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Huyèn Lê - Mỹ Khánh, Vietnam (Global Lives Project, 2013) Short - Full HD

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Since I was ten, I have helped out my family on our boat. We transport sand. Working on a boat is extremely hard work. My name is Lê Thị Ngọc Huyền. I am from the Mỹ Khánh ward. My house is in a tiny village along a small canal off the Mekong River. In general, the culture of people in Mỹ Khánh is pretty simple. I take pride in the fact that people in Mỹ Khánh are honest and kind. The people from Cần Thơ who live in the countryside like us rely on the river to make an honest living. My dream since I was young was to go to school and one day become a teacher. Although due to my limited education, I try not to dream too much. Now I only focus on my family's business. If anyone in my village is building a house, they will contact my family. We will go to the various sand dredging locations to pick it up and then deliver it to them. How many more boats until our turn? Four more boats. If the sand is available immediately, we can do at least one trip per day. When there is not enough sand like right now, a trip can take two or three days. After we finish dredging sand from the seller, if the water conditions are not right, we have to wait somewhere for high tide. Once the tide is high, we can head back to Mỹ Khánh. How much for 1kg of tuna? It's 55,000 VND. Hey, let's cook it in a clay pot. My main job on the boat is to cook for everyone. After waiting for our turn to collect the sand, I then help the boys by taking turns to drive the boat home. We have a strong bond. We love each other and enjoy working together. It brings me great happiness to be able to help out my family.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes
Country: Vietnam
Language: Vietnamese
Producer: Naomi Ture / Alex Nguyen / Khue Bui
Director: Naomi Ture / Tsering Tashi
Views: 124
Posted by: globallives on Feb 25, 2014

Lê Huyền is a young woman who lives and works on her family's sand barge on the Mekong River Delta near Mỹ Khánh village,Vietnam. Huyền sleeps under the stars and wakes up as the sun rises to begin work on the boat: navigating the barge, buying produce from river boats, cooking meals and cleaning. The river is vital to the life and economy of the Mekong Delta. Huyền's barge collects and transports sand from the bottom of the river to construction projects. On this day, the delivery is to her home village a few hours down the river, accessible by a small tributary. On the occasions in which she returns to her village, Huyền lives with a large extended family.

Filmed as part of the Global Lives Project. This short provides an impression of Huyền's life on the river.

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