#85 - first week of habitat for humanity

Vinh Yen Travel Blog

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that's our bus. :)
i can't possibly write about everything that happened every day....but i will give you a flavor of what we did there, what my impressions were, & arandom memories that i have...it will be a bit of a hodge podge, but here goes..

Meetings with the Government - so interesting that before our project began they brought us to a ton of meetings & a bunch of different governement officials gave us their welcome speech.  very political stuff here.  they even busted out a new ho chi minh statue for one of our meetnigs.

Daily schedule - Here's pretty much how every day went:
6:30am - alarm clock went off & i struggled out of bed
6:45am -7am-ish - bring your breakfast coupon (what you ordered the day before) down to the dining room & sit at long table with everyone else who had already made it down
7:05am - get my 2 fried eggs & bread.
jack, making the line-up for the day
..along with my white or black coffee
7:20am - rush back to the room to make sure i had everything in my backpack for the day (gloves, shoes, wet nap thingys, electrolyte thingys, stickers for kids, sunblock, bug spray, hat, towel)
7:29am - made SURE i was on the bus before 7:30am because if you were late, you had to buy beers for everyone that night
7:32am - greg would be getting on the bus & we would be yelling at him.  :)
7:50am - jack would announce the "line up" for the day, who was going to which houses...there were 3 of them
8am - arrive at house
8am - 11am - do one of the following:  mix cement (which we called "poon" - just imagine the jokes around that), schlep cement to the people laying bricks, lay bricks, scrape tiles, sift sand, move sand, dig holes, fill holes, move bricks, do bucket brigades of cement to create a roof, wash rocks, play with kids (that happened more for me than others!), take pictures, make a lot of bad and/or crass jokes, laugh and keep doing all of the above
11am - break time!  yay!  we always had some sort of fruit or snack.
bruce smiling! see - he does smile in pictures!! :)
..and there were usually a lot of flies competing for the fruit or snacks
11:20 - 12:30 - repeat all of the tasks above
12:30 - lunch time!  when at house 1 (where i was for most of the time) this entailed going down to the neighbors house, taking off our shoes, & sitting at the table set up for us inside the house...we would then have several bowls of stuff put in front of us - usually consisting of an assortment of the following:  morning glory, tofu stuffed with some kind of meat, chicken (that usually included a lot of bone), several different types of pork products, small quail eggs, some soup with green leaves in it, rice, chili peppers and then our beloved chili sauce!
during lunch time sometimes we would end up taking naps on the hard benches in their house, play badmitton with each other & our vietnameses hostesses, or just run around & play with the kids (again, that was usually me)
1:30pm - 4:30pm - again, repeat some/all of the tasks above depending on what was going on at the house
4:30pm/5pm - hear our awesome bus horn coming down the street (i wish i could write out how it sounded - craig, if you are reading this, can you give it a shot?)
5pm - get a beer handed to you as you get on the bus
5pm - 5:30pm-ish - head back to the hotel.
..sometimes the bus was super loud...sometimes super quiet (craig usually had something to do with this) & then either head up to the room to shower/crash for a bit or head across the driveway to the sketchy sketcherson massage place that we know also functioned as something other than a massage place
7pm - meet downstairs for dinner...again, being sure NOT to be late....walk to a restaurant for dinner
7pm - 9pm - have a fun dinner with the entire group, pop the little packages they gave us with face wipes really loudly, say "mot, hai, ba, YO!" before we drank, drink lots of wine & maybe even have a shot of johnny walker (ick!)
9pm - after dinner varied from going to the karaoke bar across the street, to getting a massage, to playing a crazy game (and i do mean, CRAZY) game of uno, to just collapsing after another long day & feeling all kinds of sore muscles!

