The Faces of Mai Chau and Xom Pung Villages in Vietnam
During my recent trip with RAKLife, we volunteered in Mai Chau and Xom Pung villages which are a several hour bus ride outside of Hanoi. Follow this link to read more about this experience! The people we met during this trip were particularly impactful to me. Here are just a few of my favorite images.
This woman was working in the fields in the late afternoon, when the heat died down a bit. She didn’t speak any English but saw our cameras and started posing. Many of these people have never seen a photo of themselves. She just smiled and laughed when she herself! Many of the women suck on betel nut, which gives their lips and teeth the reddish color.
This young girl lived in Xom Pung village where we build the water basin and bathroom. She watched us work all week, curious but unsure.
On this day, we handed out clothes and other goods to the people in the village. Some rode their bikes several miles for the chance to get some new clothing! The winters actually get very cold in this area and the homes are open to the elements. This young girl had been hanging out with us all week and was excited to wear her new clothes!
The village doesn’t often get visitors, so this young girl was just taking it all in! She was super shy, but curious. I’d see her peeking around the house occasionally just checking out what we were up to.
This little girl just stole my heart. I may have had that exact haircut as a child. She seemed torn between wanting to be in the middle of the action and watching a few steps away.
RELATED: Organization: RAKLife, A Non-Profit
We tended to do the manual labor in the mornings before it got too hot out, which meant that we had some free time in the afternoons to go exploring. On this particular day, we were riding our scooters through Mai Chau valley and saw this woman’s Hmong friend perched up on a rock sewing. We stopped to speak with her and this woman popped up out of the rice field and came over to see what was going on. She wanted her picture taken, so I went down with her to the field to photograph her working. She was pulling the brown shoots out of the rice field.
This man invited us into his home where his wife served us tea and he played the bamboo flute for us. At nearly 90 years old, he and his wife still sleep on the hard floor and work in the fields.
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