Unfortunately Saturday is a school day here in Vietnam which meant we were at the school teaching… but we did get Sunday off as our weekend. After looking up some things to do around Ho Chi Minh city, I decided to head to the Mekong Delta and visit the floating markets. Despite the delta being only about 110 km (~68 miles) from the city, the drive takes about three hours due to the bad road conditions and lots of traffic. It was great getting to see a bit more of Vietnam along the way as well–everything is so green, lush, and beautiful! We saw lots of rice fields and farming along the way. The Mekong Delta encompasses 15,000 sqaure miles and is home to approximately 22 million people or about the population of Australia. In a sense, the Mekong Delta was similar to Venice with lots of canals, waterways, and bridges. We arrived at Cai Be and boarded a motorized boat then headed towards the floating market, the second largest in the delta. The floating market had numerous boats selling grains, vegetables, and fruits. Each boat displayed their product on a bamboo stick but once all of the product is sold, they remove the bamboo stick. Shacks (on stilts) lined the river and most were in very poor condition. We visited a factory where we saw how rice paper, coconut candies, wine, a noodle-dessert, and puffed rice was made… inclusive of samples of each. Then we headed over to a nearby hut where we got to try honey tea made from bees onsite. Further, they had snake wine… literally snakes in the wine… definitely not for me!! Afterwards, we were back on the boat and headed to a more desolate part of the delta with lots of greenery. The ride was very enjoyable and the breeze made the heat bareable… definitely a plus as we were outside for a lot of the day! We stopped for a local Vietnamese lunch then boarded rowboats with Vietnamese ladies who rowed us down the waterways… we even got a traditional hat to wear! It was absolutely lovely and the scenery was beautiful. We boarded our motor boat once again then headed back to the village area to head back to Ho Chi Minh city. The day was absolutely wonderful and great escape from the city with some beautiful landscape!
Yesterday and today, we were back at the school teaching the kiddos! They’re adorable but I don’t know how they all have so much energy! We taught a few lessons on healthy living which included topics of preventing the spread of disease, the importance of washing your hands (with hand washing practice for all), the importance of brushing teeth, traffic safety (as there are more than 2 million motor bikes here in Ho Chi Minh city alone!), along with some other topics. Today we changed gears and talked about our new subject, basic anatomy. The children really seemed to enjoy learning all of the basics about the human body. We showed them photos of real organs and explained the functions of each. At the end of each lesson, the children got to use our stethoscopes to listen to their own hearts–they loved it!! We teach three more lessons on basic anatomy tomorrow and then we say goodbye to both Maison Chance and Ho Chi Minh city. We have a few days as a break in Phu Quoc, a tropical island here in Vietnam, before crossing the border into Cambodia.
Stay tuned for more adventures to come!
P.S. You’re getting a lot of pictures today 🙂