In March 2014 I visited Vietnam with a dental team to work at a Catholic Orphanage in BanMeThuot ( which is the largest city) in the central highlands of the southern end of Dac Lac Plateau. After completing our work in BanMeThuot, three of us from the group did some sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon.
I am not dentally trained so my job was to sterilize dental equipment, hand instruments to the dentists and hygienists as needed, bring patients in and keep the ones waiting occupied. Approximately 325 disabled children and their staff were treated in one week . Some children were deaf, others dumb, some had cleft lips, Down Syndrome and more. It was challenging treating them. In one case, it took about 6 of us to hold down a 6-year old boy. After he was done and calmed down he came back and hit me on the butt.
Doing activities with the children
I especially loved the fruits in Vietnam. Besides jelly ( young) coconuts, mangoes, pineapples, guavas, papayas, star fruits, naseberry ( sapodilla), sugar cane, sweet sop, and bananas I found the following fruits:
Otaheite apples ?
Milk fruit ( star apple )
Some trees were laden with jack fruits
Fresh fried fish was great too.
The best part of the trip was serving the children.
I recommend the food – lots of fruits that are common to Jamaica, and of course “Pho”.
Attractions that I would recommend are the Mekong River tour, Cu Chi tunnels, and walking the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.
One advice is to be careful of the motorcycles as you venture to cross streets. Do not cross the street if you don’t HAVE to. There seem to be hundreds of motorcycles at any given time traveling very fast down the street with sometimes 4 passengers and they do not stop. Weather is humid even in February and similar to Jamaica.
I would visit Vietnam again but other cities such as Hanoi, Da Nang .