Welcome to Workcamp 2019!

by Dan Q. Dao

Me (left) with my family, who some of y’all might recognize.

Me (left) with my family, who some of y’all might recognize.

Hello there, it’s Dan Q. Dao. I’m a Sunflower Mission workcamp veteran (this is my 12th!) and one of your blog moderators this year.

If you’re joining us for the first time: we’re a non-profit organization with mission to improve both access to and quality of education in Vietnam. Every summer, a group of volunteers from all over the world come together to help complete a Sunflower Mission school, award scholarships, and teach a variety of workshops ranging from English and arts and crafts to LEGO robotics.

For reference, here’s a video I made after our last workcamp in 2017:

Wayyyy back in 2011, I started the first workcamp blog (you can still see it here) as a way to keep folks back home posted on what’s going on at camp. This year, we’ll be doing more of the same, sharing our experiences, reflections, and goals for this trip. After all, while we are traveling to Vietnam to help Vietnamese kids, the lessons we learn and bring back home with us are also invaluable.

This year, the team will be based out of Da Lat, known as “the city of eternal spring” for his highland location and temperate climates. It’s been popular since French colonial times as a holiday getaway—oh, and they make really good coffee out there. Here’s a handy map.

The school site itself is located in the nearby Lam Dong province, which is home to numerous unique tourist destinations like Bidoup National Park, Gold Valley, and Dankia Lake. Sadly, however, the daily lives of people in this province are still very hard—their income relies primarily on agriculture. Our school, Pang Tieng, is an elementary school serving 102 households, 52 of which belong to member sof the K'ho ethnic minority. (For those who are familiar with the situation in Vietnam, our ethnic minority groups are among the poorest in the country).

We hope you’ll follow along as we live-blog our way through workcamp 2019! For more information about Sunflower Mission or our workcamp, contact info@sunflowermissiom.org.