Hangs in Da Nang by Tim

There was a good reason (in fact many reasons) that we ended up in Vietnam.

After some time in Ho Chi Mihn City we landed in the city of Da Nang. We went there to learn from the team at AOG World Relief, an NGO that was established in 1996. As soon as we met the Paul and Deb Hilton, the country co-ordinators, they gave us their time and welcomed us as part of the team. We felt right at home straight away and enjoyed our month-long visit there.

Here’s a blurb from their website describing who they are:

AOG World Relief Vietnam is a non-government organisation (NGO) that exists to partner with whole communities throughout Vietnam for the purpose of seeing them empowered to not only participate in, but also ultimately determine and sustain their own development. Through a process of Community Consultations, Training & relationship building with our team, communities identify their most felt needs and they themselves develop action plans which centre on mobilising their own assets and resources.

AOGWR do this incredible work throughout a number of regions in Vietnam. While we were there we were able to participate in different projects and opportunities the team were undertaking. Our previous time in Brazil and some of Thailand had mainly focused around observing intervention methods of sex-trafficking. Now it was time to get up close and personal with some great prevention practices.

Here’s a snap-shot of some of the parts of our time n Da Nang:

The beautiful city


Visits to village communities to see some of their work


Life skills in a school in one of the communities


We met with different team members to learn how they operate both professionally and personally. Learning how families live in a cross cultural setting has been a great experience.


We made lots of new friends


While we were in Da Nang we were also able to explore the city and emerse ourselves in the culture. As we had one month there it was great to meet locals and see how Da Nang operates.


In between all of that we got to have some nice coffee 🙂


This was yet another incredible experience for our family and we gleaned many things from the wonderful people we did life with for a short time. Thanks Paul & Deb, Kelvin and Bek, Bruce and Marion and the whole amazing team at AOGWR! You guys are amazing and we learnt so much from each of you.

Tim & Jess

Saigon Siesta by Jess

We knew that after we left Thailand we wanted to connect with a group in Vietnam. The only problem was that they couldn’t take us for two weeks and our visas were about to expire. So, we booked the cheapest flight out of Thailand into Vietnam and ended up staying in Ho Chi Minh for two weeks. During that time, we rested up and spent our days exploring the local area we stayed in. Most of our days revolved around where we would eat or drink next. One major highlight was seeing our friends, Sam and Maggie from Melbourne.

We also managed to catch up with the amazing Freddi from The Shelter Collection over a coffee and heard about the amazing work they do. The Shelter Collection are a Danish NGO that work to free disadvantaged children from exploitation. They do this by partnering with local organisations and providing them with training and fundraising support. There was one thing in particular that Freddi said that really stood out to us,

“Just because people are disadvantaged, doesn’t mean they’re undeserving. The donations people give speak volumes about peoples’ value.”

 We had a great time getting to know Freddi and even hope to catch up with her when we go to Da Nang.

We’re heading up to Da Nang on Saturday and will be there for a month-ish with AOG World Relief Vietnam. Before that though, here are a few pics from the last few days. It’s safe to say, that we have fallen in love with Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and are so glad that we got to spend two weeks in this beautiful city.

The lane where we stayed and some local snap shots

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A couple of major tourist attractions


Reunification Palace outside, upstairs and in the bunker…


A trip to the Bitexco Financial Tower isn’t complete without a two-year-old having a meltdown.

P1060472P1060479At $2.50AUD for the whole family to go to the Zoo, we went twice.


Food and Coffee coffee coffee!
Saigon has a massive coffee culture, although
drinks cost about the same as meals.
Our daily food budget was $30 AUD for all three of us.
A coffee ranged from $0.62 AUD to $3.39 AUD


So, that was our last two weeks. It only took us two days to feel bad about not ‘doing anything’, but good friends told us to rest up and enjoy yourselves. I think we did alright 😉

Love Jess xxoo