Guest Blog by Jack Frangipane
Global Village Volunteer
Several hundred ducks pass under the Muong Daigre bridge at exactly 4:30 p.m. A man in a small canoe gently guides them to a new location. Like the ducks, it’s one of our daily rituals when we disembark and embark our bus so it can safely cross this bridge where we meet it on the other side to and from the house sites. Just another wonderful surprise here in Dong Thap.
From the windows of our bus we see small children walk toward us wanting to try the English they learned in school. We learn they don’t get to practice, so we are a rare opportunity to say hello and goodbye. We all feel it will be harder to say goodbye to these kind-hearted people. All it takes is curiosity, and our cultures connect on many levels.
We go by “Team Tam” (8 in Vietnamese for our site number). Our crew is a mix of passionate Twin Cities and Colorado volunteers. Our interpreter Ngh and site supervisor Cong, and son from family, Manh, form the alchemy tour de force. On Monday, we were rookie bricklayers and mortar mixer’s; by Friday, our apprenticeship yields more skillful achievements.
Our team is like the rocks, cement, sand and water we mix to form the foundation for this house that will stand firm for the Nguyen family for generations.