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Social Entrepreneurship Project in Vietnam - Sheri Williams' Story

Sheri with a group of people on a local boat

I have such a huge feeling of gratitude as I write this blog post. For being so fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in this experience, to our hosts at TVU who have gone over and above to make us feel welcome and comfortable and to the NSCC students who have embraced every moment with enthusiasm and an open mind.

I was told while preparing for the trip that our hosts would be very accommodating and helpful. Wow what an understatement that was! The staff and students have taken every opportunity to help us with language barriers, access to food and shopping, including us in their personal lives and ensuring we are comfortable and have everything we need. We have had so much fun getting to know each other, resulting in friendships that will last a lifetime. The karaoke also helped!

A few things we had to get used to while here was the weather, specifically the warm temperatures. As I write this it is 32 degrees (feels like 38) at noontime. Sweating is a constant and we have learned to do most of our activities in the early morning and evening hours. The traffic has also been a learning curve. Coming from rural Nova Scotia did not prepare me for volume of traffic here. It appears to come at you in all directions! We have learned to look for a break and once committed do not look around you and just go! It always seems to work out 😊

We went on a field trip to Xeo Quyt which is an eco-tourism model in Don Thap Province. We were able to have a glimpse into the days of the Vietnam War (known as the American War here) through the eyes of the locals. We traveled by canoe down the trenches used by local soldiers, we saw bunkers and got to feel firsthand how the heat and jungle environment impacted the overall war effort. Truly memorable!

Finally, I am truly impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit all around me. I see it throughout the university with all the student run businesses. I see it in the city with the variety of street vendors, markets, and restaurants available. I see it in the staff and students at the university in how they approach everything with a solutions-oriented approach. And I see it in the NSCC students as they have embraced this experience whole heartedly and recognized so much opportunity while doing their project work.

We know this will not be our last time together but will be the start of something new and long lasting. We will not forget this experience, this beautiful country, and its amazing people.

Sheri Williams
Manager, NSCC Entrepreneurship
NSCC IT Campus