On September 19, 2013 we brought the Mid Autumn Festival to the Hoa Sen Charity School. This was made entirely possible through donations made by Frank Kaul of the USA. The Mid Autumn Festival, also called the Full Moon Festival, is one of the biggest holidays in Vietnam for youngsters. Children traditionally carry candle-lit paper lanterns, watch and participate in dragon dances, and eat delicious snacks such as the well-known moon cakes. In poor communities, however, the children don’t often have the opportunity for such festivities.

The Hoa Sen Charity School offers free kindergarten and day care for children in the poor community of Tan Thanh. Through donations, they provide free school books and supplies for pre-schoolers and kindergarteners, and even arrange for free tutors to help primary and middle school students. In a poor fishing village such as this one, to have their very own Mid Autumn Festival was a wonderful surprise. Our coordinators Ngoc, Loan, and Nhan brought paper lanterns for all of the children, gift bags of snacks, and watched as the children performed their very own dragon dance. Thank you Frank and everyone in the Kaul family for bringing joy to these children on this special day!

The next day the same group of volunteers had a very nice ceremony in the countryside. Ngoc, Loan, Nhan, and Thay Tam Nhan are all Buddhists, and decided to free some animals that would otherwise have been used in exotic meals. They went to the market and bought frogs, eels, water snakes, and turtles, then went to a river and set them free.