Grade 5 students’ annual camp at Thai Hai eco-village was a great success. Here are some highlights from the trip, where students had a wonderful time learning about the local culture, environment, and community.
Day 1 Highlights
The students had an action-packed half-day, full of learning and fun.
- Arrived at the Tay village and settled into their stilt houses, where they experienced the traditional lifestyle and architecture of the Tay people.
- Had a delicious traditional Vietnamese lunch, where all ingredients were grown on the Tay site. They savored dishes such as cá tầm chiên (Fried Sturgeon), thịt băm viên (Pork meat balls), nem rán (Spring Rolls), rau luộc (Boiled Vegetables), đậu phụ tẩm hành (Tofu with onion), cơm trắng (Boiled rice) and trứng rán (Omlette)
- Had an introduction to Tay houses and music, where they learned about the cultural values and customs of the Tay people, and listened to some folk songs played with instruments such as đàn tính (lute).
- Explored green tea packing and wrapping, where they discovered the process of making and packaging green tea, and practiced wrapping tea leaves to take home with them.
- Learned about herbal medicine, where they identified some medicinal plants and herbs, and learned about their benefits and uses.
- Had a local snack cooking class, where they learned how to make some tasty snacks such as bánh gai (glutinous rice cake with black sesame) and chè đậu xanh (mung bean dessert).
Day 2 Highlights
Students were split into three groups, where they rotated through three stations on Thursday and Friday morning.
We participated in a navigation and compass treasure hunt, we learned how to use a compass and then navigate our way through the village. We enjoyed exploring the natural surroundings and discovering hidden treasures along the way and the rain only added to the sense of adventure!
We also immersed ourselves in the rural life and skills of the Tay people, who live in harmony with nature. We learned how to play some of their traditional games, and also built a miniature stilt house using natural materials. We tried our hand at basket weaving using bamboo strips, inspired by the craftsmanship and creativity of the local artisans.
We visited the local Tay school, exchanged greetings and introductions in both Vietnamese and Tay languages. The local students sang us a song and we made friendship bracelets – in the five traditional colours of the Tay people – with the students. We then read books with the Tay students from their new library. We felt a strong connection with the students and learned a lot from this experience with them.
We had a fantastic time at Thai Hai eco village, and are grateful for the opportunity to learn from and with the local community. We are gaining a deeper appreciation and respect for their culture, history, and lifestyle. We also developed our inquiry, communication, and social skills through various activities and challenges. Last night we had a celebration with the Tay community for the Tết Trung Thu (Moon Festival) which we are all excited about.