I am just finishing up two weeks working at Kien Giang Economic and Technology College. It’s amazing what you can fit into two weeks! There has been a lot of work accomplished. I taught IT classes, worked with various faculty, and we translated our way through several presentations and workshops.
Kien Giang is the Province; Rach Gia is the city. It is remote. It took us three hours to drive here from Can Tho airport, which is itself 170km south of Saigon. I’m not the only Westerner in town, but I haven’t met the other two. People are sometimes surprised that I will travel alone to really remote areas to work. But, the truth is that when you work as an international volunteer, you are never alone. You are picked up at the airport, delivered to your accommodations, escorted to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You are given guided tours of the area; you are provided with a full-time translator…and you always get to hang out with the brightest and most personable people. My working visit to KGTec did not disappoint.
Rach Gia is a seaside city; fishing is the main industry and very fresh seafood of all types is on every menu.(I tried jellyfish for the first time!)
The city also has its share of history and temples and character..
On the weekend, I traveled with several staff members to the tourist district of Ha Tien. It is at the western end of the Mekong Delta close to the Cambodian border. Although a tourist spot, it doesn’t see many western visitors due to its remoteness.
We bought fresh crabs and had the seaside restaurant cook them for us and swam in the Gulf of Thailand…
On the way we stopped at two mountains where stunning natural caves are used as temples. At Da Dung Mountain a path goes around the mountain (a great up and down workout!) and there are several caves which serve as “cave temples”. It’s definitely a very special place and I’m so glad I got to visit..
On Tuesday evening I was a judge for the First Annual Canadian- American Cultural Challenge. That was fun!..
And on my last day at KGTec, I enjoyed a review meeting and a farewell dinner to which I wore my new áo dài…(What a fantastic gift!)
Lots of new friends and lots of memories!