Hong Bang

Monday, 22 Apr 2019


Helen OVHelen, 2010-2011

Meeting with the poor in the rural village is what I think, everyone should be able to experience. Living there is a whole different atmosphere, a whole different way of life instead of living in Ho Chi Minh City. Just seeing this made me appreciate everything I have back a home and my life. This to me, is the most humbling experience I’ve had in Vietnam. 
I was shocked with how poor the people were, yet able to survive their whole life, supporting themselves and their many children while doing mainly just farming. I felt isolated for only having the church and the local village market to go to when wanting to go somewhere. Because the village is isolated from everything, there was no local bus or taxi to take me places as there is in Ho Chi Minh City. After a month and a half, I knew I had to change my thoughts and think more optimist. I had to get out more and visit the local people, get to know the people that sell vegetables in market, play with my students after class, mainly change my perspective of things and realized that the locals live like this everyday for their whole life, I should be able to live like this and enjoy where I’m at for the six months that I am
While I was a counselor at Mai Am/Mai Linh single mothers home, it was difficult for the mothers-to-be to trust me. Instead of expecting the mothers to open up to me immediately, I wanted to grow a relationship with them during the first week I was there. Some of them did open up to me about their problems, and actually asked me for advice with their situation that their in. Out of the six mothers-to-be I originally met when I arrive, only two of the mothers-to-be were shy and maybe embarrassed about their situation and were hesitant to say anything. To make my relationship grow with the mothers-to-be, I would sit in the sewing room with them and help them cut, separate, and fold fabric, then hold small conversations with them. Before dinner, I would meet with the same mother-to-be for about two or three days in a row on a one-on-one bases. I realize by doing this, the mothers-to-be felt more comfortable and opened up with me more.