Today we got to enjoy a boat/walking tour in the Mekong Delta to see the process of how some of the areas many exports are made and try some of the products. We got to enjoy many of the local experiences, including trying a plethora of fruits varying from pineapples and mini bananas all the way to dragon fruit and the different parts of a coconut. We also got to try honey tea which was surprisingly good, considering that I have never enjoyed warm tea. The highlight of the day for me had to be getting to wear a snake like an exotic scarf and watching everyone else’s reaction to trying it as well.
However, while this visit was a very cool experience from a cultural aspect I also got to see how the dams being built upstream and rising sea levels are actually really impacting the delta itself. The water which I told was once relatively clear and teeming with fresh fish now resembles the Monongahela, more than a ecosystem that could support the amount of fish needed to practically feed an entire nation. What surprised me the most was the lack of fishermen it seemed that were out on the water, but that might have been because we weren’t there early enough before it got hot. Besides fishing we got to see how they process coconuts into varying products such as coconut milk or coconut oil depending on what machine they put the innards into. They Mekong Delta appeared to be flourishing at face value but if the upstream water situation or the climate change doesn’t improve soon, I fear that it might soon become unsustainable land. Tomorrow we get to present our findings on our companies following our sight visits, which should be a good precursor to the farewell dinner that is being hosted by the generous people at UEF for us.