A Leap of Faith

My Second Spring is all about information, inspiration, preparing for the second half of life and fulfilling our potential. Here Carol tells her story of how a gentle nudge at one of My Second Spring's events made her take a giant leap of faith and a flight to Vietnam! What a wonderful story, what an amazing adventure...

Carol in Vietnam

Carol in Vietnam

In October Carol wrote:

"Unfortunately I won't make it to the Merrion this week. But the good news is thanks to the inspirational talks by the women at the meeting at the Merrion earlier in the year where they spoke about having confidence to make a change...I've given up my job and am heading to Vietnam to volunteer with a women's small craft business project ! I'm very excited about it all, I fly on Wednesday I'm there for 10 weeks, including a little bit of time to travel, then I will see where life takes me.
So a huge thank you to you and all the women for being part of my decision and giving me that little nudge I needed to make the leap of faith. I'll continue to follow your pages in the meanwhile." Carol

The update from Carol in Vietnam 5 weeks is as follows:

Hi Aisling 
I hope all is well with you !
Just a short update for now - I'm putting together a photo album as it's difficult sending photos via email as the files are large but I've attached a couple.

I've had an amazing adventure in my 5 weeks here so far! Hanoi is a beautiful city and the people are extremely friendly and I never once felt worried or vulnerable. The traffic is mental - there must be a gazillion mopeds on the roads at any one time and road rules are laughed at grin I travelled back and forth to the volunteers office via motorbike taxi - after the first day of gripping the driver and closing my eyes it all became very comfortable and normal.


I'm now in Mai Chau about 4 hours from Hanoi - it's beautiful: mountains, rivers and rice fields. Though a lot of people here are poor they lead very simple lives and their main concern is education for their children and upholding their traditions. Almost all children go to school which is good. Their main source of revenue is from the rice, homestays and making and selling souvenirs.

The project I am at is Hoa Ban+ www.maichauvillage.com facebook: hoaban handmade You tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4pSce22frU

Most of the women here are disabled and are very highly skilled in weaving or sewing, they are incredibly resolute and the work here has given them an independence and sense of confidence they may never have achieved. My host family are just incredible and have made me feel like one of the family from day one. We visited neighbours for rice harvest parties and hosted one ourselves. 

One thing I've learned is that I am able to live quite happily without the trappings of material things, the living conditions here are very basic - outside shower and toilet, which work sometimes, we sleep on the floor on very thin mattresses and my room is currently under siege from woodworm, mice and crickets!! In fairness I may not have been able to do this even two years ago but incredibly nothing has phased me at all - my friends at home are amazed as I was always the one who complained if hotel rooms were not up to scratch grin 

I'm amazed to find that their sense of humour is very like mine ! They happily tease each other and even have a hint of sarcasm grin


Amazing healthy food!

The food is amazing - and very healthy - I'm glad to say I've shed a few excess kilos with all the fresh veg and fruit - no chocolate or cakes here !

The next stage of my journey starts on Wednesday when I travel south to Ho Chi Minh stopping off in Hue, Nha Trang, and D'nang. I got confirmation yesterday that I can visit the Christina Noble Sunshine Centre in Ho Chi Minh - I'm going to see if there's anything I can do to help there however small.

Well my short update turned out quite long grin 

I'll be in touch again - keep up the great work - you are actually changing lives and I'm living proof!


If you have a story that you'd like to share with us please email aisling@mysecondspring.ie. We'd love to hear from you.

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