Apax Leaders Fun & Fantastic Field Trip in Cu Chi
When most people, including Apax English and Apax Leaders teachers, think of Cu Chi, they immediately think of the iconic intricate series of tunnels. These tunnels were built by the Viet Cong in the 1940s as protection from French air raids during the Indochina conflict. Furthermore, the Cu Chi Tunnels extend underground for more than 155 miles (250 km) in the vicinity of Ho Chi Minh City alone. This network of subterranean passageways later provided vital access to and strategic control over the rural areas surrounding the city during the Vietnam War (also known as the Second Indochina War or the American War). The tunnels housed living quarters, hospitals, booby traps, and storage facilities for the Viet Cong.
That’s all well and good, but if you really want to have a good time. Apax Leaders would say don’t have “tunnel vision.” There is an alternative. On October 14th, busloads of Apax English and Leaders staff members, a couple of teachers, FMD members and of course hundreds of students exited the central Saigon and headed to Khu Sinh Thai Giao Duc Ve QUE in Cu Chi.
The bus ride was quite festive as FMD members and teachers led students in classic bus ride songs such as B.I.N.G.O., The Wheels on the Bus, If You Are Happy and You Know It, etc. Moreover, the Khu Sinh Thai Giao Du Ve Que staff also delighted the Apax Leaders students with continuous energizing challenges and chants. Many students won great prizes throughout the hour-long bus ride.
As the day went on, we all got a chance to get our hands dirty and wet through a series of activities. We made the traditional Vietnamese dish of Banh Chung from scratch, practiced some pottery, blind water balloon slaying, monkey bar swinging, cargo climbing, potato sack races, and catching fish by hand. Not to mention we made limeade from scratch at the end of the day as refreshing treat for ourselves.
Finally, the bus ride back to centers was still an event for those of us who were still able to keep our eyes open. If you get a chance to go on a field trip while teaching with Apax English or Apax Leaders, do it!!! It’s a great way to experience a new area or attraction and the students and their parents really enjoy spending time with all of us.
Go forward and get wet and get dirty!!!
Đường Bàu Trâm, Ấp An Thạnh, Xã Trung An, Huyện Củ Chi
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam