How old are you?
Where do you live?
R: Sydney, Australia
C: Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam
About my family
Who lives in your house with you?
R: My mum, dad and little brother, and my cat Bella and dog Rigby.
C: My grandparents, my parents, my elder sister and me.
What jobs do your mother/father/other caregiver do?
R: My dad is a carpenter and mum works for a charity.
C: My father has a temporary job and works as a mason in Hanoi city. My mother raises buffaloes and does farming work in the mountain. My grandparents do farming work at home.
Who looks after you each day?
R: Mum and dad normally. Mum drops us at school and then dad picks us up. Some days we go to before-school and after-school care.
C: My grandparents, as my parents work far from home.
Do you help your family by doing chores?
R: I set the table for dinner, help in the garden, take Rigby for walks, wash the car.
C: Yes, I do. I often wash dishes, clean the house floor and feed chickens.
About my home
Describe your village/suburb.
R: I live in a suburb of Sydney. It’s not far away from the main city. It’s very bushy and we have both houses and apartments. We have lots of cicadas and bush turkeys, as well as dogs and cats. We have a lot of national park around us, and some of the Hawkesbury waterways are at the end of our street.
C: My village is located about 30 kilometres from the town centre. It is a poor village in a remote mountainous district. There are some small streams running across my village. The internal roads from the town to my village are very difficult to travel on as it has a lot of lumpy rocks. Last year, after a heavy storm, the rocks from the mountains slid down and blocked the roads. No one from the village could go out to the town for about two weeks. Our village was flooded; water was everywhere and many families lost their farming.
Do you have electricity where you live?
R: Yes, we have electricity and power for everything. We use fans or an air conditioner when it’s hot, and when it’s cold we have a wood burning stove. We have an oven, microwave, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaner, and these all use electricity.
C: Yes. Sometimes in the evening when the power is off we use the electricity charging lamp. We use wood to cook, and sometimes dried straw for our open stove.
Describe your house.
R: We have a two-storey brick house with lots of knick-knacks inside. My brother and I have our own bedrooms, and outside we have a giant garden with a swing set and a trampoline to play on.
C: It is a 60-square-metre wood house on stilts. Our kitchen, and dining, sleeping and study areas are all on one floor. We have a temporary latrine on the ground, next to the garden. We also have safe water at home because my father arranged a plastic pipe leading water from the collective tap to my house.
About my education
Are you at school? What grade?
R: I have just started grade 5.
C: Yes, I am studying in grade 4 in my primary school.
How close is your school? How do you travel to school?
R: My school is pretty close and I normally get driven by my mum, but sometimes I catch the bus home or walk with my friends.
C: My nearest school is about 200 metres from my house. I often walk to school.
How many children are in your class?
R: There are about 20 kids in my class.
C: There are 16.
How many days of the week do you go to school. How many hours do you spend there?
R: I go to school five days a week, for six hours a day.
C: I go to school five days a week. We have seven sessions every week, from Monday to Friday. Each session lasts for 3.5 hours.
What do you love most about school?
R: I love dance and English. My friends and I love having the livestock at school to look after; we have chickens and lambs. We also grow our own vegetables and have an outdoor kitchen where we learn to cook recipes from what we grow.
C: I love participating in arts performances at school. I am one of the key members of the arts group.
How long will you stay at school? Until what grade?
R: I will stay at school until year 12.
C: I will stay at school as long as possible.
How could your school be made better?
R: My school is perfect the way it is.
C: It could be made better if my class had a new classroom and my friends had more awareness about environmental protection.
About my health
When was the last time you were sick?
R: I had the flu last winter.
C: It was four months ago, when I got the flu.
How far do you have to travel to visit a health clinic?
R: Not very far. My mum drives me to the medical centre when I’m very sick.
C: It is located about 200 metres from my home.
Do you worry about getting sick, or about your family members getting sick?
R: Yes, because being sick is terrible. I worry about my parents and my brother getting sick.
C: Yes, I do. I often get the flu easily when the season changes.
What is your favourite food?
R: I love hot potato chips and chocolate. I have a sweet tooth. I also love meat, like roast lamb, steak and bacon.
C: I like eating chicken.
What’s your favourite game? Who do you like to play with the most?
R: I love playing survivor, which I play with my friends at school. It’s a complicated game of tip.
C: I like playing shuttlecock-kicking or rope-skipping games. I like playing with my four best friends, Nhu, Hiep, Ngoc and Hue.
What’s the best thing that happened to you in the past year?
R: When I danced at the Sydney Opera House and our school won second place in the competition.
C: When I had a dance performance at school. I felt happy while doing the activities with many of my friends.
What’s the worst thing that happened?
R: We had terrible bushfires near us last summer and that was quite scary.
C: When my classmate Toi teased me.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
R: I have five things I want to be: a photographer, an interior designer, an architect, a graphic designer and a dancer.
C: I want to be a teacher.