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Social Entrepreneurship Program in Vietnam – When the International opportunity to work in Tra Vinh, Vietnam is presented, I want everyone at NSCC to raise their hands and say, "pick me."

Hop on that bicycle and ride through the noisy and busy streets of Tra Vinh.

Roll up your sleeves and make traditional Vietnamize food grown and picked that day on an organic farm.

Pick up and eat an entire octopus with your chop sticks. At least try.

Eat coconut rat (it tastes like chicken).

Smile and say, "sim chow" (hello) when people stop and stare because they have never seen a tall white woman.

Laugh when your restaurant order for "lots of vegetables" translates to an enormous mound of lettuce.

Get soaked to the bone in a deluge because the rain washes away the dust and sweat.

Eat noodles for breakfast.

Drink your coffee with ice.

Recognize and learn from the genuine hospitality. The highest officials of Tra Vinh University (TVU) will graciously take you to dinner. TVU students will arrive at your hotel in the morning with breakfast. The man on the street with a compressor will notice your flat and pump up your bike tire. He will refuse payment. Bring the learning back to NSCC. Be kind to visitors.

Watch TVU and NSCC students form instant bonds and life time friendships. They will share food. They will learn about each other’s culture. They will work hard on forming the foundation of a sustainable international social entrepreneurial student exchange. They will be inspired by the resourcefulness and hardworking young entrepreneurs in Vietnam. They will impress everyone with exceptional presentations. They will answer tough questions. And most importantly, they will laugh… a lot.

Enjoy working with and experiencing the talent of your colleague. I got to work with Susan Campbell. She impressed us all with her knowledge and dedication. In the words of a TVU student she is, “punctual, knowledgeable and kind.”

Don’t wait until you are old (like me) to belt out “Ironic” at karaoke.

Be stylish in a new hand tailored Ao Dai (traditional Vietnamize tunic worn by women).

Eat chom chom fruit. Be amazed at the sweetest grapefruit you will ever taste.

Try durian fruit. You don’t have to like it.

Take refuge in a pagoda. Avoid the stork poop.

Be a passenger on a motorbike. Try to keep at least one eye open as it weaves through traffic.

Watch a charming and handsome NSCC student becomes an instant celebrity.

Fight back your tears when you say goodbye.

And, remember always to wear sunscreen.

Cynthia Rogers

Mechanical Engineering Technology Faculty

NSCC Ivany Campus

 

 

 

 

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