Akiko Motoki – From Japan


taking a rest

From the end of October to the beginning of November, I joined a volunteer program “Preserve natural Resources and help communities in Sapa” organized by Vina Volunteer Service for 7 days.

The reason why I decided to join the program was that I was interested in a volunteer work in overseas as well as I wanted to visit Sapa after I saw a beautiful picture of Sapa on the Internet.

In Sapa, I stayed with a local family in Tavan Village. The family welcomed me warmly. They served three meals of local food for me which were so delicious. Sometimes I helped them prepare the meals, which was a good experience for me.

From Hanoi to Sapa, and during my stay in Sapa, a supporter from VVS helped me all the way (interpreting, planning a daily schedule ete.) It was very helpful for me as I can’t speak Vietnamese and I wasn’t familiar with the area.

My typical daily life was that trekking in the morning (in and around the village), and volunteer work in the afternoon.

As for the trekking, one of the family members guided for us. During trekking, I met local people from several ethnic groups, and saw local houses, many kinds of flowers, trees, animals and so on. Thanks to the family member and the supporter, I was able to see the inside of several houses and to know their life closely.

And importantly, I enjoyed Sapa’s very beautiful scenery. The area is surrounded by mountains and many terraced fields pictures I had seen. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.

As for the volunteer work, I planted trees and vegetables, and watered them. Also, I picked fruits and vegetables.

During the stay, I realized the local’s life is very simple. They build their house by themselves, grow vegetables, fruits and rice, feed animals, and catch fish for their meal. I thought they are very good at taking dvantage of natural resources and I respect it. Although quite a few families seemed poor, their house are small and unclean, some of them have no electricity or water in the house; they still have nice smiles and warm hearts, which are missing in people living in big cities.

I hope more volunteers join this program to help these people live better life.

Lastly, I was satisfied with this volunteer program and I’d like to join again whenever I can take a vacation. I think this program helps the communities as well as gives volunteers a very valuable experience.

From 28 October to 3 November 2012

For viewing paper feedback please click here.