The free vietnamese spirit
In the spring of 2016 I accompanied a school charity expedition to Vietnam as a documentary photographer. The purpose of the expedition was to assist a small village community named Nua, rebuilding their tired local primary school. We flew into Hanoi from London and after several days in the city, made our way to the village.
When we arrived at our project site we saw a school that was in desperate need of painting and refurbishing. Our system was rather effective, half of the team was on wall duty and the other half began painting the doors and windows. Meanwhile, I was photographing the team’s efforts and the playful Vietnamese children while they attended preschool. The village children were the happiest, most free spirited people I have ever met in my life and they're the reason of this special memory.
After an exhausting day working renovating the preschool was time to relax for the remainder of the day. We got ourselves involved with the kids in the school playing football on the school's pitch and teaching some of the kids our names. They all seemed delighted to have us around and the their smiles were infectious. Everyday, while having dinner we would slowly but surely have kids coming over to engage in games for several hours. The energy was just fantastic!
While documenting the artistic progress I also took a walk along one of the paths to photograph some of the local people and capture the stunning scenery that Nua village had to offer. I made sure to get some video footage of the local children interacting with the students on the trip. It was impossible not to fall in love with them.
Before leaving Nua we distributed gifts and toys such as sports equipment and coloring books to the children. At that night we stayed up late into the night interacting with the locals, sharing stories and playing cards. On our way out, I looked back to see Nua village from a far. That's a sight I will remember for the rest of my life.
Do you have memories that you'd like to share with us? Click here and be a Passenger of this Minivan.
This memory belongs to our new Passenger: Sam Massey-Steel, @explore_travel_photo. All the pictures belong to Sam's personal archive. To know more about our Passenger @explorer_travel_photo, click here.