The administration was very effective , with guidance when needed.
The homestay accommodation was very satisfactory , overlooking a beautiful thatched old house.
The food that Ms Xuan prepared was excellent and varied . My only regret was that she produced it in such vast amounts that I was unable to do it justice. She refused to reduce the servings because she said they had plenty but I dislike any waste. My only consolation was that at least my leftovers went to the pig!
I enjoyed the work although some activities had the feel of attempting to give me an experience rather than truly adding to the produce of the farm . For instance , when I was cutting forage for livestock sometimes there would be other people not being productive because we had only bought one tool.
In the second week much of the vegetable gardening had been completed. I volunteered myself to help a neighbour moving sacks , helped construct a buffalo shed and even worked on the foundations of a new house. Here I felt I was being useful and relished the variety,
The landscape around the homestay is stunning and I was happy to make my own discoveries. I found the 1000 steps cave in Mai Chau and was amazed. I visited the waterfalls of Go Loa which were also spectacular.
Although Ms Xuan gave me some local leaflets , it was pure chance I came across the caves and I only found out about Go Loa by talking to a tour guide who visited the homestay one night.
I rank the experience as 5 stars and the friendliness of the people I met certainly contributed to that. I was offered hospitality in people’s homes almost on first acquaintance.
Many thanks and Best wishes for the project