tho and were welcome by Gail and Toan who are in charge of all GV teams. During her orientation talk, Bail gave out one of the most precious tools to be used on the worksite: the Vitnamese conic hat.
After a great dinner and a good night sleep, we were all off to a small introduction ceremony organized by the local authorities. Under the gaze of Uncle Ho we listened to the commentaries sipping the mineral water theyhad put in front of us. There were no clouds, and the heat was hard on the group. After a few pictures, we proceeded to our site. The group was divided itto three, each one working on a different house. The work in Vietnam usually consists of repairing existing houses but in our case we made it a point to build by adding extra donation to finance the purchase of the material. These houses have a name, they nare called ""love houses"" even if many of may colleagues/students laughted when I told them that.
Our task was very different on each site because mainly of what had been done prior to our arrival. At first there were some difficulties mainly because there was a lack of translator, and some workers did not trust our girls to do a good job. Though after a couple of days every one was enjoying each others' company and it all went smoothly. We always had delicious fruits for snacks and coming from Japan this was definitely a blast. Our site supervisor told us that we ate 50% more fruits than any other group he had ever seen.
We also had the opportunity to work with a local youth group who were a model for our students on how hard they could work. On house 2 we worked with Kim Chi and we learned that though she was talented and was accepted into two good local colleges, her family could not afford to send her. We met as a group and from wanting to buy jewelry, we moved to collect the money for her tuition and boarding for a year. Because it was too late for this school year to enroll, she is currently taking English and computer classes in order to prepare for next year. After a few days we reallly felt the connection and during the dedication ceremony everyone was proud of the work accomplished but sad at the same time of leaving.
The last evening was spent at a local Vietnamese high school in a cultual show. They sang for us and some of our students performed and Indian dance as well as the excellent Vietnamese food. Our hotel the ""Happy Inn"" was very clean with a central location inthe old district. One group went to the Ku-chi tunnels ouside the city and it provided students with a glimpse on the Vietnamese war.
We flew back with the night flight, our bags filled with many souvenirs: coconut candies, clothes and our heats filled with the wormth and the hospitality of the Vietnamese people. Au revoir Vietnam!
|Photo||Upper left:3 girls, Upper right: building|
Lower left: building, Lower right: building
* Click the image to zoom-in.