Happy Lunar New Year from Vietnam!
We've had a busy couple of weeks in Vietnam in the run up to Tet Holiday, the Vietnamese new year. With Max, Tony and Chris arriving late January, even more of our team have arrived in-country with Thu returning from her studies in Japan and two more members of our Australia team arriving in Carmine and Alix.
For Carmine and Alix, this is their first time visiting Viet Nam so we were pretty excited to show them around and get them down to the project site to see the progress so far and the impact that their work back home has had on our operations here in Viet Nam.
Since we last posted, there has been massive progress at the project site both in terms of the build itself and the preparations for our first workcamp program which will begin in just over a week's time.
Last week, our builders went on hiatus for 10 days as they take a break to bring in the new year. Leading up to that, they completed a lot of key jobs, filling in the foundations of the house, levelling out the ground surrounding the house (which just used to be ditch that was left unused and flooded), raising the support pillars and covering with concrete as well as beginning to dig out the pit needed for the bathroom. We got involved too with Trung and the builders teaching us a few tricks of the trade, needless to say we definitely need a bit more practice! After Tet, we'll move forward by laying the concrete floor, start the brickwork and begin construction of the roof.
We also got to spend a bit more personal time with Trung and his family as well as our builders and people from the local community which was great. On Monday we had a little Tet celebration which involved way too much delicious food, a lot of karaoke and what felt like an endless supply of rice wine. New year celebrations don't change too much wherever you are!
With regards to the workcamp project, everything in Tam Binh is set. Accommodation, transport and working schedule is all ready to go, all that's left is buying the practical items but we'll wait till all the shops open up again after Tet to do that. We all got to spend some more time at Thu's house in Vinh Long where our volunteers will stay for one night before moving onto the project site. It's a beautiful old house tucked away down an alley in the city and it also has one of the nicest people in the world, in Thu's mother, living there.
The camp will start from Monday 2nd March with volunteers joining from Vietnam, Japan and Australia. We're itching to put everything into action, with more than a year of planning behind the camp it's a pretty exciting time for us here at StepForward!
That's it from us for now, keep updated with all the goings on at StepForward by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.