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CCS Vietnam 2017
No Photos 1st Oct 2017
Day 10


The trip came to an abrupt end as we all woke up at 7am to the sound of a screeching phone, yet another wake up call. After packing for the final time, we headed off to breakfast and scoffed the last pieces of dragon fruit that would be available to us.

The next bus ride was short lived as a last minute change of dress code prohibited our access to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, where former President of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh’s body lies embalmed and on display to the public of Hanoi.

To fill in this time, our tour guide, Hai, took us to Hao Lo Prison or what is more commonly known to the American’s as the Hanoi Hilton, a prison used during the Vietnam war to detain any prisoners captured by the Vietnamese. In particular, John McCain, senator in the US and former presidential candidate, spent 7 years imprisoned. We were given a guided tour of the complex which allowed us view the exhibitions including the original guillotine used and where the prisoners on death row were confined.

Meanwhile, a group of students – Chelsea, Saurav, Ruby and Steph - were selected to travel with Mr Dowse down to a place in Quoc Oai where the Marist Brothers run the ‘New Horizons Project’. This project runs community classes that help provide kids of any age, as well as some young adults and future teachers, with learning the English language. The New Horizon Project also helps young local unemployed people to acquire the skills required to find long-term employment. School support programs for teachers to assist with their English skills are also run. There are 9 schools in the area involved in this program. During summer programs there is sometimes up to 600 kids that get involved with the community classes.

When we arrived to meet the Brothers we all introduced ourselves and sat to discuss their mission and what they are doing to help the young locals of Quoc. They also enlightened us with their current goal to open a school for the blind to assist with their learning, and help to give them the skills that will benefit them in life. This group in Vietnamese society are unfortunately despised from the condition they live with as, sadly, it is harder for them because they are seen as unable to work or do much at all. The Brothers want to give them the best opportunities they can and they hope to put this program into action. While we were here we also met a Year 10 student. His name is Viet. He was very friendly and we quickly took up conversation with him and got to know him better. We also were taken for a walk around the local area and through a nearby market place. Overall we had a great morning.

Our last taste of Vietnamese bargaining came and went quickly before we were invited to taste a speciality of Hanoi, egg coffee.  Best described as a meringue on a macchiato, all sceptics were put to shame as all who tried, loved it.

Finally, after sweating like pigs for hours on end, we walked to the restaurant where our final set-menu lunch was served before heading off to the airport in Hanoi where our journey home would begin.

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