Vietnam Volunteer Diary 2017 of Keith Dowell
Please read the diary of our volunteer in Vietnam below and see day to day activity to learn more about our project
A Visit to Vietnam 2017
19/2/17 Sunday Hanoi
Arrival in Hanoi. Greeted with a sign welcoming ‘Mr Keith Dowell’! Excellent accommodation at Hotel 3B as recommended by David.
20/2/17 Monday Hanoi
Tour of Hanoi with David, enjoyable and informative. (However, did not realise how many exhibition places were closed on a Monday).
21/2/17 Tuesday Hanoi / Ban Lac
Local bus caught to Mai Chau with the help of a Volunteer service guide. I enjoyed the journey with so many new sights.
Met Ms Xuan, husband Khao, daughter Tiep, son Le. Given the first of many tasty and ample meals, and a short tour of some of the local footpaths.
22/2/17 Wednesday Ban Lac
Clearing veg beds in the garden. Trenched soil for morning glory plants. Dismantled a framework of bamboo used to support bean plants. Took some interesting bike rides.
Karaoke and dancing in a nearby field (over by 10pm)
23/2/17 Thursday Ban Lac
Hoeing cabbages, harvesting lettuce and kohlrabi.
More exploring. Dancing and bands until 10.40pm.
24/2/17 Friday Ban Lac
The family gathered beetles from trees adjacent to the house.
Cut foliage for the buffalo. Collected snails from the paddies with Le. Dancing and bands to 11pm.
25/2/17 Saturday Ban Lac
Hoeing more veg beds. Planted corn. Probably the most beautiful veg garden I have ever worked in.
After lunch I walked to Mai Chau and stumbled upon the cave of a 1000 steps. Very impressive.
26/2/17 Sunday Ban Lac
Went to the Sunday market with the gardener Phuong.
We bought some morning glory plants for the garden.
I also walked to Ban Van.
27/2/17 Monday Ban Lac
Completed corn planting, weeded cabbage, planted morning glory. Helped a neighbour move some buffalo manure in sacks.
More path exploring.
28/2/17 Tuesday Ban Lac
Worked with a neighbour applying bamboo leaf ash, watering.
Helped another neighbour digging the foundations for a new stick house. Helped move stone for the foundations of a new buffalo shed.
Found a small display of farming and craft equipment at one of the stick houses.
1/3/17 Wednesday Ban Lac
Watering the veg garden. Transplanting bananas.
Shopping in Mai Chau.
2/3/17 Thursday Ban Lac
Watering the veg garden. Clearing a cabbage patch.
3/3/17 Friday Ban Lac
Collected snails from the paddies with Tiep. Helped dig foundations for a stick house.
Afternoon filming and interview with the Volunteer service staff. Filming in the veg garden, collecting buffalo forage, pig feeding, snail hunting.
4/3/17 Saturday Ban Lac
Visited Go Lao waterfalls. Very impressive.
Big evening activity in the karaoke field with 14 bonfires, 6 groups of traditional dancers and lots of music.
5/3/17 Sunday Ban Lac/ Hanoi
Morning in the hills to the northwest. I was invited for tea and rice wine at a small farm.
Farewell to Ms Xuan and family. We exchanged gifts.
Bus back to Hanoi at 16.30.
6/3/17 Monday Hanoi
Morning around the city centre. Taxi to airport at 11.30am.
If you are a past volunteer, please share your volunteer diary and your story with us by send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org .