Posted by: allisonbarnes | June 6, 2011

Thuan Hung Coaches Visit Ba Hon Dam Beach

The Red Morning Team won the Tennis Competition.

Friday was the first competition day of camp, and everything ran smoothly, including the weather. Monday through Thursday students learn specific lessons in their academic and sport classes, and then are tested on how much they have learned on Friday.

Once students arrive to the school, they take a 60 minute academic test, which covers health, English, morality and physics. Students then compete in two 35 minute sport competitions on a skill they have mastered earlier in the week. Next is a quick break before students are accessed on what they have learned in their Life Skills classes, which include leadership, team building, higher education and financial literacy.  After all the written exams are finished, students compete in the last two sport competitions before the day is over.

The sport competitions began with Tennis focusing on ball control and speed. Students ran from one side of the court to the next, while focusing on keeping the tennis ball under control the whole time. In the morning session, the Orange and Green team had a tie, which then forced the teams to pick two members to have a juggle-off. The Green team snuck by at the very end to snag second place.

After the competitions were over for the day, the Thuan Hung Coaches traveled to Rach Gia City, which is a 2 hour bus drive towards the Southwest tip of Vietnam. After a quick dinner at a supermarket we traveled another 2 hours to Ba Hon, Kien Luong, where we arrived a little bit before midnight to the 4 star Hon Trem Resort.

After dropping off our bags, the coaches met to soak up the scenery.  Even though it was pitch dark outside, hearing the waves crashing on the cliff below us and looking up at the bright white stars above us was breathtaking. I couldn’t believe I had returned to this place that I had thought a year earlier I’d never see again. I was so grateful for being able to return.

Entering into the Cave Pagoda.

We woke up early Saturday morning for a quick breakfast before we headed for Ba Hon Dam Beach. While I like to think I’ve been adventurous with my food, I couldn’t resist ordering fried eggs and bread for breakfast. It was delicious.

That's a lot of Buddha's!

On our path to the beach, we stopped by a Cave Pagoda. The scenery was majestic. The Pagoda was enclosed by enormous boulders with lots of Buddha statues all around. Once inside the temperature dropped an easy 20 degrees, as the cave was nice and cool. What we thought were birds in the cave turned out to be little whistles that kids were selling to visitors. Several of the coaches bought them to bring back to the States.

My favorite part of the weekend had to have been traveling to a remote island in the Ban Hon Dam Beach. The journey by boat to the island took a little over 2 hours as the boat over heated for about 20 minutes. But the wait was worth it. After a quick lunch, which included muscles, fish, fried rice and noodles, the coaches hit the beach. The warm salt water barely hit our knees but it was perfect for just floating and playing water volleyball.

Coaches on the boat ride back

After a nice relaxing day at the beach we headed back to the hotel where we washed up for dinner. After dinner we celebrated Tran Thanh Nhu’s 19th birthday and sang karaoke all night. It was a great time.

Waking up Monday was a little challenging, as we all were still on beach time, but we were excited to see the students. Time to focus on classes for the remainder of the week so Friday’s competition day can run smoothly again!

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  1. Great entry Allison! You have written all that I am thinking about the trip last year. Hope to see you soon in Can Tho the next weekend. Saturday night or Sunday morning, which one do you prefer?

    • Thanks Thao! I prefer both but whatever works for you. Maybe Saturday night so you can show us where to go 🙂

  2. I am obsessed with reading your blog. I miss it so much! I am living vicariously thru you.

  3. The weekend pictures are great and I enjoyed watching the competition on Friday ……keep up the daily updates and pictures it is really neat to see

  4. Allison this is way to cool!!!! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences. Be safe! We all send our love.

  5. My favorite part was your commentary in the video: “Are they not allowed to run? This is a race, right?

    Seriously, though, I’m enjoying keeping up with the trip here, Allison. Thanks for blogging!

    • Ha… yeah I was hoping no one would pick up on that… hope all is well in Cali!

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