This is among a series of stories we tell you about our Vinh Long Community service project. We come to Vinh Long to renovate a school which is too old and we hope to bring safety and new studying environment to the lovely students here.
Our group stays at a backpacker hotel right in the middle of Hochiminh City. Though we share three or four people per room but it’s quite OK for a good a price and a great location. It is so centrally located and we can walk around for visiting city highlights like war museum, presidential palace, temples, opera house, central post office and other beautiful stuffs.
Today we head to Mekong Delta on a public bus for a Vinh Long Community service project. The bus goes fast on a highway over green rice farm stretching to the horizon. We have a lot of talk about Mekong life, Mekong people and background why we should come there. We stop halfway at a local stopping point. We learn many new types of tropical fruits that we have never seen in our life. We even don’t remember all of those names. We just recognize that the food life is much bigger than our imagination. We reward ourselves with some local ice-cream.
We arrive hour homestay of Mr. Tam around noon. Just after a short check-in into our rooms, we meet him and his wife Ms. Sau for a welcome in the family. The lunch comes after with local food. It is a true Vietnamese lunch cooked by Ms. Sau. She only stay at this town and even rarely come to Saigon then she knows nothing about Western food. It’s yummy anyway. She also picks oranges from garden and we love it. Mr. Tam has a big garden of fruits and oranges are countless. We have also enjoyed 5 full day meals with orange juice from that garden. Possibly it helps us to stay stronger.
After lunch we have a small nap before starting our Vinh Long Community service project. Every body here do that as it’s hot at noon and a siesta is great to recover after that travel from Hochiminh city.
We head to the school where we run our Vinh Long Community service project by boat. That’s a lovely way of transporting as our boat goes along green canals, passing many other boats, along many houses with local lives along the river bank. We even see things and people in the house along the river as most of houses stay just by the river bank. We have transport to the school among the lush great of Mekong and authentic Vietnamese life exposure.
As arriving the school, we come to meet students, teachers and the principle for the initial introduction. We also meet our master builders and local people who come to help a hand to renovate the school. We quickly start out working with big enthusiasm. First we move sand from outside to the classroom to make the floor higher. It will help much when flood comes. The floor should be higher than the regular flood and high tide. Secondly, the master builders throw tiles from roofs to the ground. The tiles are so old and this is the reason for leaking at raining time. We smash the tiles into small pieces and make them even on the new floor of the classroom. It looks simple job but it needs a lot of energy from us.
After finishing two classrooms, we decide it’s done for the first day. We return home by the same boat along the same routes of canals. However, it’s higher tide than noon time and we need to walk a bit farther than before. This is even greater because we have chance to walk across beautiful tropical fruit gardens of local people.
We are so hungry and after the shower we all head to the tables and sit to wait for the dinner. It’s beautiful food again though we are really not sure what we are eating. What do you think about our first day of Community service project Vinh Long?