Written by Kyle ’17, our group’s “foodie”
We got up this morning for day 2 of service in Mai Chau. We had bananas and fritters for breakfast, along with honey and sugar to put on top. After breakfast, we went over to the community center to continue leveling mounds of dirt from yesterday. We did that from 8-11:30 while some of the people in our group used wheel barrels to carry cement to fill holes. They also took cement and dumped it under the center to finish the patio. While we were working, the TV crew arrived (did we mention that since our first day, Vietnamese TV has been filming and interviewing us for a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the normalization of Vietnamese and American relations?!) and interviewed a few students and Cheri about the work we were doing. Then, a few students had to go shower and change so that the crew could film them doing various things (like walking through the street) aside from working.
Lunch was minted cucumbers, pork spinach rolls, ramen noodles, chicken and onion kabob, and fresh pineapple for dessert. All of the lunch food was excellent, and many students decided to play cards, shop or sleep, or even throw water at each other. We all gathered to figure out which song we were going to sing tonight at the community party. We struggled to make a decision that everyone agreed with, but we decided on “Home.” Around 3:00, we went back to work at the community center, continuing to level the dirt piles. We also dug out a long rectangle area for a garden. At 5:30, it started to storm, so we returned to our house on stilts. It was cool watching the lightening strikes on the neighboring mountain tops. We ate dinner with rain and thunder in the background. We ate amazing (wow, really amazing!) orange squash, carrots and beef, stuffed coconut chicken, green vegetables, and soup. After dinner, we relaxed until 8:00 when we headed down to the community center where there were a million children and their mothers and grandmothers waiting to see us and perform for us. Some children danced with pompoms in an almost perfectly synchronized performance. Although there was no way that we could top their performance, we still went up to the stage to perform—we sang “Home” and then Adrianna sang her great solo (“Good-bye My Almost Lover”). After a few more amazing kids’ performances, we took a huge group picture and handed out a bunch of candy to the crowds of eager kids. We went to bed shortly after the show. Everyone was exhausted and went to sleep. (Cheri’s note: No one ever whines about the 10:00 lights out rule here!!)