Before starting this adventure we had decided to volunteer in one school to teach English to children. This school is located right in the north of Vietnam in the Hà Giang Province.
We confessed that at first we would refuse, as this town was a little off our Vietnam itinerary, but we decided to give an opportunity.
We arrived at Hà Giang after a long bus ride from Sapa. Bus jumping, braking and many curves! We arrived at 5pm and the teacher who contacted us to volunteer came to pick us up at the bus stop! After she drop off us at the school center where, too, would be our home next month. We met the Vietnamese teachers and the other volunteers. It was group of young people from various countries: France, Russia, Australia, the USA, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Brazil and Norway.
We settled into our room and soon learned the rules of the center and how the classes would be distributed. This would be our first volunteer experience so we were a little nervous.
The kids soon won our hearts for their simplicity, laughter and hugs. Yes, they wouldn’t let us go! They just wanted to be on our laps and play with us. Normal, it’s kids.
We did activities outside the school center. One day the Vietnamese teachers organized a picnic for everyone. It was a day in full. We played with them while we taught them English. There were dances, theaters and games.
In addition to the school center, we also went to an orphanage. The moment we entered the orphanage the kids came running towards us, they wanted a hug. They are very needy kids and so it was hard for us to leave that orphanage. We wanted to be with them more time but unfortunately the time is not for everything. But the little time we had with them made us realize how lucky we are. We have everything and yet we complain.
Everyone should have an experience like this to really appreciate what they have. You don’t have to come to Vietnam for that, just waste a little time and visit an orphanage in your area. Spend time with them, know their stories and share hugs and smiles. For these children that means a lot!
In our free time we would explore the area of Hà Giang. One of the teachers, Thao, was our guide. She showed us amazing places. Villages, viewpoints with incredible sunset views, rivers where we have often barbecued and that just needed a lighter, knife and food to prepare a delicious meal.
However, what we most enjoyed visiting was waterfalls! The Hà Giang region has several waterfalls, small, large, some known, some not.
Because it was so hot, most of our days were spent inside a waterfall.
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Beyond its waterfalls, Hà Giang is surrounded by rice fields! Green everywhere! If you want to get out of the chaotic city center, we recommend you drive to the rice fields or a nearby village and enjoy its tranquility and unique beauty!
It was a month full of fond memories, which we will save for life. This volunteering has made us grow and open our eyes to the many realities that exist in this world. Without a doubt we would repeat it again.
We want to thank all the fantastic people we met who were part of this experience. They will be friends for life and we will surely see each other again!