The last day we were in Sapa, the hotel put together a visit to an elementary school in Ma Cha village to give the kids a tasty treat of baguettes soaked in sweet milk as well as some clothes, school supplies, and a bunch of Aussie Rules footballs.
The kids were simply crazy adorable and they all lined up to wait for their bread and oranges. It’s quite cold up in Sapa but you’ll notice that lot of these kids either don’t have any shoes on or are wearing plastic slippers. To boot, many of them walk up to 6 km to and from school from their villages every day.
Ma Cha is just outside of the town of Sapa and the most impoverished area of the region consisting of mainly Black Hmong people. The Vietnamese government is responsible for constructing schools throughout the country but often abandon them, leaving them without proper books, supplies, or teacher support. Sapa Rooms has decided to support the children who attend the elementary school in Ma Cha to provide them with supplies and a better environment to learn in.
The little guy in the middle looks uncannily like my big brother when he was that age. Apparently, the folks at the hotel tried to bring them more complete meals but the kids just want their baguettes doused in sweet milk.
I was ready to slip this guy in my pocket and take him home.
After the snack, of course the boys went straight for the footballs and went at it.
… while the girls watched on the sidelines.
This little girl OWNED this pink scarf.
As we were snapping away, some of the kids looked curious and J decided to show them how to use his camera.
They went crazy for it! For the next hour, all they did was pass around our cameras and take pictures of each other and review them.
The girls came in an joined in on the fun.
This one’s a ham!
Here are some of the photos the kids took:
More pictures the kids took can be found on my Flickr page.
We brought some school supplies to be donated but wanted to do more. If you would like to help out and send a donation, J and I will be gathering some stuff together and sending it to Pete at Sapa Rooms. They are asking for winter coats, gloves, pants, warm socks and knitted hats as well as school supplies (note paper, pens, pencils, etc.)
You can also send the items directly to Sapa Rooms at :
Sapa Rooms Boutique Hotel
018 Fanxipang Street
Sapa, Lao Cai, 19999
To learn more about what Sapa Rooms is doing, you can visit their website or just go stay with them and experience it for yourself. The support Pete and Sapa Rooms is providing not only to the school but the entire area is inspiring and admirable. It’s meeting people like Pete that make me want to give without solicitation.