What does a typical Day in the Life look like for an OAT traveler?
Nha Trang, Vietnam
12:15 Arrive at the village of Xom Gio, which has a population of 2000 people in 465 households. Walk to the home of Mr. Hoang, the village chief. He is 65 years old and he served for the South Vietnamese army during the war. Mr. Hoang answers questions for travelers, perhaps discussing his role as village chief or how the residents of Xom Gio make a living.
Mr. Hoang gives travelers a tour of his home, and encourages them to join him in the traditional prayer to the ancestors. He shares bananas from his altar for good health and good luck.
12:50 Travelers join Mrs. Hoang, the chief's wife, in the preparation of a typical lunch. Travelers might assist her in washing vegetables, chopping ingredients, or cooking the soup.
1:15 The group gathers for lunch in the garden, joined once again by Mr. Hoang.
2:00 With translation assistance from their Trip Leader, the group enjoys a frank discussion with the Hoangs about real life in Xom Gio, including the role of Vietnamese women in the home. As a stay-at-home mother and homemaker, Mrs. Hoang has traditional insight—which she shares freely in response to travelers' questions.
2:30 The group walks to another family home for a hands-on demonstration of how baskets are woven from bamboo. They also view four homes that were rebuilt by OAT's Vietnam team as part of a community service event.
This is a unique opportunity for travelers to purchase a traditional handmade souvenir without paying extra at a tourist shop—and, more important, the money goes straight to the village artisan.
3:15 Bidding farewell to the basket weavers, the group then walks through the village past rice and vegetable fields to visit another family who specialize in making chopsticks. The travelers try their hand at this as well.
3:40 Travelers walk back to the bus for a short drive to the local market. The Trip Leader explains the local vegetables and fruits, such as dragon fruit, mango, and longan.
4:40 The group returns to the hotel.