By Gavin ’18
Today we had a mission: to get to Mai Chau without any casualties! The bus trip was long but after taking a long nap, I awoke to daunting mountains and a miraculous landscape right outside my window. The view was special and I knew that I was not in Kansas anymore. Mountains just up into the sky, and wild cows and chickens roam the fields below. When we finally arrived to Mai Chau, we were greeted by a big, happy family who graciously led us into their home. Their houses on stilts are similar to all the others in the village. Our village is actually next to the town of Mai Chau, and it is called Pom Coong. We sat down to lunch, and I tasted the best chicken ever. Everything on the table was locally grown or raised, and not tainted by chemicals or sweeteners, as common in American food. The village has about 60 houses (constructed from bamboo and stone) and is relatively undeveloped and natural. They make their living by renting rooms for tourists or selling handmade wares. We walked around and many people greeted us with smiles; it felt good to see people happy, living such simple lives out in the country. Pom Coong’s simplicity really puts into perspective the convoluted American society to which I am so familiar. It is peaceful here and that is wonderful. We went to bed at 9:30 p.m. and we begin work tomorrow!