Last year we were fortunate to meet an English gentleman by the name of David Clements who organises and conducts motor bike tours in Asia. He informed us that in 2014 he was conducting a bike rally from Saigon to Hanoi and upon reaching Hanoi he would kindly donate the bikes to us to dispose of however we liked and that Project Vietnam could retain the monies and disburse the funds to one of our many causes that we have in Vietnam.
Jim, our President, and I met up with the merry band of travel weary, mud-spattered motorcyclists upon their arrival in Hanoi. Prior to their arrival we managed to source a dealer who would purchase all of the bikes and take them off our hands. The total money raised with this exercise was in excess of $US2400 from the sale of the bikes plus personal donations of nearly $US400 from the team members.
Each year Project Vietnam supports five needy Medical students studying at the Thai Binh Medical University which is situated about 120 km south of Hanoi. Subsequently $US1000 of the money raised was presented to the students to assist them with their career studies. The balance of the money went to assist with the purchase of new and updated computerized medical equipment for the operating theatre at one of the regional rural hospitals.
I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank David Clements and his 2014 rally competitors for their wonderful gesture in donating their motor bikes along with their personal donations to our cause.
I have just received a welcome email from David advising me that in 2015 the same situation will apply with the donation of the rally team’s motor bikes at the conclusion of the rally.
Also I’d just like to make mention to our site viewers that all the dollars donated to us are fully tax deductible and all funds raised goes directly to our projects in Vietnam and Cambodia. There are no administration costs deducted out of any donated monies. They are met from membership fees. All our participating volunteer members travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia to be part of our projects personally cover all their airfares, accommodation and day to day costs.
After a somewhat ‘boisterous’ session at the local Bia Hoi last night, I was last to rise for breakfast this morning. Luckily, the PVI team kept a few eggs set aside for me to get my morning energy boost before we jumped on the bus and hit the road. This year’s project is a few kilometers further down the road from the kindergarten we worked on last year.
When we arrived onsite, the memories came flooding back from last year’s visit to this kindergarten… we’re surrounded by two amazing Pagodas – one being over 600 years old! Plenty more photos of this to come as the job progresses.
The basics of the work the building team will undertake are this: Find project, assess what needs to be fixed/rebuilt, plan, demolish, rebuild. We work with the local brick workers and renderers who do most of the structural work a few weeks before we arrive. They’re still at work with us, but have been going hard for a while already.
This year we’re renovating the two buildings already there, and building a new classroom on the roadside of the kindergarten. Today I worked a lot with Terry up on the roof – getting the trusses in place and then placing the batons across to get ready for the roof panels to come on tomorrow. A lot of the team worked on the roof of the other building, and a dedicated team of ladies took inventory of all our tools and very neatly organised them so if we needed anything, we didn’t have to go rummaging through the boxes haphazardly.
We eat lunch in the other neighbouring pagoda which is where the kids are also taking class while we’re working. When we first arrived today, Fran and Murray entertained the kids with quite the show and rendition of “Waltzing Matilda”:
It was a really good “Day One” and I’m really excited to get back into it tomorrow
Tonight I’ve opted to only have a few beers at the Bia Hoy – saving my energy for the week ahead. I’m sure tomorrow will inspire a new thirst though.
Here’s the team celebrating a great day. Some even celebrated by eating some freshly fried Crickets!
Time for bed :)