Hi guys. Just wanted to say thanks one more time for the fantastic experience you and Buffalo Tours provided for us this past week. You know it was a good one when the kids don't want to leave. Your schedule gave them great variety and I think they appreciated your efforts very much. Your guides and drivers were positive, friendly and knowledgeable, and treated the kids with great care and patients. I would recommend your service highly to any schools interested in coming to Laos for a Lao experience.
Mike and the SSIS crew
During the first 3 weeks in Vietnam we visited Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi an, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh city and had the chance to stay overnight with local Hmong and Thai families. After traveling I worked at an orphanage in Suoi Hai, a small village 70 km from Hanoi. Seven volunteers and I gave English and computer lessons to the children and played with them after the classes. The seven weeks I spent in Vietnam were amazing. The traveling was very interesting and we saw a lot (I ealised that after I got home), the volunteer work was good too. Working with the children was absolutely one of the highlights of my trip, I will always remember that!
Katharina Houy – Germany - Tay Dang Project
My time in the orphanage of Tay Dang was an unforgettable experience. There were 8 volunteers, we stayed in a nice hotel and rode bikes to the orphanage or to the small town.
In the morning we had an English class with kids between 6 and 16 years old and a computer class. Most of the kids go to public school in the morning or the evening but some of them had never been to school. Because of the different time schedules, the classes changed very often and we never really knew who would join the classes. That was probably one of the biggest challenge for us, as well as to keep the kids interested in what we wanted to teach them with only the use of a dictionary/ phrase book. The dictionary was very important as it was the only way to communicate with each other.
It was amazing to see what happened within 4 weeks. Some kids who seemed to be very shy became more and more self-confident. Some really wanted to learn English or improve their computer skills. Others enjoyed playing or drawing. Some were just happy to sit on our laps get some attention and love.
We also had the option to spent time with the babies which we really enjoyed doing
It was an indescribable experience. I hope the kids enjoyed having us there as much as I enjoyed the time being with them. I hope to come back soon. It was very difficult to say goodbye, but a wise man one time said: "Every "party" has an end and it is just important how the ending is."
Judith Freudenberg – Germany - Tay Dang Project
Antipodeans Abroad works closely with Buffalo Tours to provide volunteer placements and expedition itineraries to Australian school students, tertiary aged students and adults wanting to travel with a purpose. On the ground Buffalo Tours attend to every detail and always go above and beyond to ensure all logistics have been taken care of. Behind the scenes, they are professional to work with, always prompt, efficient and friendly in responding to our enquiries. The placements they set up for us work extremely well and we have had nothing but praise for the support Hang provides to our students. One special project is the Medical Trek in the Mai Chau area which is managed with the utmost care and sensitivity. The placement provides a unique exposure and cultural immersion for our University groups of health students. On behalf of all staff and volunteers, past and present, at Antipodeans Abroad, thank you Buffalo Tours for all your support and enthusiasm in making our Vietnam placements such amazing experiences!
Fiona Reeves - Australia
It was a joy and privilege to join you and your colleagues at Buffalo Tours. Everything went "amazingly well". We all felt so supported, cared for, and helped at each step of the program. We will all be enthusiastic advocates of Buffalo Tours!!! We all send our love and appreciation.
Dr. Don Belcher - USA - Medical Trek
“The Vietnam Village Trek was very well organized by Buffalo Tours. Each project- clinics, flouride varnish, health education and the infrastructure initiative to renovate kitchen/bathroom and add a concrete sports court to the village school-- was well thought out and orchestrated. It was obvious that Buffalo Tours worked closely with the villages in advance to do needs assessment and build ownership of the projects so that the villages would be engaged and supportive of the work.
In addition, Buffalo Tours staff was actively keeping track of data which serves future trips, but also the research need of the ministries of health as they monitor conditions in the villages.
We are delighted to be working with such a thorough, professional and responsive organization such as Buffalo Tours for our global health service learning projects.”
Dr. Andrea Insley - Executive Dean
International Education - Seattle Community College District