Page 2 of KidsBuildingHope Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Vietnam March 24th 2010

Hi everyone, this is Carly and Abby. We had an awesome day here yesterday, but were too tired to blog last night. We'll be traveling to Chau Doc (where the first school is located) today, and we will write about yesterday once we are there. Here are some pictures from yesterday. We love getting all your messages, please continue to write!... read more
Buddhist Temple
Chinese Market
Candles for Safe Travels

Asia » Vietnam March 22nd 2010

Greetings everyone! Tracy here (Carly, Abby and Jake's Aunt, Kris' sister, Judy's daughter, David's wife and Will and Helen's Mom). I've decided to blog tonight -- because ... because, I am probably the only one who will do it. Why you ask? -- well, the majority of our tour group is out to dinner -- it's 7pm Monday March 22nd (we're all dead tired, but have to keep moving), but unfortunately Helen and I are alone in our hotel room. I am at the computer; Helen is in the fetal position. I suppose we were spoiled with our last trip to Vietnam and our avoidance of illness... hopefully Helen will get this intestinal 'welcome' over with tonight -- and be done with it on behalf of all involved!! She's a trooper! I think some fluids and ... read more
Size 12
Home Sweet Majestic
Rooftop Coffee Shop

Asia » Vietnam March 19th 2010

We're getting ready to make our way back to Vietnam... tomorrow! A lot of great work has been happening since our last trip. Abby and Carly have continued to do speaking engagements and fund raisers to raise money to help build this second school. The folks at Our Lady of Peace have chipped in once again to help with school supplies. And friends and family, who never fail us, have donated to our cause as well. We hope to take all of you on this trip with us. Thanks for all of your support ... we look forward to connecting with you along the way.... read more

Asia » Vietnam April 3rd 2008

Okay - I’d like to thank all of you for tuning in - and being part of this journey with us. I must admit that it is hard to sum things up with a conclusion of sorts when this trip really feels more like a beginning than an end… but, I think a story would best convey how I feel today… so here goes… While in Ba Chuc (the side trip we took to a very impoverished area to try to dispense food, but couldn’t), we were quietly leaving the very dramatic monument in the town when a group of women came up to us - they all wanted to squeeze Helen - touch her face, feel her arms… Helen, as usual, smiled and allowed this. Our group, in the meanwhile, was getting closer to our ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » An Giang » Chau Doc April 2nd 2008

We traveled from Chau Doc to a village by the name of Hoa Lac, where our school is located. A 7 mile drive took two hours! To say "the road was bumpy" is an understatement. You can ask my cousin Helen who got carsick twice! We began to hand out candy, suckers, balloons and other goodies to the kids along the road through our windows. At one point, the narrow dirt road traveled through a small rice business... one of our buses was too big to fit through all the bags of rice. Everyone had to get out of the bus and rearrange the 225 pound bags of rice so it could fit through. Because the rest of our vans were at a dead stop during the rice rearranging, we were able to get out ... read more
Abby in the streets
narrow passage
made it!

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » An Giang » Chau Doc March 31st 2008

Today started with a tour of the region -- we went by boat to see a fish farm. Doesn't sound that interesting -- but it was mesmerizing.... the day in- day out hard work. Without the use of modern equipment -- these workers collect 30,000 pounds of fish per day. They begin by collecting the catfish eggs, then breed, then feed fish in underwater hatcheries... once the fish reach a certain size, they are moved into a bigger pen. They are then harvested by a group of fishermen (each earning 4-5$/day) who use nets, baskets and a crude underwater breathing tube (not exactly OSHA compliant) to bring the fish to the surface .... then it's off to market. Next stop was at a Cham village -- a minority group within Vietnam's borders. We walked monkey bridges ... read more
Village Homes
River Life
Reeling in the catch

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » An Giang » Chau Doc March 30th 2008

golf cart/speed boat/bus/bus/plane/bus/canal boat/ferry/bus/ferry/bus................we're finally here!!!!!! We arrived in Chau Doc at 8 pm after a long hard day on the road. Along the way we ventured into the Mekong Delta. (See attached pics) As if the final six hour bus ride wasn't uncomfortable enough, the poor living conditions we saw out the window made us all even more uncomfortable. I've heard stories and seen pictures of the living conditions in third world countries but seeing it up close is overwhelming. On the other hand, it really gave us all some perspective on what we value in life. When I saw people bathing in the river, I realized my twenty minute shower might be a bit excessive. And when I saw a multi-generational family crowded into a small open-air hut, it sure made me feel guilty ... read more
Homes along the river
Life on the river
All in a day's work

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Khanh Hoa » Nha Trang March 29th 2008

We took a one hour flight north out of HCMC and landed at Cam Rahn Bay (an American Naval Base during the Vietnam War). Next came a 1/2 hour bus ride to a local restaurant for great food and a little karaoke (even Jake joined in on Dancing Queen). From there, we took a speed boat ride (very Fantasy Island-like 'the plane, the plane') to our resort. This place is absolutely beautiful... a little slice of heaven on earth. Clear ocean, rocky shorelines, islands covered in mountains -- stunning. Pretty soon the world will be in on the secret -- the Miss Universe Pageant will take place here in August, and the city is working hard to prepare themselves for the influx of people. The attention is bringing tourist dollars into the area -- which has ... read more
Karaoke American Style
relaxing on the beach
beautiful sights

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 26th 2008

Today was a hard day for several reasons... some of the reasons will be the fodder for many a laugh a month or year from now -- "and just how long do you think we sat in that bus trying to get to the orphanage?" "How far did we go out of our way to get to a place we didn't want to go??" and "Why didn't the cab driver just shake his head 'no' when we communicated (in the best way we could) "could you take us to Pizza Hut?" and then there's the very real stuff... the stuff that left us all unsettled and feeling helpless. Giving a child a stuffed animal or sucker doesn't change the conditions he or she is living in -- doesn't give them a hug at bedtime -- doesn't ... read more
Infant Room
Sweet girls
more sweet kids

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » Cu Chi March 25th 2008

Today we (the 2nd half of the Kids Building Hope crew) ventured to the Cuchi Tunnels. During the ride there, we absorbed information about the Vietnam War courtesy of our tour guide, Mr. Bin. Mr. Bin fought for Southern Vietnam during the war. (Up until today, I thought the Vietnam War was between the whole country of Vietnam vs. America for some unknown reason.) Also on the way we saw miserable conditions of the people in the rural areas. Part of us wanted to look away because it was too hard to see how lowly these people lived, but the other side wanted to look to see how lucky we are. Then after a very bumpy 2 1/2 hour bus ride we arrived at the Cuchi Tunnels. There we continued our education of the Vietnam War ... read more
Booby Trap
Adventure Eating
Jake in sniper pit

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