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19 February 2016

“Warm Spring“ is an on-going 4 years project (co-founded by Ivy and Trai Tim Cao Nguyen Organization) in which we raise money for the ethnic minority people in Lam Dong by selling Tet cards. This year was made even more special through the presence of 5 BVIS students from Ho Chi Minh City.

Before heading to Dalat, we were delighted to raise 22.376.000 vnd. This amount of money is donated to the total fund of the project in order to purchase essential rations. A package of gifts includes:

-          10kg rice

-          30 packs of instant noodles

-          1 Banh Tet and 1 Banh Chung

-          2 bottles of fizzy drink ( 1.5 litres each)

-          2 bottles of fish sauce ( 1 litreseach )

-          3 different types of jam ( 0.5 kilograms )

-          2 kg of sugar

-          1 package of monosodium glutamate

-          1 package of seasoning spices ( a bowl in addition )

-          1 bottle of oil ( 2 litres )

-          1 package of tea

With a total of 237.109.000 vnd generated from many areas within Vietnam, the project sucessfully provided 500 packages of gifts for ethnic minority people in Lac Duong, Don duong , the lepra village Di linh and kidney patients in Lam Dong hospital.

On the evening of 29/01, we were in Dalat to start preparing the gifts. Carrying and categorizing packages of gifts which weighed more than 30kg each for 4 hours straight made us exhausted!

Warm SpringWarm SpringWarm SpringWarm SpringWarm SpringWarm Spring

On Saturday morning, the gifts were transferred around Dalat and the centre of Lac Duong province to reach the unfortunate people who live in very reserved areas. It was extremely difficult for us to reach the tiny houses (4 – 5m2 each) by motorbike as they were hidden in alleys,. We were speechless in front of the places where these people live: they were made of the most primitive material that we had ever seen. The majority of these people were elders who were about 70 to 80 years old with no children to take care of them and no energy to work to earn money for day to day necessities. Looking at the tears roll on their austere faces when receiving gifts made us feel so lucky for whatever we have right now.

On Sunday morning after travelling for more than 60km through tortuous mountain passes in the middle of the grandiose jungle, we reached Đa Chais – Lac Duong. Hundreds of ethnic minorities people with smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes welcomed us warmly which made all of the exhaustion disappear. In the afternoon, the locals gave us the best meal we had ever had with only soy sauce and rice vermicelli!

On February 1st, our first stop was Giac Hoang pagoda at Thanh My village, Don Duong. It was about 2 hours of driving from Dalat. Trai tim cao nguyen organization has given 120 packages of gifts in total. Despite the time organized to start the project was 8am, many people were there at only 5am just to wait for us. Saying goodbye to Don Duong, we travelle to the lepra village in Di Linh about 80km away. At noon, the weather was harsh and the sun was directly overhead with no shades at all. However, the happiness of the unfortunate people deeply imprinted on our minds that we forgot about how tired and enervated we were.

Three days spent working endlessly with the project left us many unforgettable moments and feelings. We were so proud and happy when the manager of Lac Duong hospital said that: “I thought international kids were all spoiled but you guys changed my mind by working hard and treating people with so much respect.”

We left Dalat in the algid weather of the end of the year but we felt warm inside our hearts. We promised with each other to come back for Ivy’s next project in August (The book sharing projects) because we have learnt an extremely vital thing after this trip: To give is to be given!

Da Lat 02/02/2016

Huy, Duy, Quân, Khanh, Thụy – Year 12