We recently just finished a volunteer house build trip to My Tho, Vietnam. This is the same town I went to in 2010 as an i-to-i volunteer and had my first ‘labouring’ experience where I volunteered to build a house for a loving humble family. Being back in the same town was absolutely amazing – last time I remember thinking it would be so great if I could be back one day. And that was exactly what I did.
My husband and I are on a trip throughout Asia and Europe for an indefinite period of time, and I made sure donating & volunteering to build this house was one of the first things we did. Seeing familiar faces definitely put me at ease as soon as we stepped outside the airport. It’s been a while since my last post and this post I really wanted to focus on the generosity of the local people in Vietnam.
We were totally blown away by the endless things the locals did for us. Even though they have so little in comparison to an average western person, they have the biggest hearts to share and give. Everyone insisted on providing us breakfast and dinners everyday, while the owner of the house we were building for cooked us delicious Vietnamese cuisine every day for lunch and made sure we were fed well with snacks & the tastiest tropical fruits! When the sun was harsh they would make sure I had a hat & safety mask. Even when the inevitable food poisoning hit me and I was bed ridden for 2 days they visited with medication & ordered room service for me.
For the house owner and the local organisation it was a great act for us to volunteer & donate, but in reality, my husband and I were the ones who were truly blessed to receive such love in a way that they will never know. Our eyes have been opened to how much more we have to give to others – in hospitality, time, or even our smiles.
House owner Ms. Mang in front of the her previous house
My husband and I in front of the new house we helped build (paint yet to be finished)
My favourite photo – a local neighbour showing her appreciation