The journey begins in Saigon where we spend two days adjusting to the time change and enjoying the sites offered by this thriving city. We continue north to Danang and on to Hoi An, our base during the clinic. EMWF, our local partners, pick the village school where we will work for the week. Each day we head out of Hoi An to the village and work side by side with our Vietnamese counterparts. Work days are long but immensely rewarding!
Volunteers are completely immersed in local culture during the clinic. Almost no one speaks English! Mothers and fathers stand outside the clinic, eagerly waiting for their children to be seen by the dentists. Volunteer lunches are prepared by the village – typical Vietnamese food - always followed by whatever fruit is in season.
Evenings are spent walking around the beautiful beach town of Hoi An – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Food is abundant and so is the shopping – Hoi An is especially known for its tailors who can make almost anything within 24 hours.
At the end of the week, after helping our local partners pack up the clinic, we say a tearful good-bye to our new-found friends. For those who choose to do the optional sightseeing, the journey continues on a cultural exploration north to Hue, Hanoi and Halong Bay.