Today (Monday) Year 12 arrived safely in Mai Chau at lunchtime. We are looking forward to our week of service work for the CAS element of the IB course. This afternoon consisted of a beautiful bicycle ride through lush rice paddy fields, followed by building and then racing bamboo rafts on a small lake.
Tuesday has been another hot and sunny day here in Mai Chau. After a lovely breakfast at the Homestay, we set out on a challenging hike through remote rice paddies. All of the sweat was worth it though because the students got to view some incredible sweeping vistas. The scenery here truly is majestic. After a well-deserved Vietnamese lunch the students went into the village for the first time where they will be doing their service work. They had a look at the site where tomorrow's construction work will take place. Following that the students had a meeting with the leader of the village and asked some very good questions about the life of the villagers here. Finally they were treated to an expert class on basket weaving! Overall another thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding day on expedition in Mai Chau.
Today has been very tiring, but some amazing new experiences have been had by all Year 12. This morning we worked hard in the blistering sun to help build a road in the local village, as well as strengthen the foundations of an important bridge. This work is hugely important to the local people and will help make their daily life much easier. This afternoon the students have been teaching English, Art and PE in a local Primary school. This has been very challenging for Year 12 as they had to plan the lessons in detail and then deliver them confidently. Now they have tried the profession for themselves (albeit briefly), they definitely know how talented and dedicated all the teachers are at British International School Hanoi!
Today in Mai Chau, Year 12 continued with their construction work in the village. This work will be completed by subsequent groups from other schools and charities that come here to support the local people. All the students feel very proud of the progress they have made and the service offered to the villagers here. This afternoon we took part in an embroidery class and then we were warmly welcomed into some local people's homes for a cooking class - grilled pork and rice in bamboo! Everybody is now very excited for tonight's farewell party - the students have been preparing some exquisite songs and dance routines to extend their thanks for the local villagers' kind hospitality over the course of the week.
James Foster, Geography Teacher