Connecting and Creating

      After a much needed full night of sleep following our overnight train, I woke up this morning energized and ready to see what Hanoi had to offer! We jumped on the bus and headed to Touk’s alma mater, Hanoi Open University. We were greeted warmly by the students and teachers who were eager to meet and talk to us. The majority of the students that we spoke to are majoring in a hospitality and hotel management or tourism based major. Although our majors, language and country of origin are different, I found many ways to connect with the students. Two of them being through a mutual love of dance and music. One of the students performed “Butterfly” for us and then AK and I were asked to dance on stage to break the ice for a dance party! Although this was so much fun, what I really took away most from this experience was what Suzie said about talking and connecting with our fellow youth as being the only way to make peace in the world, which really resonated and rang true to me. It was such a pleasure meeting and learning a little bit about the life of a Vietnamese college student. Before leaving I got a chance to take some pictures with some of my new friends and added them on social media! IMG_0057.JPGIMG_0727.JPG

Our next stop was the beautiful Bat Trang Pottery Village where we had the opportunity to make ceramic bowls and shop in their markets. I was really impressed by their attention to detail and craftsmanship. Seeing all of the pottery reminded me how much time and effort goes into each thing I buy and gave me a better appreciation for hand crafted goods! For dinner tonight e went to a 300 year old house where we shared a typical Lunar New Years Meal. I am definitely going to miss Vietnamese cuisine when I get home! FullSizeRender.jpg

-Lauren Valory


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