Vietnam: Growing new ideas

After nearly 30 hours of travel, bleary from lack of sleep and exercise, Vietnam welcomes you with a bang. I arrived to the welcome smiles of Annie and our hosts Ly Quoc Dang and Nguyen Thong Tha. We rushed through the heavy traffic dodging countless motorbikes, trucks and pedestrians. Seeming chaos somehow creating an effective system.

Our travels across Vietnam took us to remote and beautiful places. We spent 3 days at Delta Garden, run by our host Dang and his family – parents and sister. Delta Garden is in the beginning stages of becoming an agritourism learning farm to showcase sustainable farming practices, including compost able toilets and water saving techniques. We spent considerable time discussing marketing and outreach plans, helping to think thru the mission, vision and objectives of the farm.

We were also given the

opportunity to meet with various farmers and distributors across the region, both small and large scale. We learned a great deal about the Vietnam food system and efforts to make it more sustainable and healthy.

We were honored to be able to meet with the Delta Youth Alliance students at Con Tho University. We were inspired by their commitment to tackle tough issues they see in Vietnam and their passion to make a difference through education and advocacy.

Throughout the week, we were continually welcomed by everyone we met and are thankful for the opportunity to learn from them and share our thoughts about system change.

Many thanks to the Mansfield Center of the University of Montana, the United States State Department, and YSEALI for this opportunity to exchange knowledge, insight, and culture!


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