Three-Week Cultural Immersion AIAD in Vietnam
Four cadets and one officer traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam, for a three-week cultural immersion Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) via the volunteer organization, Projects Abroad. The group spent all three weeks in and around Hanoi. During this time the cadets completed three volunteer projects. First, they spent several days with students at the Hanoi College of Technology and Trading, where they provided the Vietnamese students with classes on both English and self-defense.
Second, the cadets worked in the small rural village of Mai Chau, 160 km from Hanoi, where they harvested rice and assisted a local factory staffed solely by physically-disabled women of several ethnic minorities. They ultimately spent several days at the Vinh Ngoc kindergarten. In addition to these volunteer projects, the cadets had the opportunity to visit a variety of important cultural and historical sites around Hanoi; they particularly studied and reflected upon the ways that the Vietnamese remember and memorialize the Vietnam War.
Finally, the group had the opportunity to spend an evening with COL(R) Jean Andre Sauvageot, a retired Army officer who served in Vietnam almost continuously from 1964-1973, who discussed his experiences through the course of the entire war—an incredibly memorable evening, to say the least.