Xin chào! — one month in Vietnam (2)

Day 2: Meet the Client

Today we met our four clients. A subteam of each 3 people will take care of each client. Every client presented their enterprise, their vision and motivation.

My client is Xanh Shop (,, an Online Shop for organic food. But it’s more than that. The food is not only special for its chemical free production, but also for a holistic philosophy called natural farming. Natural farming is a form of farming established by Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka in 1975. It follows the principal idea that farming should focus on taking care of a nuturous soil rather than nurturing the crop. The soil will then naturally provide for the crop. It also advertises to diversivy the bio products you farm, so that your farm business is more resilient from natural influences and independent from external suppliers.

You can peak into the subject here:

Here is a free online version of the book “The One Straw Revolution” by Masanobu Fukuoka.

Hang, the founder and owner of Xanh Shop introduced her vision to us. It was an intense, moving and inspiring experience. Her determination, her humbleness, and her charisma was touching every one in the room.

Hang Mai, Owner of the Xanh Shop
Principle of mulit-layered Forest Garden
Group Photo with 4 excited and committed teams
Same group photo with a rifle pointed at them (ok, just kiddin’)

After the formal introductions we went to see the Xanh Shop office.

I must admit, when I first heard about joining the team for an online shop three weeks back I didn’t see the “social engagement” part in it.

A first video call with Hang already changed the perception. After her presentation today I am taken. Hang’s determination, her strong belief in the righteousness of the philosophy of natural farming is rare and precious and my mind wondered off several times thinking how can I help her in the best possible way. It also made me reflect on my own life and how much time of it I wasted for laziness, selfishness and meaningless materialism.

I guess any of us was a dreamer at some point of time. Dreaming to make this world better, to help people, protect nature, contribute to fairness and happiness. When looking back, who can say he or she really did realize any significant part of that dream? We get consumed by the boundaries of our local society. Be successful, be wealthy, be safe. Shop and mind your own business. And more and more we comply to this. We dissolve in it. Today I was pulled out of it and find myself refreshed, coarse, unresting. This month is for Hang, for Xanh Shop. But my mind wanders already about what will be after that? What will my contribution be then? I hope to find an answer on that.

Hang quotes Leonard Cohen:

There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.

Need to find the cracks I want to make.