Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
After the morning ceremony, we visited Vinh Trang pagoda and met the children at the pre-school for under-privileged. Joelle had packed a large bag of hand knit teddy bears which were enthusiastically received by the Master and by the students.
Thank-you to all who followed our blog. The comments were meaningful and entertaining and very much welcome reading around the breakfast table. There are numerous photos now on the DSBN Technology and Experiential Learning facebook page.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Today is the day. We have said goodbye to our family and all the local community people. We have grown to have a strong bond and the goodbyes were tear filled and heart warming. Maybe one day our distant paths may cross and we will meet again. We have met such kind and caring people. The locals fed us every day, they gave us knowledge and wisdom. I will forever be grateful because these people have changed my life. I love all of them. Wish we could stay longer and finish the home. One day I hope to come back to Vietnam. It has definitely been the most rewarding and amazing trip of my life. I will never ever forget it!
Thank you to the DSBNi leaders for choosing me for this adventure of a lifetime. I can't thank you enough. Thank you also to all the friends and family who have supported me through this whole journey. If it wasn't for you, none of this would be possible. I am FOREVER grateful! You have all helped shape my life.
Love you all so much and miss you! And remember, everything is in God's hands.
Love Anysa xo
Sir Winston Churchill
The goodbye ceremonies have been our hardest challenge yet. Trying to say goodbye to this family brought on waterfalls of tears. The never-ending care and laughter from the Vietnamese people was shown to me throughout the week and has made a lasting impression. The family showed us enormous gratitude, but I feel like they have given me more in return. This trip changed me from the inside out and even though this will be the hardest goodbye, I know that we will always be in each others' thoughts. If I am given another opportunity, I will be back in Vietnam in a heartbeat. Grateful for the love they have shown me, I thank Vietnam for every moment.
Be back soon, Sim.
Linh Chi chua ve nha, ma da bat dau thay nho Viet Nam rat nhieu.
Khi Linh Chi ve Viet Nam, Linh Chi se den tham My Tho lan nua.
Linh Chi chuc cac ban duoc nhieu suc khoe.
Cam on da cham soc cho Linh Chi nhieu lam.
Gap lai som!
Thuong nhieu lam,
Nam Linh Chi
These ten days are all filled with happy memories. My picture of Vietnam has changed and I have changed. These ten days, I learned a lot about life - - how to go about solving my problems and to appreciate what I have. These ten days, I have grown to love and have another Vietnamese family. These ten days will last me a lifetime. My heart lies in Vietnam. I will be back home soon. Through our trip I discovered the meaning of "Hanh Phuc" and will share it with everyone. I wish everyone will experience the same sense of happiness.Thank you for all the support and the opportunity. Thank you for the generosity and love. Cam on!
Ngo Thi Linh Chi
"The first thing in all progress is to leave something behind." -George MacDonald
Went to the airport. Flew to Hong Kong. Ate an asian pear. Flew to Vietnam. Saw a lot of mopeds. Ate pho. Took a photo. Swam on the roof of our hotel. Slept. Learned to cook like the Vietnamese. Took more photos. Took a bus to My Tho. Wrote a story for Evan with Liz. Ate spring rolls. Slept some more. Went to Unicorn Island. Ate a coconut. Ate more at dinner. Went to the build site. Met the family. Asked Karen how to say something in Vietnamese. Shoveled. Drank water. Shoveled some more. Got stared at for shoveling. Ate too much at dinner. Laughed at Lauren. Bricklayed. Got laughed at by local workers bricklaying. Took another photo. Went to a vegetarian restaurant. Wished we didn't go to a vegetarian restaurant. Finished our build site. Said good bye. Cried. Saw someone's life changed. Realized my life was changed too.
It's impossible to put what we've all experienced in the past ten days into words. Our time here has meant so much to so many people. It's true, we weren't just building a house; we built so much more. You can make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give. That is something that we all learned first hand here in Vietnam. For me this trip has shown me what a passion I have for helping people a world away and it's something I'll definitely be bringing home with me. I'm so grateful for this experience and would not have changed a thing (except maybe going to the vegetarian restaurant).
