2015 Projects

Vietnam part 2: Cao Bang, 30 km from China / dec 23 – dec 30, 2015

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Cao Bang is surrounded by mountains…

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…and clouds.

After flying from Hué to Hanoi, we were met by Thuy from the MCNV office in Hanoi, and Lan, who was to be our translator for the training in Cao Bang.  A six hour drive on a  2 lane mountain road got us all there about 7 pm.  Our driver was excellent, and a good thing as he’d never met a blind curve he couldn’t pass on!

The next morning, December 24, Thuy took us to the training venue, which was the government office of Population and Family Planning.

IMG_2136After tea with the director, a kind and lovely woman called Ms. Tang, we met our 12 students.  They were all health workers in village health clinics and organizations for disabled people; 4 women, 8 guys, ages 20 something to 60+.  Ms. Tang made a welcome speech and we were each presented with an enormous bouquet of glorious flowers!

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Ms. Tang pours tea in her office.

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Had to keep them in the bathroom!

Tao

Tháo

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Yên

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Huóng 2

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Huóng 1

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Quyen

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Dat

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Dính

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Niêmh

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Vûôn

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Vón

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Buóng

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Thánh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next thing we had to do was learn names and pronunciation; Vietnamese has the same  5 pesky tones that Thai does!  For the next 7 days we were to be gently corrected; Thaó, rising tone, Yen, flat tone… Here they are:

Lan, translator and explainer of all things Vietnamese

Lan, translator and explainer of all things Vietnames

The classroom

The classroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so we began; showing images, asking them to pick ones they liked and explain why, and setting photo assignments.  As is often the case, the first pictures were stilted, subjects too far away, or blurred.  But after day 2, that started to change as the photographers began to think about what was in the frame, what the light was doing, what was in the background.  For example:

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Day 1
photo: Huong 2

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Day 5
photo: Huong 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before going back to Hanoi, Thuy was determined that we should try every Vietnamese dish available in Cao Bang:

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Rice pancakes for breakfast.

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Rice pancakes: step 1

 

Rice pancakes: step 2

Rice pancakes: step 2

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Hot pot for dinner:

 

Pho gá, traditional Vietnamese noodle soup with chicken: breakfast.

Pho ga, traditional Vietnamese noodle soup with chicken: breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did a field trip to the market with the students assigned to producing a group story from the trip; one photo from each participant.  Much discussion as to whether 12 photographers converging on one market stall might get in the way of business until they realized that all 12 didn’t have to go to one stall, there were lots to choose from.

 

Oodles of noodles at the market.

Oodles of noodles at the market.

Fresh meat at the market

Fresh meat at the market

 

No trip to Vietnam is complete without fresh spring rolls!

No trip to Vietnam is complete without fresh spring rolls!

 

 

 

 

 

 

These beautiful spring rolls came from Pizza Chi, where Zum, the owner, made pizza in an ancient wood-fired pizza oven.  He was also an amateur photographer who started a camera club in Cao Bang.  We invited him to the workshop closing ceremony and introduced him to the students, some of whom live in Cao Bang.  Maybe a spark will ignite!

Zum and Lan exchange contact coordinates.

Zum and Lan exchange contact coordinat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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l. to r.: Lan, Susan, Santa, Thuy

Although Cao Bang was full of Santa Claus figures, Christmas trees, carols blasting, Christmas day was just another work day for all of us.

Some of the assignment images:

My grandma

My grandma
photo: Tháo

The color of national flag photo:  Yen

The color of national flag
photo: Yen

Uncle Ho's statue at the cultural house, Cao Bang province photo:  Dat

Uncle Ho’s statue at the cultural house, Cao Bang province
photo: Dat

Buong series #1 photo:  Thanh

Buong series #1
photo: Thanh

Buong series #2 photo:  Thanh

Buong series #2
photo: Thanh

Buong series # 3 photo:  Thanh

Buong series # 3
photo: Thanh

Buong series # 4 photo:  Thanh

Buong series # 4
photo: Thanh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here are some classroom pics ( note the presence of coats!):

l. to r.: Staff member, Huong 1, Director Tang

l. to r.: Staff member, Huong 1, Director Tang

 

Yen

Yen and Von

Getting close to your subject.

Getting close to your subject.

Tao helps Dat; Dinh and Quyen observe.

Thao helps Dat; Dinh and Quyen observe.

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Choosing photos to print was always a group discussion.

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It’s a collective effort!

Quyen singin' in the rain!

Quyen singin’ in the rain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The photographers all have to agree on everyone’s choices for the exhibition.

Lan in charge.

Lan in charge.

Where would we be without glue sticks?

Where would we be without glue sticks?

Thanh writing photo captions.

Thanh writing photo captions.

Nat cutting backing papers.

Nat cutting backing papers.

Dat prepping his photos for exhibition.

Dat prepping his photos for exhibition.

Lan photo:  Huong 1

Lan
photo: Huong 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between translating for the students and looking after us, for 9 days Lan has been   kept busy!

Closing ceremony group picture.

Closing ceremony group picture.

And back in Hanoi:

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Coffee with MCNV staff. Lan is to my right, Ha Viet to my left.

A foot-note for our Nova Scotia friends;  look what we found in Hanoi!

Irving in Hanoi?

Irving in Hanoi?



2 Responses to “Vietnam part 2: Cao Bang, 30 km from China / dec 23 – dec 30, 2015”

  1. Pamela Grundy says:

    Great post – a story in itself …

  2. Giselle Beauchamp says:

    Thanks for sharing these images which are more revealing of the way of life in that area.

Leave a Reply to Pamela Grundy


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