April 11:Emailed several people about Hop Tien again. People still suggested to take a tour bus. Got discouraged.
Midday, I got a phone call from an old friend of an old friend who I had contacted before my trip to inquire about Hop Tien...
"Let's meet. I am not sure if I can help you, but let's get together this afternoon," Thu Ba told me.
We met later at a cafe (She ordered fresh pressed guava juice, and me carrot juice).
AND I've found a kindred friend. We share our love for the people in the highland. What a wonderful time we had!
Thu Ba has been working in the Vietnam highlands bringing projects to improve the lives, health and education to these areas. (BTW, she told me it is very vast). In addition, Thu Ba and her colleagues have began a new project to help the tribal people, especially children and women, in a tangible way.
I love their blog.
The stories are in Vietnamese, and the photos are great to tell the stories that are very touching from providing a buffalo (that they will have to carry up the mountains), a bed and beddings to two young brothers who live with their elderly grandfather, to a beautiful story of a high school student who live with her mother and little sister and determines to continue with her education in spite of her family's poverty.
Thu Ba called a colleague immediately to ask about Hop Tien. "This friend is working on a thesis about the culture and history of the highland. He may know...", Thu Ba told me.
The friend didn't know, but would check around for me...
April 14: 10:52 pm: TB called: "Can you pack and get ready to go to Ha Giang tomorrow. And you will be gone for a week."
"Of course, I will be ready..." I thanked her profusely. At this point, I still don't know how to get to Hop Tien yet...