See you all back in Canada!
This is it. Our final day in Vietnam. It went by way too quickly, I wish I could stay here a little bit longer! It's crazy to think that what I've been preparing for, and waiting for since December is almost over. 8 months ago, our team first got together, we were strangers, but now we are a family. This team is amazing. We have experienced so much together and worked as one to get things done. I couldn't imagine being on this trip with anyone else! Today was our final goodbye to the family and local workers, and I wish it wasn't. That was the last time I would ever see them and I'm truly going to miss each and everyone of them. They have been wonderful to us this entire trip. We have shared some laughter, and some tears and some delicious Vietnamese food! These are the kind of people you never forget.
When we leave tomorrow, it's going to hard to say goodbye to this wonderful country. During my time here, I have learned so much and seen so many new things. This trip has changed my life and changed my perspective on things. I hope to do something like this again! I love and miss you all, see you Saturday! :)
I can't believe the end of our trip is coming so soon. I feel like we just finished unpacking, and here we are tonight having to pack everything back up. "Time sure flys when your having fun!" This whole trip was an experience of a life time, not only has it benefitted me, but this lovely family and their community. This trip opened my eyes to a whole new light. "Not everyone has a picture perfect life!" It's taught me that in hard times the best thing to do is stay positive and help in the best way you can! Thoughout this trip I have seen this occur many times in many different ways. Something that happened recently was when the neighbour to the family we are building for house burnt down, so the a bunch of neighbours came to help them build a new home from what they already had. I'm gonna miss the love shared throughout this culture once I get home. . . lots
It's so hard to say goodbye to this country, culture, and everyone in it. I will have to come back for sure, one day! We haven't even left yet and I'm already ready to come back!
I'm not ready for tomorrow to come, especially the 36 hour day travelling Saturday.
With lots of love,
hugs, and kisses,
With the trip finally coming to a close, the one question that brings my thoughts, experiences and feelings all together is this: What will I bring home with me in my mind? All of these experiences can turn into memories, yet it takes moments in life to truly change. You can build a house for someone from ground up, but only when the homeowner smiles does it become a moment in life. A smile or thank you can be so little, yet mean so much to another. With a sign of hope and a life for the better, an adrenaline shot of happiness runs through the body. Now you may ask how will I possibly take this experience home with me? Helping someone else, showing initiative, being caring, and having empathy towards a person will always be a positive. You can make their day with such a simple act, and they will make yours, with just a smile or a thank you. That is it from DSBNi Vietnam 2011,
I can't believe that this is our last blog. I've had such an amazing time here in Vietnam! Today we had our closing ceremonies at the build site and the family was so happy with all of the work that we have done. Everyone was very emotional that our adventure has come to an end here in Vietnam, but I think that we're all excited to take what we have learned here back to Canada. For me, I want to take back what I have learned from the family and community. I've been able to watch and interact with the people here and they have shown me so much. They're always friendly and joking around. Before I came here, I thought that they wouldn't be as happy because they have so little. Now I know that it is not their possesions that bring them happiness, but it is each other. Their sense of family has shown me that it is not your house that makes a home, but it is the people you care about.
As the rain comes down, Vietnam seems angry at us for leaving. Today was our final day with the family and community around the build site. There were many tears, and even more smiles as everyone said goodbye and had hugs for each other. Some more emotional than others, but each person in their own way seemed to feel sad, but also overjoyed to see the smiles on the families face as they said "Cam On" or "thank you" to us. Today was the day where we really felt the gratitude that everyone had for what we have done, which was incredibly heartwarming. I am torn right now, because I really want to stay here as long as I can, but I also cannot wait to share my experiences with everyone at home. I have almost filled my camera up with pictures and video, and it seems I have to charge it every night because its always in use. All that is left for us in Vietnam to do is visit the Kindergarten school which I'm sure everyone is excited for, and then a wild sendoff night of karaoke after dinner. To everyone at home, I miss you, and I will be home tomorrow night!
