Day 11-12, Train experience and first day at site

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From Hue to Quang Ngai, the location of this summer's project, we took a 6-hour train ride. Most of the time was spent napping, so time passed pretty quickly. Once we arrived at our pitstop, you have to quickly jump off of the train because you don't get that much time to exit before the train rolls off again.

We were greeted by Phan Van Do from Madison Quakers Inc. (MQI) at the station, and we headed off to our hotel to rest for tomorrow's first day at site.

The following day, we would visit the village of Tinh Ky, where the site of the compassion house is located. We drove on a narrow dirt road, under rich coconut trees, and parallel to the My Khe beach. This village feels different than all of the big cities that we've been to. This rural setting feels secluded and peaceful, portraying a simple lifestyle that isn't visible in the larger cities.

We arrive at site to be greeted by the couple who set out chairs and a pitcher of water for us. Our task today was simple: just observing the site, learning about how we would assist in the construction of the compassion house, and getting to know the family that will be occupying the home.


The basic layout of the house was already set out as seen above. We will build upon this outline through methods of brick-layering with the help of five locals. There are huge piles of bricks, sand, and cement. With the compassion house, we will have two major tasks: brick-layering and cement making. It's a simple but sufficient method.  

Soon enough, we headed to downtown to stop by a local bookstore to purchase materials and activities for the local children in the village. Half of the group will work with the children while the other half works on the house, and then alternate in the afternoon. We purchased coloring books, crayons, puzzles, comic books, arts and crafts materials, and more.

Tomorrow is our second day at site and the day that the project will truly begin!