Friday, 2 June 2017

Vietnam GCP 2017 Updates

XIN CHAO from Vietnam!  

Our SST students have been hard at work over the past week, and have accomplished much.

Here is an update of some of the things that the team have done over the past week:

Day 1 - Monday (29th May)

Landed in Vietnam safely
Onward to our service project venue at the Phong Thanh commune.

Who knew that the first challenge of our trip would be the bus journey?  All 5 hours of it to be precise.  

Thankfully, we made it safely to the commune and settled in swiftly.

Our next challenge would be to set up our living quarters for the trip.  Mosquito nets and foam tile mattresses anyone?

Day 2 to 4 - Tuesday to Thursday (30th - 1st June)

The next stage of our service journey begins here.  Our brave students divided up their time among the following programmes:

  1. Housework

A wise man once said that cleanliness is next to godliness.  The team is certainly taking this to heart, as the team members take turns cleaning the toilets, doing the dishes and maintaining the living quarters.  Parents, next time you know who to ask when the house needs cleaning!

  1. Teaching

Math and Science is fun!  Team members painstakingly took the time to design and implement lessons for the local primary school.  Who knew that teaching could be this difficult right?  Our team had to grapple with the language barrier and an enthusiastic audience.

Hopefully this makes them more appreciative toward their Teachers....

  1. STEM corner and ECO garden

Einstein once encouraged us to "look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better".

With that in mind, the team began working on the eco-garden.  Our tasks included weeding, seed planting and setting up structures to support the growth of weak-stem plants.  Gardening is indeed a therapeutic activity.

In addition, the students set out to refurbish the local Phong Thanh Community library, helping to add more shelving units and spicing up the area with carefully curated hands-on experiments.  What better way to spread SST's belief in applied learning?

Day 4 to 5 (1st to 2nd June)

Once our hard work was completed, what better way to unwind than to:

  1. House visiting

What better way to find out more about the community than to visit people in their homes in order to better understand how their lives are like.

  1. Go mud fishing

This is what it means to literally get our hands dirty.  After overcoming our psychological barriers, we dived into knee deep muddy waters to catch fish.  With our bare hands.  

One student even managed to catch 5 fish all on his own!  Bear Grylles has got nothing on this guy.

  1. Have a BBQ

From the pond to the grill.  It doesn't get any fresher than that.  We also were happy to share our joy with the local community.

  1. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels

Beefing up our knowledge about the Vietnam war has never been this visceral.  Our brave 'troopers' crawled through dark tunnels and experienced a slice of what life as a Vietnam-Cong was like.

  1. Night Market visit

It's time to release the inner Singaporean auntie in all of us.  The sights and sounds of the night market were a feast for the senses. Some loot that the team scored included old coins, t-shirts and local coffee.

We have so much more to share with you, and we look forward to sharing our memories with you once we are back in Singapore.

Be on the lookout for pictures very soon!

The Vietnam 2017 GCP team

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