Photos by Emily Nelson, (University of Minnesota – Twin Cities) Student Correspondent CET Vietnam, Summer 2018 Over the weekend, we all went on a CET excursion to the Mekong Delta. We stayed at a homestay on an island near the town of Vĩnh Long, and traveled to different areas of the Mekong Delta by boat. This is a picture of a common boat seen all over the Mekong Delta. All of the boats have eyes painted on the front. This is because hundreds of years ago, when there used to be many crocodiles in the Mekong Delta, the people who lived in the Delta started painting eyes on their boats to make the boats look like monsters to scare off the crocodiles, and the tradition stuck. The only boats that do not have eyes painted on them are the fishing boats. The water is brown from all of the silt in it, which is good for the plants in the area. In the dry season the water is clearer due to less slit. Even though the water looks dirty, our tour guide said it is actually still clean and we could swim in it. On our first day in the Mekong Delta, we walked around the market in Vĩnh Long. There, we saw these two women selling really small fish. Our tour guide told us that the people make more money selling these small fish because the wealthy will buy smaller fish instead of larger fish. This was one of the many sites of people selling these fish in the market. After going to the market, we went to the brick kilns where local people make clay bricks, pots, and vases. The clay is collected from below the rice fields in the Mekong Delta. The clay pots and vases are then sold in Europe while the bricks are used locally. The woman pictured here works with her husband, shaping the pots and adding patterns to them. Many of the people working at the brick kilns were working alongside their family members. Our second day in the Mekong Delta included a bike tour. The first stop on our bike tour was to the home of Mrs. Nam, where she makes rice paper with her family. She has been doing it for 67 years. Today, most rice paper is made by machine, but she continues to make rice paper the traditional way. She let each of us try to make rice paper. This picture shows my attempt, which ripped when I took it off the cloth. The second stop of the bike tour was to a couple’s home where they make a Vietnamese donut called Bánh tiêu. In this picture, one of our local roommates, Jully, is rolling out the dough into a shape. The dough is then fried, after which it puffs up. It was a very delicious treat. Our last stop of the day was to a coconut candy shop where they make coconut candy as well as popped rice and tea. This here is the last step in the coconut candy process, where they take the warm candy and place it into a mold to shape it. They have many different flavors, like coffee, chocolate, toffee, and original. The other snack that they make at the same shop is popped rice. It tastes just like popcorn. They popped the rice and then mixed it with caramel, coconut milk, and other flavors. They then put it onto the board, as shown, and cut it into squares. It looks very similar to rice crispy treats. This snack comes in many flavors as well, such as chocolate, pineapple, strawberry, and even milk. The whole group on the last day before getting on the boat one last time. Visiting the Mekong Delta was a really great experience, and we got to meet many amazing people.