GIN, HFH travel during spring break


Students touring Vietnam

Over spring break, Habitat For Humanity (HFH) and Global Issues Network (GIN) traveled to Vietnam and Thailand respectively. 

The HFH trip from March 25-31 included 11 students and two advisors, Patrick Young and Amy Kuhn. The club experienced Vietnamese culture and participated in community service projects—namely, the house building project in Mai Chau. They also rode a sleeper-boat to Ha Long Bay while viewing the scenery. 

“We had a trip to the Museum of Ethnology on the second day of the trip,” Yoonseo Kang (11), HFH Vice President, said. “I learned about the diversity of the Vietnamese population and the unique cultures such as religion and wedding customs.”

GIN’s Thailand trip, from March 23-30, included seven students and two staff members, Grey Macklin and Phoebe Borst. The GIN trip was also available to non-club members, increasing participation.

In Thailand, students took part in interactive activities and community service. For example, the club introduced parts of American culture to local communities and learned Thai culture through their cultural exchange program.

Specifically, students traveled to villages where they played soccer with the Thais. They also supported the local shops, by learning about and purchasing custom items such as jewelry. Students also taught English to the locals. 

“I also gave heart origami to the locals to show Western culture and popular gifts,” Amy Cha (11), GIN member, said. “We also traveled to night bazaars or night markets near Chiang Mai. There, we experienced Thai food and night culture.”

GIN also visited elephant parks, experiencing Thailand’s nature. Each night, members spent time to reflect on the events and new experiences that day.

“Through what I saw and experienced at local Thai communities, I learned the different struggles,” Jin Lee (9), trip participant, said. “I was not familiar with the levels of poverty and challenges of society because they were not apparent in my life. Thailand improved my awareness of world issues.”