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Study Abroad

Our time here is coming to an end.

January 13, 2020

 Veronica & the children take a selfie

 We will soon be on the plane headed for home. The Village held a celebration for us on our last day, which included music, dance, speeches, and lots of food. It was sad to leave the children behind. Team Lasell students has made many connections and we are sorry to leave.    

Allison Garriepy & Xiaomin (Betty) Song are today's bloggers.

Allison Garriepy  

It is hard to believe our time working at the SOS Da Nang Children's Village has come to an end. The past two weeks have flown by with each day bringing a new adventure.   One of the most memorable parts of working is the Village is watching the children progress and become more comfortable as the days go on. Allison & a pal

The first day we taught in the Village many of the children were soft spoken and nervous to speak English in front of us. By the sixth day they were extremely motivated and had an easier time conversing with us. I feel proud knowing in the short time we were here I could actively make a difference in the children's lives.  

I think Lasell's Shoulder to Shoulder trip to Vietnam is extremely impactful because we go consistently every year. The kids look forward to us coming and remember students from prior years. One of my favorite parts of being in the Village is when the children would have their afternoon snack and they would not eat until myself and my peers were given a snack. I was highly impressed by how well behaved they were as many other children would not have this self-control.   

As for the impact the Village had on me, not only did I get to experience a completely different culture, but I was also able to develop a new set of skills that I can bring back to Lasell with me and eventually a future job. Each day I created a lesson plan that I thought I would utilize but I quickly realized that I could expect the unexpected. Working in the Village taught me how to adaptable as some exercises I planned were either too difficult or not engaging for the children.   Gabrielle & Lian

Being in Vietnam overall increased my understanding of a culture completely different from my own. I really enjoyed being completely immersed in the Vietnamese culture and I was able to experience new practices in regards to transport, dining etiquette, attire, and much more. These past two weeks have been both fun and educational. I feel I got to grow as an individual through this experience and highly recommend other students to pursue any of the Shoulder to Shoulder trips.         

Veronica & Kendall      Kerrie   hugs all around

Xiaomin (Betty) Song  

Group with the activities directorThe last day in the Village was happy, sad, and memorable.  

The kids made all the clothes by using the trash bags, paper, plastic straws and different materials. All the clothes were beautiful and creative. After the fashion show was a dance competition. Me, Kate, and all the kids in our group danced on the stage in the big auditorium in front of the kids from the other groups and all the families in the Village. We laughed a lot and had so much fun!  

One of the girls named Hau was with me the entire time when we were in the Village. She was holding my hand and kept saying, "I will miss you so much and I love you!" I cried.  

Another kid in my group texted me when we left the Village and said, "you like my sister."  I am so happy when I see this and I was teared up for this sentence.  

What most impressed me in the Village is how happy the kids are. They treat each other like their family. They are really happy and enjoy their lives there. They take care of each other and they are the cutest angels I ever see.  

One of the things I see makes my heart warm was one of the boys, who is 15 in the Village, was holding a two years old girl's hand and dancing with us. On that moment, that makes my heart warm. They are not biological related but they are family!   Karinna with SOS child

I am super glad I did this trip, it makes me know how strong the kids are and makes me know this world still has a lot of people doing a lot of good things to help people and make this world warm. Thankful for this trip because it makes me know how grateful I am for the life I have now. And also thankful for this trip to know the people in the Village and have connections with them! 

I love you SOS in Da Nang, I will see you In the future!  

Photos below by Betty  

group with Betty & Kate

group with Betty & Kate 2