By Peter Legrove
Last Saturday I had the best trip of my stay in Hanoi. I was a volunteer teacher for Better Life Vietnam (BLV). BLV gives free books and English lessons to disadvantaged students in the villages surrounding Hanoi. We were in the thick of the countryside, on one lane roads next to irrigation channels, driving down the middle of the rice paddies. At one stage as the roads are not wide enough so two vehicles can pass we pulled off the road so another truck could pass and one wheel slipped into a ditch and the truck had to pull us back on the road.
And we continued on, Anyway, we visited two schools the first school we did a free lesson. The students about 12 years old were excellent and I’d say it was probably the first time they had spoken to a foreigner. They were not as shy as I expected and they really got into the class and they all had a chance to speak.
Then we headed off to the next school and that was another drive through the rice paddies. At this school, BLV gave every student a book as most of these village schools do not have a very good library. And the students loved the books, they were reading them as soon as they received them.
One of the other foreign teachers played some games with the students and they all got into the spirit of the occasion. As it was the last day of term they all headed home and we stayed for lunch at the school. Excellent lunch, excellent day out and excellent students. My best trip outside the city to date.
Thank you Better Life Vietnam