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Halloween in Vietnam

Halloween in Vietnam

Halloween in Vietnam was a strange experience for me. There was certainly no chill in the air, the usual signal that Halloween is here and fall is in full swing. Instead we sweltered in 90-degree heat while attempting to apply face paint and costumes to 40 squirming bodies. We spent our Halloween at SMILE, our service placement in Vietnam that works with children affected by HIV.

It’s a strange thing to explain Halloween to someone that has no concept of it but I did my best to explain that it was a day devoted to dressing up and going door to door to collect candy. (I debated explaining the significance behind All Hallows Eve or even Dia de Los Muertos but I was struggling enough to translate the basic facts). We did all the things that kids in America love to do: bob for apples, pumpkin carving, games and finally a make shift piñata that produced more screaming and excitement than it did candy.

We also gave the kids cookies we had made ourselves. We had spent the previous night baking dozens and dozens of chocolate chip cookies for the Halloween party; and here’s something I did not know, children in Vietnam don’t like chocolate chip cookies! More for us I guess. Despite the confused looks, the sweaty face paint and the lack of love for our cookies, both the American students and the kids had a great time!

The next night we attended a Halloween party put on by our roommate’s English club. Apparently we were the main attraction, we spent the majority of the night being asked to have our pictures taken or to pose with people we had never met!

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