Having to pay to be involved with back breaking manual labour is hardly what students feel a school trip is all about. However 30 students and three teachers did exactly that by funding and being involved in the construction of a house in the Mai Chau area of North Vietnam. Students mingled and worked with the local White Thai villagers in constructing and assembling the major structural framework, cutting, preparing and laying the bamboo flooring, thatching the roof and putting up the internal walls of a traditional Long House. This all happened in the time the students were in the village where they lived, ate and slept as if they were local villagers. This type of trip is part of the school’s commitment to the Community and Service component of the IBMYP and serves to give students a sense of being an active participant in community projects, not just as a passive ‘fund raiser’.
However it was not all work as the students also enjoyed amongst other things the opportunity of meandering down and exploring the alleyways of the old quarter of Hanoi and enjoying the scenic wonder and serenity of Halong Bay- a UNESCO world heritage site.