Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 7 Quang Tri - Service Project

Each day seems to top the day before. Today was no different. We headed out to Quang Tri for a tour of the DMZ and our Community Service Project. It was a short two hour trip from the hotel. We traveled through the mountainous region viewing mountains named “the rockpile” and “the razorback” which were important points in the war between North Viet Nam and South Viet Name and the USA. The affects of agent orange could be seen in the lack of vegetation. It still causes defects in people three generations after it’s use. We arrived to our service project, a house sponsored by our donations being built for a woman who suffered a land mine injury two years ago. It continues to be a great problem here. Some shoveled dirt, sand, and stone mixture for the floor of this one room structure. Others tamped the mixture to form a compact floor. Still others mixed sand and cement to make stucco which was applied by others to the brick walls. They only allowed us to work a couple of hours before taking the work back from us. Presentations of gifts and gratitude were exchanged. Then we took a trip up the road to the 17th parallel where the country was divided until the end of the war. We were then off to a center for blind and disabled people where they are taught a trade to provide skills, income, and sense of pride. There we presented them with a television and radio. After which we were invited to the local high school to interact with the 11 grade English class. Gifts, speeches, songs, and games were shared by all. Then we broke into small groups to share cultural understanding by use of the English language. Each of us was given gifts of friendship and many emails were shared. Howard attempted to recruit new students for St. Andrews. It was a long but blissful ride to the hotel sharing all our stories together. When we didn’t think it could be topped, we gathered for dinner at a local restaurant which dressed as in traditional royal party clothing and entertained us with original Vietnamese Music and Food. The artistry of sound and taste was fabulous! Tomorrow we will tour Hue and then travel to Hoi An. Catherine

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Thank you Catherine and all the gang there! You don't know me, but I'm the Registrar at SAPC and I LOVE reading about my friends and what they are doing in Viet Nam.
Hello everybody!