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Asher Lightfoot's Story

Asher Lightfoot in Vietnam in 2023

I went to Vietnam for two weeks to learn about social entrepreneurship, but I learned much more than that. I learned how to interact with a completely different culture than mine, how to travel, and most important to me I learned that life is so much better when I am myself.

Before this program I had only traveled between Canada and the U.S., it had been a long time since I was on a plane, and I was extremely nervous. All of the people I traveled with helped me feel calm and safe. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people. Even though we were only in Vietnam for two weeks, it was more than enough time to make lifelong bonds, which made saying goodbye at the end hard. I plan on saving up the money to go back to Vietnam as soon as possible.

One of my favourite experiences we had was going to SokFarm a local business that makes their products from coconut flowers, similar to how we make maple syrup. Coconuts are my favourite food and we got to try multiple products, such as the coconut sugar and cocoa nibs with coconut nectar on them. We ate so much delicious foods, some very different from the Canadian food I was used to eating, but still great.

I almost chose not to go because I was terrified, but I have been trying not to let my anxiety run my life, so I forced myself to go. Before I left, I challenged myself to do everything I wanted to, even if my anxiety told me not to, and I had the best time of my life. Going on this trip was the best decision I have ever made. All of the Vietnamese students excepted me for me and respected my pronouns, as I go by he/they. I had many firsts while I was there and had a blast.

I hope that I am able to go back to Vietnam in the future. I definitely want to travel more. I can say that this program left me with many amazing experiences and lifelong friends.