If you drive 2,5 hours from Hoi An and towards the border to Laos, you will find the Ka Tu people – a small ethnic group living in Vietnam and Laos. Recently, the whole class went as a part of the official study program on a field trip to two of their villages.

We left from The Balance café at 8 am in the morning, and stopped halfway to grab some local Vietnamese coffee.

Before the trip, we were divided into smaller groups. Each group had different topics we would focus on while we were visiting the two villages. While having our morning coffee, we had the opportunity to sit together in our groups and discuss final preparations before arriving in the first village. My group focused on agriculture, and since this is what most of the Ka Ta people do for a living – it was an especially interesting topic to focus on!

We arrived in the first village right before lunch time. Meanwhile we were waiting for our lunch to get ready, a group of young girls decided to invite us to play with their jumping ropes. This was such a fun time, and reminded of us when we were playing in the schoolyard as kids ourselves.

The lunch was amazing, and served in a “tree house” with both veg and non-veg options.

For those who do not eat meat: It is good to know that our lunch always is served with vegetarian and vegan options!

After lunch we met with the chief of the village. We were also introduced to a band formed by local men that played traditional instruments and performed some songs for us. In return, we sang the Norwegian song “Tenke sjæl”.

After the welcome ceremony, it was time for our first part of the fieldwork. We got together in our groups and walked around in the village while doing observations and conducted interviews with the locals. Since most people in the village do not speak English, every group had one Vietnamese student as an interpreter who translated our questions, as well as their answers.

After three hours of fieldwork in the first village, it was time to travel to the second village where we were also going to sleep. On the way to the second village, we stopped by a lake with hot springs where we took a bath –  a totally new experience for me!

Shortly after our arrival in the second village, it was again time for food. For dinner, we were served traditional Vietnamese food and rice wine.

Later on in the evening, we gathered around the bonfire and the local people performed a dance with music which the whole group joined.

It was certainly a night to remember!

– Eva (21)