How would you like to be a part of changing cultural misconceptions? The US/Vietnam conflict is a generation behind us, but tensions and false impressions are still very prominent and impede relationships for both sides. Globe Aware’s trip in Hoi An, Vietnam gives the opportunity to build lasting and impactful relationships amid the lush tropical surroundings and some of the friendliest people in the world.
The Vietnamese may have once been ardent Communists, but they are now what The Economist calls Socialist Capitalists, and they are thriving. However, Vietnam’s rapid growing economy has made for even more stark contrasts between the rural and urban areas as well as a very large gap between the classes, and even the generations. Young people may answer tech-support questions at call centers, while their parents harvest rice. Disparities such as this are very common, and rural areas of Vietnam are generally lacking in healthcare and schools. Globe Aware’s mission in Hoi An is to work with local grassroots organizations and non-governmental organizations to improve the economic situation, access to healthcare, and education of the rural areas the people who reside there. We are so privileged to work with LeLy Hayslip who began giving back to Vietnam in 1988. LeLy is a war survivor and shared her story in her autobiography When Heaven and Earth Changed Places(1989), which was then adapted into a film version directed by Oliver Stone: Heaven & Earth. Globe Aware shares LeLy’s dream of mending the wounds caused by the war between Vietnam and the United States, by working in tandem to eradicate poverty and help them achieve self-sufficiency.
Volunteers spend their time in Hoi An working alongside locals to install water pumps, build playgrounds, refitting old buildings to serve as schools, and assisting with the mobile libraries. All the while, building organic friendships and relationships that will hopefully build trust and understanding. Food is always a great way to make friends and the food in Vietnam is exceptional! French influence has made Vietnamese food rich with flavor and texture, not to mention the amazingly strong coffee that is the perfect leisure activity and completely worth the wait! Volunteers also have the opportunity to visit the Champa ruins and the picturesque Marble Mountains which are home to several Buddhist and Hindu grottoes and the summit of Thuy Son offering a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Vietnam is also very accessible to westerners. There are no special immunizations required and there are abundant ATMs available to withdrawal the local currency.
June Volunteer of the Month: Rebecca Radam Collins
“Returning home, I realized that just because the trip was over, didn’t mean my work was done…I hope that my story will inspire someone else.”
Rebecca traveled with Globe Aware to Cambodia, where she made life-long friends and changed her world view. She made good on her promise too, she has continued to work with the people of Cambodia upon her return through her personal blog Project Cambodia.
Read about Rebecca’s experience with Globe Aware on our Website
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Travel the World in your Pijamas!
Globe Aware has joined Pintrest! Globe Aware has recently joined the online pinboard Pintrest. We are sharing beautiful photos for our volunteers past, present and future to add to their own boards. Globe Aware trips are perfect additions to your travel boards, wish list, or bucket list boards. Follow us today! See what other volunteers have experienced: the change they have made in communities as well as the breathtaking beauty of the destination.
New York time’s Cover of the travel section was all about Volunteer Vacations! Volunteer Trips: Is you’re your family ready? Several Globe Aware volunteers were interviewed and shared their stories with the readership! Of course we think our trips are perfect for families to grow, learn, and love together. There is no better way to teach your children than immersion! We love young volunteers and watching the volunteer spark ignite early and burn long into adulthood.
In America we think of coffee as the way to pep your step, speed up your sluggish day, get a jolt. Maybe we have it wrong. Delicious coffee can be the perfect way to slow down and enjoy silence. Luckily there is no need to travel far and wide for the perfect cup; just follow this simple recipe for strong Vietnamese Coffee and enjoy!
You will need:
Vietnamese Coffee filter
2 TBL Corse ground coffee (the more robust the better, and grind it fresh for the best flavor)
Coffee cup or glass
2 Cups near boiling Water
Step One: Corse Grind the Coffee.
Step Two: Pour 1-3 TBL of condensed milk into cup, as sweet as you like.
Step Three: Load the coffee filter with 2 TBL of the ground coffee, spread evenly. Screw lid back on tightly. Place over top of coffee cup.
Step Four: Fill the filter with the near boiling water.
Step Five: Wait
Step Six: Wait some more. It takes at least 5 minutes, but can take up to 10 minutes for the coffee to fully brew. When all the water has passed through the filter, remove the filter from the top of the cup, stir and enjoy! Have some condensed milk left over? You can also make Vietnamese yogurt!
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