This year, our team of seven students came from Azusa Pacific University. The student team was led by REI’s Hanoi resident staff member Chris Sayles, and REI’s team logistics coordinator, Gabrielle Lewis.
From the bustling streets of the Old Quarter, to the serenity of the countryside, our student team immersed themselves in the local culture and developed lasting friendships with Vietnamese students.
Ruby and Ronnie braved the monsoon to explore the Old Quarter with new friends!
Daniel’s height was the talk of the town! While walking around Hoan Kiem Lake, these fourth graders asked if they could interview him. Their first question was, “Do you play basketball?”
Ruby was also interviewed by a news station during a field trip to the Ethnology Museum. The students were led by their Vietnamese friends to many museums and famous sites in Hanoi.
Nina got a little messy at Bat Trang Ceramic Village outside of Hanoi where the students were able to make their own pottery using potter’s wheels.
REI Exchange Visitor, Trang, showed the APU students, Toan, Chris, and Gabrielle around her village. But where is Toan, our Hanoi office assistant?
Found him! (Did his shadow give him away? But you will never know who cast the second shadow!)
Many wonderful meals were shared–Daniel, Gabrielle, Ronnie, and Becca enjoyed spring rolls with past REI Exchange Visitor, Hoa, at far right.
The students learned more than just the Vietnamese culture--they also learned the basics of the language! Here, they are learning proper pronouns by addressing each other according to the age of the person pictured on their foreheads. Creative!
Sometimes the roles were reversed and our team members became the teachers. Here Becca leads a discussion group during American Culture class.
That’s a pretty aPEELing team in Halong Bay!
Back Row: Gabrielle, Daniel, Jay (APU’s visiting team leader), Luke
Front Row: Ruby, Becca, Nina, Ronnie
Don’t worry. They’re not always that serious…
See? Not so serious, after all. Looks like they were truly immersed in the Vietnamese culture!
Way to go, team! Thanks for sharing your smiles and hearts with your host families and friends. The impact you made in Vietnam is immeasurable, but more importantly, we hope the impression Vietnam left in your heart is one that will last for a lifetime.