On the 14th day of September 2016, Wednesday, first day of fieldwork, K46 students of Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF) gathered at 4:30 in the morning, and left Thai Nguyen City at 5:30 am to Hai Tien Beach, Hoang Tien Commune, Hoang Hoa District, Thanh Hoa Province. We arrived at around 11 in the morning and after having lunch and we went on to search for places that are applicable for observation. The aim of our field work is to observe the communities (urban, rural, coastal, and agricultural), within Thanh Hoa City and to take note of their differences (organisms, biodiversity, species richness, etc.)
It was scorching in that place; enough to make you cringe even though you have stayed put to avoid sweating. The beach was surrounded by hotels and there is an amusement park under construction. It was pretty scary at night because there were no lights at the streets and we were the only tourists in the place. The hotel that we were staying was literally the only hotel that was filled with people. The locals said that tourists only come at a certain season.
We got to celebrate Mid-Autumn festival at the seaside especially our Vietnamese classmates. They lit a bonfire, sang and danced around it while holding each other’s hands forming a circle. When they saw that the foreigners were just watching the celebration, they started pulling each one of us like they were gripping on a tight rope. I am honestly horrible with these kind of things. I am horrible meddling with people especially during parties. It was a relief that I just went through it while running sideways and kept my balance. It was a relief that I didn’t get thrown on that scorching bonfire while my nearly drunk Vietnamese classmates held each of my hands.
The trip was a fusion of disappointment and delight; I guess life will always be that way. My whole being is always open to experience new things and to be exposed with different cultures beyond my comfort zone. I now understand that the world is not mine alone and I appreciate that, I hope you do too.