Study Abroad

Food for Thought

January 09, 2017

Our days in Da Nang are filled with cultural immersion. We're doing ongoing instruction with the children at SOS Village and yesterday we toured Hội An, an ancient seaport named as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we visited traditional craft villages and ate at a 100 year old restaurant serving regional Hội An food. A highlight of the meal was tasting sweet corn milk.

Today's reporter is  Hailey Bowie.

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Hi, I'm Hailey! I'm a senior fashion retail and merchandising major. I've traveled Europe when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, but this is my first time in Asia.   

Thursday we had our first meeting with the kids. The language barrier was a lot harder to overcome than I think most of us expected. Luckily it didn't take too long for the groups to warm up to each other. Once the music and dancing started, there was no stopping the fun! Kids showed us choreographed dances to Vietnamese songs and soon enough they were bombarding us with hugs and laughs. It's a really nice confidence boost to see these young girls fighting over who can hold your hand.  

It's not just the kids that love us, it's also everyone else. We go out to dinner or just walk the streets and everyone is so hospitable and friendly. They seem genuinely happy to see us and share their customs with us.   

Among other important things/reasons for visiting Vietnam: food. It is so good! Everything is so fresh and never too heavy.  There has been something for everyone at every meal. My favorite was a traditional dish of Da Nang called Mi Quang. It consists of thick rice noodles in a meat broth - ours had pork, shrimp, and quail eggs. We also added bean sprouts, mint, lime and chili pepper for extra flavor.   

So far this experience has been one we will never forget. We are a lucky group to go to a school that supports experiences like this.