Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Fun Facts:
The popular durian fruit smells like garbage... legit
the currency is called Dong (pronounced dom)
The locals still call Ho Chi Minh City "Saigon"

day one i did a city orientation... honestly i wish i could find my pictures from that day because i am having trouble remembering what i saw.

my second day in vietnam i did service trips. our first stop, Hy Vong 8 school for the deaf. it is a school for elementary aged children who are deaf or hard of hearing. our job was just to interact and have fun with them. a few of us even tried to find similarities in american sign language and vietnamese. it was fairly close. we built toy plans, read books to them, and blew bubbles. but what they loved the most was having their pictures taken!

We then visited Thi NGHE orphanage. to me, this spot was a lot to handle. all of the children there were victims of Agent Orange and had cerebral palsy. Most were unable to walk, talk and some were even blind. it was heart wrenching. we were told just to try to make a connection with them, wither by holding their hands, talking or singing to them.

ONLY WATCH THIS LINKED VIDEO IF YOU THINK YOU CAN EMOTIONALLY HANDLE IT. it is a video of two employees walking around the facility introducing and interacting with the victims. it is a very real representation of what i experienced.

I spent this day exploring the city and shopping at the ben than market. The market was a large very crowded shopping center. it was one level crammed with everything you could imagine to purchase. and the best part about it was it was really super cheap. i bought a ton of souvenirs, a north face backpack and delicious food!

Day4- Mekong Delta
my day started with a bus ride to a boat. once on the river boat we set off on the Mekong Delta towards land. it was clear to see that the river was an important resource for fish, sand and transportation.

When we got to the island we were treated to delicious coconut candy and shown how it was made! i bought a bunch of it and brought it home to share with friends and family. Next, i was convinced to drink snake wine. basically snake wine is rice wine fermented with snakes and scorpions in it and it is very strong. i tried one shot of it and wanted to gag. i did not like it, you could actually taste the snake in it (blehhh) but I'm glad i tried it for the experience!

We were then treated to fresh fruit and a performance form the locals.

After the performance we all got in horse drawn carts and went to a"resort" for dinner. we were served fish, rice, and vegetables to wrap in rice paper. i was hesitant of the fish at first but it was delicious.

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