Lately this blog has turned into nothing so much as a place for me to talk about technology that I think is cool, politics (before and after my self-imposed moratorium), and other random stuff. Isn’t it supposed to be about living in Vietnam? Do I even still live in Vietnam?
Yes, I’m still here. I don’t really have a good excuse as to why I haven’t been posting as many posts and photos of stuff over here. I guess the main reason is, as I’ve said before, my life has gotten pretty stable and uneventful over here. I get up and go to work in the morning every day just like when I was back in the U.S. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it – and I’m not saying it’s still not incredibly interesting – but it’s kind of become the norm for me over the past year and four months, so I don’t have that wide-eyed view of things that previously led me to take photos of my lunch every day, etc.
So what is going on?
Well, today was Teacher’s Day here in Vietnam. It sounds corny, but it’s actually a big day as they really value/respect teachers. They had a very nice ceremony at the school today and I got some nice gifts, cards, and flowers.
Tonight I am going to the airport to pick up my good friend Sharla and two of her friends. I’m basically just going to pick them up at the airport and get them settled into their hotel room here in Saigon because they don’t get in until 10:20pm (on the same flight that James and Erin were on from Seoul before they were briefly diverted back to Seoul – I’ve already told Sharla that flight is cursed!) and they fly out around 7:30am tomorrow morning to head down to Phu Quoc Island. Unfortunately I can’t go with them because we have our first midterm in Commercial Law this Saturday, and I bailed on it last semester to go to Phu Quoc with James and Erin – funny that both Phu Quoc trips my friends have taken have occurred on exactly the same weekend – the end of week 5 – in my semesters. Anyway, after Phu Quoc Sharla and co. are off to the Mekong Delta and Cambodia. I won’t see them again until Thursday night when they will return to Saigon and spend a couple of nights here before flying out to Hong Kong on Saturday.
What else, what else . . . I’ve been pretty busy with school because of this Commercial Law midterm this Saturday and some assignments in my other classes that are also coming due about now. I’ll be glad when this week is over with.
My Vietnamese classes are still going well – getting better and better, I think. My teacher liked that essay I wrote (and yes, Melissa, I was sucking up) and now tells me I have to write an essay every week. This week I wrote one about a normal day in my life here in Vietnam. Next week it’s “hobbies, interests, wishes, and plans.”
Oh, one thing I’m very excited about! I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I’ve volunteered at a shelter for homeless children here a few times. But it hasn’t really been structured and I haven’t done as much of it as I intended/should have. So tomorrow I have set up a meeting with a woman who is the community outreach coordinator for another school here in town. I want to learn from her as much as I can about their program, what they do, what causes they help out, how they are funded, etc. (For example, I know they volunteer time at several orphanages, the homeless shelter, and the cancer hospital, but I’m not sure what else or exactly what they do for those causes.)
After our meeting, I’m going to do one of three things: (1) Best-case scenario, I’m going to try to get our school to start a similar community outreach coordinator position – to be filled, of course, by me. I would propose reducing my teaching load by half and doing the community outreach stuff 50% of my time; (2) mid-range scenario, I’m going to start a student/staff club at the school that is dedicated to community service, and organize at least monthly volunteer days or fundraisers, etc.; or (3) worst-case scenario, if I can’t get either of the above done, I am at least going to start volunteering my time to more causes through the program run by the woman I’m meeting with tomorrow.
The bottom line is I spend way too much of my time here playing Xbox, watching movies, reading, taking naps, etc. This country has been very good to me over the last 16 months, and there are a lot of people who are truly in need – the least I can do is get off of my ass and pitch in a little bit. I’ll keep you posted on what develops.
I hope everyone is doing well!