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As the program has come to an end I soon realized that these three weeks were some of the best weeks I have ever experienced. It took a combination of patience, hard work, sweat, and exhaustion but looking back now I would change one second. These weeks were not nearly enough time to know everything about the Vietnamese culture or each of the children’s lives. However, it did not stop us from creating incredible bonds with them. Prior to this immersive service program, I was not entirely convinced how or if we would be able to form quality relationships with the children due to the language barrier. Yet, I soon realized after the first week that this was not the case. There is a popular saying that “actions speak louder than words” and in this case, it could not be more applicable. We may not have been able to share all the random facts about our lives like normal friends do but we were able to show how much we cared and understand each other more than most friendships I have experienced, our bond was made stronger through the moments we shared and not by the words we spoke.

To say that I am going to miss this place and these people would be an enormous understatement. I am going to miss the all the beautiful children’s faces as they greeted us every morning walking to school and the talented college students that helped translate our sentences even when we talked too fast or had to be reminded of the word we couldn’t remember no matter how many times they repeated it. I have learned so much from both groups of people and I know that they have made a lasting impact on me that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Students smiling outside of entrance to a shrine

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