Thursday, 2 June 2016

Day 4 (1/6) - Halong Bay Night Market

For various tourists who visit Halong City, Halong Night Market is a place that they should not miss out. The market is a group of more than a hundred stalls selling diverse types of products, such as handicrafts, handmade accessories, clothes and other items such as swimwear, lotion or hats. Tourists tend to come to this place to purchase unique products of the city- necklaces made from seashells, snails, wooden small boats or T-shirts with images of Halong Bay. Tourists can expect a great variety of souvenirs in the night market, something for them to bring home to remind them of Halong City. Halong Night Market opens 7 days a week, from 6pm to midnight. 
Shopping for goodies!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Day 4 (6/1) - Pearl Workshop

One of the destination was a visit to the pearl workshop at Halong Bay. The students were able to witness the whole process of making a valuable and expensive pearl jewellery. Most of them were very surprised by the magical process to create the beautiful jewellery from the skillful hands of artisans.
The locals have a lot of experiences in growing the oysters and producing big and round pearls. It was amazing how intricately the artisans worked on their pearls after they are harvested from the water. With sophisticated techniques and specialized tools, the artisans skillfully create a perfect pearl.

Different types and grades of pearls

Machine to make a hole in the pearl for jewellery

Learning about how pearls are made

Day 4 (1/6) - Ha Long Bay

Halong Bay is a wonderful sculptural work of nature. Its blue sea holds thousands of islands in various dramatic forms, standing in groups or scattered around. Ha Long Bay's ancient karst landscape results from complex geological processes taking over five hundred million years, resulting from the earth's movements, sea regression, tectonic down-warping and sea transgression, to create thousands of limestone islands emerging from the sea.

Many of Halong Bay's limestone caves have been 11000 to 700000 years in the making. These caves are the results of water seeping into cracks and slowly eroding the limestone. Halong Bay is a biodiverse site with ecosystems including: tropical rain forests, mangrove forests, tidal mud flats without mangroves, sandy tidal flats, sea grasses, coral reefs, caves and lagoons.

Though receding in number, Halong Bay is also the home of fishing communities, where the traditional cultural values are well-preserved.

All aboard the junk! 🚤

The icon of Halong Bay
Getting ready to enter the cave
Up the steps! 
Beautiful view of Halong Bay
Sung Sot Cave!
On our way to Sung Sot Cave😀
Out of the cave! 
Sketch of Ha Long Bay by Jansley
Enjoying the view😎
Yummy lunch! 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Day 4 (31/5) - Farming experience at Yen En Duc Farm

We would like to develop our students to be a young community where they work to create, maintain and explore sustainable food systems.

At the vegetable farm, our students learned how to grow vegetables. They learned the process of farming from seasoned Vietnamese farmers. This includes setting up plants in rows and deciding on the garden plan details such as how many rows they need, what size they should be, and how much space they need between them. Farm responsibilities were then allocated to the group members. This was to ensure that each participant had an opportunity to experience growing the vegetables.

Through this farming process, the students will come to understand sustainability through the soils, crops, climate and community in which they work. They will gain the systems-based thinking and farming skills needed to make a positive difference in today’s world.
Beautiful padi fields🌞
Learning about rice plantation and the uses of rice 

Jansley hard at work🌱

Plowing hard 💪

Suiting up to go plowing in the fields

Admiring the handy work

Day 4 (31/5) - Vietnam School Experience- Hung Thang Elementary Private School

We had the privilege of visiting Hung Thang Elementary School in Halong Bay. The school offers the national curriculum and offers full-day schooling. Not only that, it also offers many extracurricular classes. Each student has to pay about $250 a month. This includes tuition (roughly $150 a month), meals, and transportation. This cost is apparently on par with most private schools in Hanoi—a number that is increasing rapidly. The staff is trained in information and communications technology (ICT) and they were required to teach by using IT via the LCD placed in front of the classroom. The school was notable for the sheer joy that emanated from its students throughout the campus and in the class that we saw. 
Introducing PSS to our Vietnam friends :)

Vying for victory!

Playing the games our Vietnamese friends prepared for us! 

1, 2, 3... PULL! 

Playing pick-up sticks with the Vietnam students

Listening to our Vietnam friends presenting to us

Monday, 30 May 2016

Day 3 (30/5) - Service-Learning at Tru G Tam Bao Tro Xa Hoi Orphanage

Tru G Tam Bao Tro Xa Hoi Orphanage is where many children have either been abandoned or brought to the centre because their parents are unable to provide for them. We visited this centre to perform our service-learning. Not only that, it is pertinent that these children know that despite their circumstances, they are valued, greatly loved, cherished and that they can have hope for a bright future.

At the orphanage, our student volunteers are assigned to different jobs and tasks, such as assisting the local staff in playing games with children, teaching them English, dance, music, arts and other activities. Not only that, they also helped to clean the premise as well as cooked for the orphans. 

Mr Peh kicking the visit off! 

Activities and interacting with the orphans

Egg-thusiastically helping out with kitchen duties

Who will win?