For most, the prospect of running any distance, much less finishing a 5k race, is daunting. The pain, the exhaustion, and the inevitable muscle aches the next day are enough to scare off even the most determined in pursuit of an active lifestyle. Most would rather break a sweat on an elliptical machine in an air-conditioned gym before putting on a pair of running shoes and taking on the asphalt.
At 5.30am, Saigon’s Phu My Hung is not normally the liveliest place on a Monday. Factor in that it’s Tet, and you don’t even hear any motorbike horns. Walking roughly 20 minutes in the morning darkness from my apartment to a neighbourhood bar, the usual xe oms who hit me up for a ride are noticeably absent. Why would anyone be out so early? would probably be the main question in their minds.
For one sibling duo, the term ‘building bridges’ is more than just a metaphor. Set up by 16-year-old Khang and 21-year-old Phuong, the intention of the Nam Phuong Foundation was to provide capital to improve infrastructure in rural Vietnam by building bridges. However, the venture has transformed into a project that is funding more than just construction.
When we think of a ‘circus’, most of us think of complex equipment, bold stunts and extravagant costumes. We imagine vivid colours and death-defying physical feats that transfix audience members who gasp and shriek with bated breath. But the My Village show — the brainchild of the creative team behind the A O Show that takes to the stage this month at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House — isn’t like most circus performances.