Friday, December 16, 2011

Our first visit!

Dear diary,

Instead of going on one of our weekly training rides, we had our first visit to one of the charities yesterday that our ride will be supporting. It was a chance to actually see firsthand where (y)our funding will be going. I rode up a little late as a result of a late night celebration for 7 departing coworkers, but I made it nonetheless. 

Introducing: The Thang Long English and Vocational School!

This school supports more than 300 students per year, ranging in age from 12 to 25. The students are mostly from the surrounding areas of districts 4, 8, and 7. They get to attend the school at no cost to them and are taught English skills and get training in different hospitality vocations. 

For our visit, we split up into two groups: one to get interviewed by students to practice their English skills and one to be training dummies for the vocational school. After a set time, we switched so everyone got to experience both sides. 

First stop: an English classroom.

Agenda for today: can (ability) and getting to know the riders

Rider Joe getting interviewed by some of the students.

Fruit poster in the classroom

I really wanted this

And this.
 I snapped a dozen photos of my favorite veggies that I didn't know the names of, haha.
I didn't snap that many photos on my camera, so I'll add the rest when the other riders upload them.

Next stop: the vocational station!

Examples of some of the elaborate hairstyles these students are capable of.
I know where I'm going once I get my locks grown back!

Rider Sandra getting very festive with her nails - holidaying it up with trees and stuff!

Rider Sarah getting her hair dried before getting styled.

Rider Anna and I getting our hurrr washed and scalp massaged.
Congratulations to Nguyen on being the only woman not named Mom to wash my hair!

After about an hour or so, our visit was up. The students were going home and a new group was showing up after lunch. It was great to meet the students and see firsthand where the funding goes and what a big difference it makes in the lives of these children. With such a huge disparity in the opportunities they are afforded, it's nice to help in any way we can. Free training and support for them to build skills that will hopefully lead to employment in VN's growing economy. 

The day's riding crew with some of the students, staff and Headmistress Oanh.
All in all, a well-spent morning! Excited for my next visit to another H2H-supported organization - ILACN's orphanage/hospital/shelter.

Thanks for your support, friends. 'Til next time!

Ride on,

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