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Long Bien Floating Village Life

“Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful.” and “Enjoy the little things in life for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

I understood clearly the meanings of these two sentences after 6 months of volunteering in the Long Bien Floating village – Red River in Hanoi. A place where people lives are difficult, without electricity, land, and people have to live on small boats and rent land for farming. Despite the difficult living conditions, they are still optimistic. Each day they are hard-working, each person works a different job, some of them work on the farms. Besides, a large of people are selling vegetables or selling water around Long Bien Bridge, or working in landfill (collect recyclables for sale).

What are their motivations? This is their children. It is nothing new, children are always motivation for their parents. But, in the place where everything is lacking. They still spend time with kids such as cooking and eating together, or organizing some small outdoor activities with their kids. Talking about the children in here, they are independence very early. We easily can see the differences among children of the same ages but different living standards. Let’s think about ourselves, what have we done in our childhood? Trying to imagine that, what did you do at 4a.m? Wake up at 4a.m then going to market with parents and still staying in the market to 7a.m with aim of going to school. After school time, they often help their parents a lot of household chores like cooking rice, washing dishes, or feeding dogs, cats, chickens and ducks. That are normal days of children in floating village. Therefore, they are still happing and developing day by day.

Nevertheless, any place or group needs a leader, the village isn’t exception. They have one person whose name is Mr.Duoc. He exactly is the nice leader in floating village, who always takes care all of people – not only floating village’s members but also poor people in out of his village. Even though he is not a rich man, he has a big hearts. His wife is suffering from arthritis, she cannot do heavy work, and two grandsons are suffering from heart disease. That is the reasons why he is the breadwinner. Though he never gives up, he always looking for charity organizations and government organizations coming to help the community in here.