Learning about Vietnam in Vietnam
Hello again! Time is flying by here and every day is an adventure. A lot has happened since I last wrote you, so I will try to include everything.
I am becoming more acclimated to the culture and I am even enjoying some of the local foods (shocking right?). My roommate Khuyen and I have done some cool stuff together. One day we went to a spa with some free vouchers to get massages and we also went to a famous local rice restaurant. Khuyen and I have such busy schedules so its nice when we are able to spend some more time together. She has also continued to help me build my grasp on speaking Vietnamese and lately I haven’t called anyone cake. (Although I have called myself stupid instead of saying I am sleepy, minor problem) Otherwise I am improving everyday and it is satisfying to be able to understand the locals when they talk to you.
We are continuing to have a great time together exploring Vietnam. The other night we got to spend an evening learning how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes at our program director’s apartment. Our roommates came and helped us cook the delicious meal. I am surprisingly good at making the fried banana dessert! Don’t worry I memorized how to make it so I will bring the recipe back to the states.
My classes are going really well. It is certainly special to be able to learn about Vietnam while in Vietnam. I have found that even in our Vietnamese language class that the learning here is much more interactive. We have language table lunches where we can only speak in Vietnamese and today our teacher took us to try different Vietnamese foods for the second half of class. We had Che, which is a sweet soup dessert. Mine was banana in coconut milk with peanuts and it was very yummy. The Vietnamese studies class also has us out and in the community. We are sent traveling around and learning about different areas of Vietnam. A lot of what we talk about in class such as issues with the economy you can walk right out on the street and see the problems. Of course our service-learning class has us working hard within the community and I am really enjoying working with the boys at the orphanage. It is certainly a challenge to create good and effective lesson plans, but I am starting to get the hang of it. It was also interesting to learn that some of the boys at the orphanage have families, but they were sent to live in the orphanage because their families could not support them at home. The boys who spoke with me said they were thankful that they were given the opportunity to live at the orphanage even though they missed their families because there are more opportunities at achieving a better lifestyle in District 12.