Time just flies! I don't even know where to start my blog now.
I'm an EVS volunteer from Hungary, and I'm living in Vietnam for 6 months. I teach English in Dao Su Tich Secondary School in Co Le, Nam Dinh province, which is about 2 hours from Hanoi, the capital City of Vietnam. Our school has more than 500 students, between 6th and 9th grade.
I have a Spanish partner, his name is Juan, and I'm very glad that I have him by my side during this 6 months.
Our work here is to teach English, but focusing on the speaking part. This school is one of the best schools in Nam Dinh province, so the students are very clever and ambitious.
I have never taught before, but I'm very comfortable with it. We get all the support from the local community and from our teacher colleagues as well. I can say that we are the members of their community and it's so nice to say this. We have a lot of common programs together, every Friday we have football match with the teachers’ team, we celebrated the Teachers’ Day together, they invited us several times to have lunch or dinner together. We sang Vietnamese karaoke songs together :) , yeees.. in Vietnamese, because we had Vietnamese lessons too, so we know a few words, but for singing it’s more than enough ( if you drink enough beer to listen us J )
For me, this is not the first time when I live for a longer period at the other part of the world ( I lived 3 months in the USA last summer), BUT this is the first time, when I feel myself at HOME.
I have never been in Asia before, but I can truly say that I really like being here. The culture is totally different, but the people are more hospitable than anywhere else, they really care about you, and they try to do their best for you!! Especially in my town, in Co Le. This is a small town, most of the people have never seen foreigners before, so they are so excited about talking with us or just taking some selfies. If I walk on the streets, people are saying hello and smiling at me. I really feel myself like a celebrity.
We live in a dormitory which is next to the school. There are students who live here too, so in the afternoons we often play cards and football together. They are really nice and cute. I had my birthday on the 6th of November, and they prepared a birthday party for me! They are so kind.
I’ve already have a lot of unforgettable memories from my 3 months here, a lot of funny stories which I never gonna forget! This is not enough space to tell these stories, but if you live in Vietnam and want to take a bus to go home, you could never know what time you are going to be at home, or where the bus is going, you can just hope J Because there are no bus stops, or timetables! The other important fact in Vietnam is the karaoke!! Once, we had a big flooding at our school, the yard was covered with water, so we didn’t have lessons. We had a wake up call at 8 in the morning, from our mentor that we need to go to the teacher’s room immediately, because it’s so important! We got dressed quickly, and went to the room… The teachers were singing karaoke 8 IN THE MORNING This was the very important thing, to take part to sing with them.. :)
But the most important thing I have learned in Vietnam, that you don’t need to be stressed about anything, because everything is going to be in the right way, sooner or later, but it’s going to happen!! Just let it go!
In the northern part of Vietnam, there are 4 volunteers including me, only 3 hours from each other, so every second week we travel together in North-Vietnam. We went to Sapa, to Ha Long Bay and to Cat Ba Island as well. I’m really glad, that we are going to celebrate Christmas together at the other volunteers’ apartment on the 24th of December, in Uong Be. Each of us is going to cook some traditional national meal.
In November, on the Teachers’ Day, the students and their parents gave us a lot of presents, for example flowers and an aoi dai, the traditional Vietnamese dress. It’s so beautiful, you can take a look at the picture below.
In November, we travelled to Thailand too, to renew our visa. We spent 5 days there, and one of my biggest dreams just came true! I fed a tiger with milk and I spent some time together with him. It was just incredible!!! Also in Thailand, we went to Khai Yai National Park, and we did a jungle tour, where we saw a real wild elephant!!! Just AMAZING!!
The language gap was really frustrating in the first weeks, but now, after 3 month I can say that it is not a problem anymore. Maybe, because I can speak some Vietnamese words now, it makes the local people smile all the time.
During this 3 month, these feelings, these stories made me realize that I really don’t know how can I go back home, and live in Hungary again, leave my students, my colleagues, my friends here..
BUT, I have more than 2 months left, so first, I should enjoy the rest of my time here, just as I enjoyed the past 3 months!!