Olivia and her robotics students (Photo: Dan Q. Dao)

Olivia and her robotics students (Photo: Dan Q. Dao)

Each day we took a 2 hour bus ride from the busy streets of Tien An into the forests of Tien Ngoc. Tien Ngoc is one of poorest districts, where most of the jobs are centered around the rice fields. The roads changed from paved to dirt roads that met never ending shades of green rice fields and rolling mountains of green.

When we arrived the school was half painted, so we started to paint the walls. Each day after lunch the neighborhood children curiously came to the school grounds. Each day after they came back to greet us with smiles and laughs. As the day moved on, the school rooms started to come together and I started to imagine the local village children learning and playing in.

On the third day the groups were divided into our training groups; Language & Arts, 3D printing, and robotics. In the robotics group I learned to build lego robots and control them with programing. I imagine the children becoming inspired to grow up to be an engineer creating motors or bridges.

By the end of each day we are all very tired, but I get very excited when I imagine that we are providing them a vital key to their dreams and aspirations.

Cindy Au