A Vietnamese Acrostic Poem

3 July 2013

To capture the excitement of an action-packed day I have decided to write a short acrostic poem:

Ventured to the Hoa Binh province, a beautiful rural area an hour and a half from Hanoi. Basic homes were nestled in amongst paddy fields, rolling hills, buffalos and a serene lake.

Immersed ourselves in the life of a local family, assisting making delicious spring rolls for lunch.

Entertained Vietnamese children with the wonders of iphones, apps, music and more.

Took entertaining photos on the banks of the lake.

Narrowly escaped getting bogged in by an afternoon storm, a typical occurrence in the Vietnamese wet season.

Admired the local clinic, as funded by AUSAID, primary and elementary school.

Ms Dinh Thi Bi, aged 39, will receive a non-collateral, low-interest microloan generated from the profits of our tour today. Bloom Microventures is a non-profit social business which combines tourism with microcredit to alleviate poverty. We met Ms Bi, her husband and her two sons and crowded in her small home which backed onto what we would consider a million dollar view. With the help of our tour guide come translator we learnt all about Ms Bi’s microcredit plan, her day to day life and her love marriage. The family used to live off cultivation of crops however unfortunately her husband had an accident two years ago and has not fully recovered. Ms Bi will use some of the microloan to buy feed for her pregnant pig and the rest of the loan to raise the 12 babies that the pig is expecting! This was undoubtedly the most rewarding and enlightening part of the day.

P.S. I ate locusts for dinner last night … mmmm insects! When I proudly told our tour guide about my experience with the local delicacies she laughed … apparently insects are nothing compared to blood pudding or chicken foetus.

– Ashleigh, Change Makers in Vietnam 2013

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