Last night, dinner was followed by a swim in the hotel pool and some time to relax as we all got to our rooms early and prepared for our lights out when curfew at 10:00PM. Mr. Quang and I patrolled the halls and made sure students were safe and comfortable, which we were meant to be. It was a long, exciting day so it was nice to get some needed rest.
We had a nice sleep in very comfy beds and awoke at 6:00AM by wake-up calls. By 6:30 we were all in the dining room and had a great breakfast with fresh fruits, made-to-order omelettes, and soup in addition to the usual buffet selections. At 7:30AM – it was time to depart, one bus went to the Bamboo Village while the other went to the Stork Sanctuary for the morning.
At the Bamboo Village we had a short walk along the canals through bamboo plantations. We also joined local villagers at one of the family's houses where elders taught us the meticulous and skilled task of weaving bamboo. One of the elders even showed us how to turn our work into a basket and finished them off skillfully. Many of us bought small baskets to give our friends as gifts when we return to HCMC and to thank the locals for welcoming us into their homes and showing us local customs.
The Stork Sanctuary was very cool to see. We boarded three long-tail boats and steamed along the canals to the sanctuary up river. Once there, we climbed up to an observation post about 4m high and looked across the canal where thousands of birds perching on the top of the trees, sunning themselves and tending to their families. The sanctuary was important in Vietnam as these birds were close to being endangered and needed protection. A lot of their natural habitats have been developed by man and were no longer safe for the birds to live. This sanctuary gave them a safe haven from interference in their natural lives.
Following the Bamboo Village and Stork Sanctuary, the two busses met for a picnic lunch at a rest stop where we got to catch up with our friends. After that we drove back to the hotel where we spent time filling in our journals for the past two days. Afterwards, the students had a choice of spending free time in their rooms or going with several teachers to the pool for a refreshing swim.
At 4:00PM Ms. Donna led a group over to the Khomer Pagoda to take photos and sought inspiration for the art murals that would be designed and painted by the students when we return to school. She has been taking photos all week and would have so many to show us once we return.
We are all looking forward to a five-course Vietnamese feast tonight at a restaurant just on the shores of the Mekong.
Mr. Jeff Bonazzo
|< Prev||Next >|