The best part of work in Ben Tre is interacting with the kids. Quite simply, they are adorable. At our work site, one of our big jobs is transporting the materials from the drop off site down a small road to the house. We have developed a relatively efficient manner of transporting the materials using our bikes to speed up the process and increase the amount of weight we can easily carry. Whenever we begin this conveyor belt of material delivery, the granddaughter of the owner of our house as well as many of her cousins and friends run to help us. They hand us bricks, they hold the bags of sand on the back of our bikes, they hold the bags while we fill them with rocks, and they give us candy or coconut juice or fruit. They invite us to their special place by the river or to play cards. They delight in being the subject of pictures and they are eager to take pictures of us. They poke and tease and jabber away at us in Vietnamese that we clearly don't understand.
The children we teach are also quite excited for us to be there. They decorate our hair with flowers. The little girls especially are enamored with the boys and are always hoping for a piggy back ride or a high five or really any attention of any sort. They seem eager to learn, saying hello and goodbye to us. They even know all our names (even though I don't think I know any of theirs). As hard as teaching can be, when I hear that they liked or lesson or request to practice the dance from last week, it feels a bit more worthwhile.