Some things I want to remember:
- jokes about poon
- jokes about dong (that's the vietnamese currency - we sure got a lot of mileage out of that one)
- counting with the lunch lady:  mot, hai, ba, boong, nam, sow, bye, tam, chin, MOU-EYE
- laughing so hard that second day on house #1, laughing so hard in the bus that day & laughing so hard at dinner that night
- seeing the dog on the back of the motorbike
- the sound of our bus horn
- talking in fragments.
kelli & mary
..and not even realizing it
- he's so smart....and have nice ass (definition of a smart ass)
- laughing SOOOOO hard at karaoke (thank you SO much max for your rendition of sweet child of mine)
- all the scenery - getting used to seeing rice paddies & women in conical hats & all the traffic & all the street vendors - just everything
- coming up with songs that had ROCK in it when wendy & i were washing rocks
- the crazy women's urinal thing at the karaoke bar
- wendy & i going to karaoke one night by ourselves & singing britney spears
- on the worksite, coming up with songs for random things we would say
- TAY and TU!!!  i just love those little girls
- if i think of more i will add them!  :)
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thats our bus.  :)
that's our bus. :)
jack, making the line-up for the d…
jack, making the line-up for the …
bruce smiling!  see - he does smil…
bruce smiling! see - he does smi…
kelli & mary
kelli & mary
me & wendy
me & wendy
jack & heather
jack & heather
jack & heathers butts - oh & the …
jack & heather's butts - oh & the…
tu, translating at our first offic…
tu, translating at our first offi…
2 of the fathers of the families w…
2 of the fathers of the families …
craig, trying to look important
craig, trying to look important
one of the H4H work supervisors - …
one of the H4H work supervisors -…
ron - thinking very hard about som…
ron - thinking very hard about so…
the inside of the house when we st…
the inside of the house when we s…
the sand screen!  ooohhh...ahhhh...
the sand screen! ooohhh...ahhhh...
jack with shovel
jack with shovel
wendy & i on our first assignment.…
wendy & i on our first assignment…
ron & craig
ron & craig
i love you too
i love you too
working on day 1
working on day 1
that little girl was the CUTEST - …
that little girl was the CUTEST -…
TU!!!!  She was another one who I …
TU!!!! She was another one who I…
the families we saw every day.  th…
the families we saw every day. t…
bruce, shoveling
bruce, shoveling
our first lunch.  people werent h…
our first lunch. people weren't …
love these ladies.  :)
love these ladies. :)
TAY!!!!!
TAY!!!!!
Kelli & me.
Kelli & me.
Tu & Tay.  Probably my favorite pi…
Tu & Tay. Probably my favorite p…
Lunch at the neighbors house.
Lunch at the neighbor's house.
Tay, doing some tough work.  :)
Tay, doing some tough work. :)
i mean, how cute is she?!?
i mean, how cute is she?!?
jack & tu
jack & tu
bart & wendy
bart & wendy
miyun & tim
miyun & tim
len & me
len & me
bart & craig
bart & craig
miyon, wendy & melinda
miyon, wendy & melinda
max,kelli & bart
max,kelli & bart
we just could not get a normal loo…
we just could not get a normal lo…
the staff at the new restaurant!
the staff at the new restaurant!
max singing sweet child of mine …
max "singing" sweet child of mine…
len
len
rick
rick
wendy
wendy
tu
tu
me
me
love their little hats
love their little hats
len hanging out in the senior cit…
len hanging out in the "senior ci…
wendy & i washed every single one …
wendy & i washed every single one…
break time at house #2
break time at house #2
thuyen & me!!!  TOT LAM!  NUMBER O…
thuyen & me!!! TOT LAM! NUMBER …
HIGH FIVE!
HIGH FIVE!
Ngoc
Ngoc
Papa Leo & Mary
Papa Leo & Mary
me & ron
me & ron
YUMMMM - CRAB!!!
YUMMMM - CRAB!!!
Wendy, Kelli & Papa Leo
Wendy, Kelli & Papa Leo
that is Craigs tongue with all ki…
that is Craig's tongue with all k…
niiiiice
niiiiice
wendy & me in our twin outfits
wendy & me in our twin outfits
our hotel sign at night...should s…
our hotel sign at night...should …
Vinh Yen
photo by: radrockyd