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by Julian

Today is our last day in Hanoi. We began with a visit to an orphanage in Bac Ninh, right outside Hanoi. Due to scheduling conflicts, we were not able to do as much service as we wanted to, but we still swept their courtyard clean and left a positive impact on the children there. The orphanage is currently taking care of 22 babies and a number of students who happen to be deaf.

Children of all ages with different abilities greeted us and watched us as we worked. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the babies there and I really admired the women who cared for them. Some of the babies had severe disabilities. Later in the afternoon, after a strange lunch with an overambitious host, we visited a highly prestigious high school in Ban Ninh. Their auditorium reminded me of George School’s, but it was decorated in red and had some busts of Ho Chi Minh and a few communist slogans. The school’s presentation of the opportunities they offer impressed me due to its location in a poor area of the city. I was overjoyed to interact with kids my age who were just as educationally apt as we were. We played games with the students and learned a lot about their everyday life at the school. Some of us exchanged social media info and they waved us good-bye with enthusiastic, kind gestures.

Later in the evening, we met up with Alex, my prefect this past year, who lives in Hanoi. His parents invited us all out to a very nice restaurant buffet/barbecue not far from our hotel. It was amazing to see my Vietnamese friends there (a few others from Hanoi/GS showed up) after two weeks of wanting to see them. We sang the George School hymn to Alex in honor of his graduation! I am excited to go back home, but I know I will miss moments like this one due to the quality of Vietnamese hospitality that we found in Hanoi and in every place we went.

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by | June 27, 2017 · 7:56 am

Vietnam Day 2

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by Cheri

We started out our day with a super breakfast (pho, made-to-order eggs, fruits, homemade yogurt, and other hot items) and got ourselves geared up for our four meetings (!).

The first was with VAVA (Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange) where we learned all about the efforts of this organization in regards to not only the people affected by dioxin, but also in regards to plans for continued cleanup, education about afflictions, how dioxin contaminated land and water, and much more. The talk was fascinating and the students asked insightful questions!

Next we drove to the Friendship Village, a place where Vietnam vets go for one month at a time to receive services aligned with their suffering from the Vietnam War (called by the Vietnamese the “American War”). The vets share the space with children affected by Agent Orange who also receive services on site. We got an introduction to this place where we would be working for two days.

After lunch, we met Chuck Searcy, a Vietnam vet who has spent much of his adult life in Vietnam trying to make it safer for civilians. He is head of Project RENEW (Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War), which finds and disarms land mines in Vietnam. His life story was captivating, as he told us about how he was drafted and how his perspective on the war changed as he served in 1966-68, how it affected his life and how he returned to Vietnam to give back to the place where he had had a part in a terrible mistake. Again, the students asked pointed, thoughtful questions and we were very proud of them!

Meeting #4 was an introduction to the VUSA (Vietnam-USA Society), the group which brought us here. They are the major force behind all cultural exchanges which take place in Vietnam or in other countries with Vietnamese nationals.

It was actually tiring for us to sit in four meetings in a row, although these meetings were really informative. After dinner in a Korean Barbecue restaurant where the students ate a record-winning amount of meat…., we went back to our hotel. Students packed their bags for tomorrow when they would meet their host families in the afternoon. Great day, indeed!

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by | June 14, 2017 · 11:52 am

Photos from Nicaragua March 10-11

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by | March 12, 2017 · 9:21 am

Photos from Nicaragua March 9-10

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by | March 12, 2017 · 9:07 am

Destiny is interviewed by a reporter from Yangzhou Evening News (扬州晚报)

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by | June 26, 2016 · 9:52 am

Photos from Cuba

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by | June 15, 2016 · 8:24 am

Photos from South Africa

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by | March 19, 2016 · 9:44 pm

Photos from Mississippi – Day 3

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by | March 10, 2016 · 8:25 am

June 13: Enroute to Monteverde

From Maria ’15 

Today consisted of two things: relaxation and travel. This morning we all reconvened in the dining room for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and discussed what our day was going to look like. As this was our last day at the Rincón de la vieja, we had to bring our entire luggage to breakfast with us. Our plan was to head to the beach and then to travel to our next destination: Monte Verde. Continue reading

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by | June 14, 2015 · 9:05 am

Photos from Mississippi

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by | March 20, 2015 · 8:43 am