Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vietnam–More Trekking & BUBBLES

Click on any picture to see it larger (I know they are the most interesting things!)

Our time in Sapa was coming to a quick close.  We had a 9am start again.  We packed our bags for we were leaving on the night train.

Our second day of trekking brought MY FAVORITE MEMORY of Vietnam (well, except for the exquisite massage the night before)

Tamara came on this trip via Colorado.  She is a friend of Hannah’s and when Hannah asked her, she jumped to come to Hong Kong and then Vietnam. Tamara got the BRILLIANT idea to bring bubbles (you know, bubbles) with her to entertain the local children. (stay tuned)

Our first stop was a local school. First of all, not all of the children GO to the local schools…this is a case in point. Even if they don’t go there, they do come and hang out and play a little bit. 

IMG_1262  School 1

The schools are ALL bright yellow and very cheery buildings

IMG_1261The children were outside doing their exercises when we got there.  Hannah and Ramona thought they would join in too!

IMG_1263(there was NOT a uniform for the trip..this was a coincidence Smile )

There are 5 rules from Confucius on the walls of every school in Vietnam. I only know the last one says to keep Vietnam clean.  Sadly, this is NOT happening as the mountains are terribly littered. 

IMG_1270 The students are terrific at working on their own:

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Their handwriting is beautiful.  This young lady loved seeing her picture in my camera.

IMG_1264Here is another classroom.  After we did a quick look around (the teacher’s encouraged it), I headed outside and THIS is where the bubbles came in!

Tamara gave a couple of bottles of bubbles to the teachers and she had broken hers out and was entertaining the crowds with them.  OH MY!  The joy and jumping was just something to see!

IMG_1279 Look at the littlest boy with his arms opened wide…you can jusssttt see the bubbles…I am only seeing his face. Here is one more…CLICK ON THESE  they are worth seeing larger!

IMG_1282 We each dropped a little donation into the box to help support the school and off we went for another beautiful day of trekking.  Right outside the school we were again “ambushed” by local women.  Today’s trail was pretty straight forward, and we tended to break off into little groups.  Again I just headed towards the front…trying unsuccessfully to avoid the “ambush.”  The women spoke pretty decent English and shared their stories with us.

Here are a few snaps from the area: (3rd pic – check out the baby!)

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A quick rest and we continued.  That is Diane and I. In the next pic is Thang.  Look behind Amanda (in the red)…one of our “ambushers!”

IMG_1308 Not too busy to wave!

IMG_1311 Here is Ramona.  These trees just stood out in the middle of this area that was all rice paddies.

We soon came to our place for lunch.  Everyday we ate locally…and everyday it was YUMMY!  In the Village, more buying commenced.  THEN, out came the bubbles!

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Again the faces are just priceless! So here’s the thing I notice as I look back at these pictures.  Yes, the children are dirty…they live in a “dirty” place b/c of the dust, etc. Yes, the place is littered (very sad to us) however, there is a happiness…really take a look at the women as they talk shopping with Tamara.

They are just the nicest people!

After lunch we walked up to a Salmon farm that is privately owned.  It was beautiful with the fresh water flowing off the mountains into the waiting pools of fish!

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Ramona, Laradona, Diane and Hannah…it was HOT!

We finished our hike WAY too early, so Thang kind of had us walk around various places until it was time to go!  During these walks we came across more traffic jams;

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Yes, we moved for them.  We also saw more families working together.  Sometimes the families need help and others come and are hired on:

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The work seems endless and because of the manual-ness of it…it must be backbreaking.

IMG_1339 This was the person who “ambushed” Diane and she invited Diane (I followed) into her home.  She was very proud of it and really wanted us to stay.  She was pulling the red chairs over for us to stay.  Here she stores “her” rice and the rice of others.  Sparse is just not quite the right word…it was less than sparse.


Here are a couple more pics of this beautiful land.  Next, we checked into our “day hotel” for a shower and to get ready for the night train back to Hanoi.  THAT is another story!


  1. What a wonderful experience! I thoroughly enjoyed "living" it through your photos. You should make a photobook through MyPublisher or Mixbook.

  2. Thanks Suzanne! I will never get over the kids and the bubbles!

  3. Kate when was this trip? Looks lovely. my family are all going next week. Can't wait. ;-) Becky