Today we, Tommy and I, started our day with our host brother, Bruce, coming into our room to wake us up for breakfast. After breakfast, we went to meet up with the rest of the group. Four Vietnamese high school students had joined us to help with our service at the Friendship Village, a community where Vietnam veterans and kids affected by agent orange go to heal. When we got there, we stared our service by sprucing up their multiple gardens. Some of us collected trash while others cut hedges, raked leaves, and weeded. While working, a camera crew did a report on our service. At first, I was excited about the idea of being on TV, but after about an hour of work and individual interviews they began to bring us through the classrooms to get shots of us playing with the children of the Friendship Village. While I did enjoy playing with the kids, the crew would keep pushing us from room to room before we could really get to know the kids. We were also able to speak with the veterans, all who suffered varying degrees of the effects of the war. Most of them were still dealing with different effects of exposure to dioxin. They expressed their gratitude for our modest efforts to serve today; they showed their hope that the future generation would work hand in hand for the betterment of the world. There seemed to be no resentment towards Americans as individuals.
After lunch, we were able to really get more work done. Even though I spent about an hour scraping mud off the roads of the Village, I found the work to be very satisfying because, after all, we all contributed to make the environment better for these kids and veterans who like to spend time sitting and playing outside on a daily basis.