Volunteer Day

This morning we had a bit of a sleep in – lazing in bed till around 10am. When we got up we ran a few errands before going to the Hope School to donate some books and pens and hang out with the students for the day.

We met up with one of Alex’s friends who was volunteering there for a month and he took us up to his class. The students that he worked with in the school had either autism or down syndrome and from the moment we stepped in to the classroom both of us fell in love with them. They were so sweet and friendly and when we donated the books and pens to them, even though only a small donation in our eyes, they were so excited and grateful.

We spent the afternoon in the classroom – playing games, singing songs and dancing with them. We had so much fun laughing with the students and hanging out with them that when it was home time we really didn’t want to leave.

After this we decided to find “lock street” and for anyone who has ever been to Vietnam they will understand what I mean by lock street. If not, all you have to picture is each street in the city having a designated item that the Vietnamese people sold with vigor and passion. Each shop in the street sold the same products whether it be toiletries, mats or hardware. When we found hardware street we quickly found some locks and headed back to the hostel to get ready for the night train.

When it was time to head off to the night train – we were promised that it was within a 15 minute walk of where we were. After leaving, we quickly realized that we shouldn’t have listened to the people at the hostel because it was going to take a lot longer. So in the heat, with light humid rain falling on us, while our backpacks and bags were attached to us, we made our amazing race style journey to the train station – trying very hard to get lost.

The train station did look a little run down when we first entered and when we boarded the train we were even more surprised. The train was filled head to toe with passengers and it was extremely run down. Obviously, this was not an issue to us as seeing this stuff was so exciting. Nearly every very single person was a local and we felt like we were really living like the Vietnamese. We got in to our seats and tried to make ourselves comfy. Comfy meaning learning how to recline the seat. Learning meaning after playing with the seat for 15 minutes realising that mine wouldn’t recline. So after taking a deep breath and sitting upright in my seat, we took off from Hanoi on our way to Hue.