Today is our last day in HCM! I already miss our Vietnamese buddies 😦
Chi and Son accompanied us to the airport. CET rented a tour bus to drive us to the airport. We saw quite a few HCM statues and red communist flags on the way. I kind of wish we bused all the way to Quang Tri so that we would have the opportunity to see more of Vietnam’s natural scenery—well, at least I did until I found out that it would take a whole day or two to drive there.
The fries at the HCM airport’s Popeyes are pretty good.
The moment I stepped out of the plane at Hue airport, I was surrounded by a blanket of heat and humidity. We were bused from the airplane to a very small baggage claim area. On the other side of the doors, we saw our roommates waiting for us. They’re so cute!
Vu introduced us to our roommates in the arrivals lobby. My roommate’s name is Anh—everyone says we look alike O.O
The weather in Quang Tri is overwhelmingly hot, but the view at our guest house is beautiful.
Ahhhh I love my Anh ❤ We get along so well. She is very kind. Actually, I am pretty surprised by how considerate the Vietnamese roommates are. They take very good care of us.
Anh knows more American music than I do O.O
Starting the first week of construction and classes! Off to the 25 minute one-way bike ride to the worksite.
Our job at the worksite consists of essentially one task: mixing concrete. 1 part sand (~5 full wheelbarrows) + 1 part rock (~7 two-thirds full wheelbarrows) + 2 bags of cement. The first two days progressed pretty slowly due to an insufficient amount of tools. By day 3, we received more shovels and began to work pretty efficiently. We average about seven batches of concrete a day. I think we’ll be done a bit earlier than planned on the road!
Connecting with students who speak a foreign language is more challenging than expected. I was a bit sad on the first day of classes that I couldn’t communicate very well with them, but the second day was much better! Rather than having quiet students, my class is very chatty and obsessed with soccer, League of Legends, and American/Korean music. My adorable brats.
Super sore today.
Upon returning to the worksite on Tuesday, we saw that the path that we had worked so hard to level the day before had been ruined by the rain. Tires from vehicles that passed through the area had left deep marks in the wet dirt and even more debris had been blown onto the path. Although I was frustrated at the wreckage, the scene allowed me to realize how beneficial of an impact a paved path would have on the community. Every morning, I see the locals work tirelessly to make a living. I can imagine the challenges that they would experience while riding their bikes or walking through the muddy path to transport their produce, especially considering how a large portion of the community appears to be composed of elderly folk. The stability and safety that a concrete road would provide for the locals is definitely a cause worth contributing to.
Vu brought home a bird and named him Andy (after his CET roommate). Later in the evening, Vu brought Andy another buddy (an unnamed male). Perhaps Vu will become a bird man.