"Chao" from Vietnam,
Thursday, July 28, 2011
They've changed my life more than I could ever change theirs'. I am going to miss this!
Wishing there were more days to build. I feel like I need to be even more sore.
Through our aches and pains, we've changed the lives of a family, through their love and laughter. They've changed mine more than I have ever managed. This will always be a cherished memory in my heart.
Grimsby Secondary School
Today was our last build day and it was wonderful! We got A LOT done and also got to learn and experience a little more about the Vietnamese culture. I loved it !
Started the day sitting on a table making springrolls with Vietnamese ladies and ended it with mixing concrete. I am so glad this is how I spent my summer.
Hard work pays off!! Here love is always in the air and it feels like you are part of the family with everyone you meet.
I had an amazing time cooking and playing cards with the team and local people.
Sir Winston Churchill
Only in Vietnam are aches and pains so rewarding.
Even though the days are numbered,
And we as a team have become one,
What an experience it has been,
Yet the work will never be done.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I think that the whole team is ready to drop into a deep sleep by this point. These past two days have probably been the most productive yet. The weather seems to be getting hotter as the days go by, although it may just be our fatigue. I'm really starting to enjoy the food here, despite the fact that I've eaten a month's worth of rice to this point. I think that I'm gaining a much needed few pounds to put on my frame. I think that the team has gained a lot of chemistry together as well as having our own social circles including the leaders. We are all good friends no matter our age, or rank of superiority, like Johanna, my Principal. We're in this learning process together and it's one for the memory books.
As time passes by and the days become hours, I've finally come to realize that although such a short period of time, much can be accomplished. The workers on the build site are very appreciative of our help, even if it is professional not level. If I owned a house, I would have to get a second mortgage because the amount of money I "owe" to Mr. Chanh for damaged bricks. I am obviously bad at breaking bricks in half, yet really good at breaking shovels into two pieces. I have been designated to floor supervisor and head of cement finishing. It's a position where I'm less likely to make mistakes. At least Evan and I didn't injure ourselves while looking like Spartans during our running of the sand. With the whole trip and build coming to a close, and Evan and I starved of Canadian/Western food, it's been an amazing ride. Love you Mom, Dad, Mary B and I guess Kelsey as well.
As our time on the build site comes to an end, I'm seeing more and more of the gratefulness that the family and community have. It's amazing how the smallest things that we might overlook have so much meaning to them. Today was our last full day as tomorrow we're only working in the afternoon with a cultural activity planned in the community in the morning. It's very cool to see the house beginning to take shape and how this is impacting the family. The friendliness of the people here is also amazing. For the past three days, during the building, a family up the road has fed us an outstanding lunch, and tomorrow the community will be showing us how they prepare their meals during the exchange. It's sad to say that tomorrow is our last work day, but knowing that we have made a substantial difference in the lives of people here brings a smile to everyone.
To think that this journey is almost over is upsetting, but that also means that the family we are doing this for is that much closer to living a proper life. This past week has been a life changing experience, and I am positive that I will come home a changed person. With just one day left on the for construction, we know that tomorrow is very important to get as much done as possible to help the family get into their new house even quicker. The general appreciation of the local people around us is overwhelming in a way, but is very heart warming. Today I feel was our most productive day of all, as the house is actually taking shape. Whether it's Kevin and I powering down the trail with the giant wheelbarrow filled to the top with sand, or others pounding the dirt down, laying the bricks or painting the roof pieces, everyone is ecstatic to contribute. There is that looming sense of missing home, but personally I can't wait to take another trip like this as soon as possible. The language barrier is proving to be a source of entertainment for everyone, rather than an issue. The local masons and habitat workers are having quite a time learning english, as well as teaching us vietnamese. To everyone at home, again I miss you all. Mom, I know you'll be reading this within 5 minutes of me posting this, because I know how much you enjoy it. I'll be home soon enough, love you all!
