I stayed in Huong Non, Vietnam for 5 days in January 2017. I had been backpacking South East-Asia before, but unfortunately my experiences have been somewhat "touristy" because I have not really experienced these countries from the local perspective.
When I heard of Duara, I decided I would give it a try when backpacking for the next time.
I flew to Hanoi on the 5th of January and met the local contact on the very next day. Aline was very nice, she picked me up from my hostel and made sure I caught the right bus to Huong Non.
After 2 hours I got out of the bus and met my host family. We had coffee and got to know each other. At first, the encounter seemed awkward and I really was not sure what to expect. But by dinner time, we already felt comfortable and got along really well! Google translate provided a lot of help.
For the next few days we worked on a rice field, went fishing, drove around with motorcycles, attended a local wedding, drank snake wine, sang karaoke, fed the animals, made amazing food and took care of the farm. We had the most amazing time, and five days went by way faster than I expected.
I recommend this experience for everyone who wants to make the most out of travelling, and not only do the touristy stuff abroad. I learned so much about Vietnamese culture and also some basic Vietnamese which came in handy when bargaining later on.
For anyone going to Huong Non or other Duara villages: Keep an open mind, attend EVERY activity you are invited to, have loads of fun and download the local language on Google Translate. You will have an unforgettable experience.