Irony: my entire last trip into Cao Bang for ADRA was a first. A first to travel to Ha Giang and enter the province from the west. A first to travel to the
So, yes, it was bitter sweet.
Erica calls her own project's counseling hotline to help her get through the transition...
But we’ll start with the adventure.
Field visits were organized in and around the usual routine of meetings and office work.
This trip up to a commune on the China border almost resembled more of an invasion than a field visit: a border guard accompanied five of us on motorbike and four more in a car 60 km through fields and then up mountains and down rocky hairpin turns until we arrived in a place that probably hadn’t even seen foreigners before. The road started out normally enough and I chose to ride pillion so I could take pictures while not overly endangering myself or others.Markets abound on this trip - we came to yet another market on the way to our commune, but we didn't have time to stop - only drive-by shooting: After that, however, the road went downhill even as we climbed uphill. We switched to riding individually at this point - for safety and comfort's sake. The road was challenging to say the least, and when we went to deliver our baseline survey, we discovered that this was probably the most remote area we had worked in yet.
After we finished with the survey we had just a few minutes to wander the mountain market.
Then, it was a rush back to town to get back to a 3 PM government meeting – could almost cause cultural whiplash!