Sir Winston Churchill
Days go by fast when you're working hard. In three days we went from a single brick line to door frames, to walls taller than me. I switched it up from wheelbarrowing and painting to bricklaying. It was a rough start but now I'm getting big thumbs up from the workers.
As for the team, we've seriously grown into one big family. There's nowhere else where it'd be this hot and we'd still be cracking jokes. Vietnamese, or not, we all have sore sides from laughing. It's hard to believe we only have a few days left; my heart sinks thinking I'll have to leave this behind. Thank you for your support and love you all!
Once again, hope all is well on the other side of the world!
Today was great day as per usual! It was a very hot day, and we all worked so hard! There is not a muscle in my body that doesn't ache, but the satisfaction of what we are doing is more than worth every ache and pain! This afternoon, an older Vietnamese lady who had come to see the house grabbed my arm and squeezed it. With a huge smile from ear to ear, she spoke some English and said "Thank you! Thank you so much!" She made my day and really showed me how to be so grateful for everything I have. I am so sad to know the build is almost over. The last day is going to be an emotional day!
Love and miss you all!
Love, Anysa xoxo
Today was another interesting and busy day. A lot of sand was sifted, the floor is on the way and bricklaying continues. We rotated our jobs today to have different experiences. Whether we knew how to do our jobs or not, we all worked hard at them together. As we ache after a hard day's work, I feel sad to think we will only ache for 2 more days. Soon the family will be living in a house that they probably never imagined possible and I'm grateful and overjoyed to be part of this project.
I talked to Chu Lam, Chu Dung, Chu Chanh and Anh Cuong much more today and played a Vietnamese card game. Playing with the other DSBNi team members, I thought I had some strategy and skill, but when playing with the Vietnamese, it was an enjoyable loss each time. We all laugh as each person attempts to speak and understand another language. Despite the language barrier, we all embraced the challenge with smiles and open minds. The laughs and friendly calls from the workers throughout the site -- "Chi-oi~!" -- and the concerned looks on their faces when I carried something half my size, makes them feel like family. I will definitely miss the Vietnamese way of living; the love. Good night/morning!
Grimsby Secondary School
Hey everyone 1! Today was our third build day and it was the hardest so far. The main job I did today was shovel sand and mix mortar. We got a lot done and it's so satisfying! Tomorrow is our last build day, which kind of upset me because this amazing trip is almost over. But it is also makes me happy because this family will soon have a wonderful home to live in. I'm excited to see the final results of this house. I know its going to be great. Our blood, sweat and tears will have payed off! But now I'm exhausted and I NEED sleep.
I love and miss everyone back home. Just 3 more days till I see you!
Having us all reflect on our day it's amazing to hear, and see all the impacts being made. It's shown me just how important what we're doing is. Sure we could have sent the money to build a home from Canada, but it wouldn't mean anything close to what we've all experienced here.
Working alongside locals and the families; seeing what they have to teach us is what really matters. We've had a lot of fun, worked hard and got to see first hand what we are doing for our family. We are all excited to finish our build but cannot believe it's ending so quickly.See you all soon!
Mot, hai, ba ! Lets began :) Today was a great day, its been the hardest day so far! We accomplished so much. We worked our sweaty butts off, haha. But we almost got the whole cement floor done. Tomorrow we should have that finished which is an amazing feeling because the families never had a floor before, and well back home we take everything for granted. Here they take such good care of everything so they can reuse things, rather then throw it away,as we all do back home. I know when I get home I will be a changed lady :) I will not only take better care of things I own now, but for new things in the future. I also would love to do something else just like this again. I'm having a blast that's for sure :)
Not only do we have tons of fun on the build site, but we play and joke around with each other on lunch breaks and here at the hotel. Like our battle with the elevator, that's been going on for a couple days now. For instance, today I ran up the stairs, pushed the button on each floor to make sure that Tyler stopped on every floor on his way to his room. Tonight, we ate toficken at a vegetarian restaurant for dinner and everything looked like meat, but we all knew nothing really was. We ate it anyways!
Lots more stories to come when I get home!
Love you all so much. xox
Miss you babe