Monday, July 5, 2010

The First Week

Well, I've spent about a week here in Bien Hoa, and it's been an interesting one to say the least!
My classes on Saturday went well for the most part. My first class of "teens" were actually 9-12 years old and mostly boys, which made it crazy! i felt like most of my time was spent on discipline, so i was a little disappointed. But my next class went much much better and i was able to actually get through my whole lesson plan! I have learned to be tough on the students the first few days so that they will respect me and i can maintain order in my classroom!

On Sunday my team and i visited a local orphanage and it was overwhelming...
There were about 150 kids and only ten workers. The poor little infants looked so sad and limp because they do not get the touch that they need. Once we held them they perked up and started moving a little.
The children were all so beautiful, but you could see the sadness in the older one's eyes. We played games with them, danced to music and met some of the staff. Some college students from Ho Chi Min City were also there and we were able to talk to them a little since they knew English. We're going back next Sunday so please remember me while i gather emotional and physical strength to return to the orphanage.

Sunday afternoon we shopped downtown by VMG (the school) and i found some amazing teaching clothes and some gifts for people back home. Everyone stares at me here - they stop and line up to stare and point. They tell me i look like a doll because my skin is so white. Lovely.
Sunday night Nu and Huong - two of the Vietnamese teachers - took us to a night market, which reminded me of a street fair at night back in the states. It was so fun! I had my first experience bargaining there and have discovered that that's not my forte!

Last night the girls and i lesson planned at the school and then we went to see Knight and Day at the theatre and got popcorn! (That's one American food i have missed so much!) The popcorn here though is sweet like kettlecorn. Salty popcorn does not exist.

Fun Fact of the day: I love riding on the Sami's here! Sami's are like taxis but are a motorbike. I ride on the back of them to and from school. It's so fun, but slightly scary because of traffic!

Today i will be teaching at a factory for a couple hours and then will teach at the school after that.

Oh, and i have big news: I have raised all my money!!! Thank you all who have been so gracious and generous - i appreciate you more than you can know! Well, i need to go and finish lesson prepping! Thanks so much for reading this blog - leave me some comments!!!

Love from Vietnam!!!


Andrea said...

Ahhh, the joys of teaching. Some lessons go great, other not so. I know your students appreciate you though. Keep up the good work.

DL said...

Yes, classroom management is always a concern starting a new class. Don't worry, it will get better as you set your expectations and get used to teaching. The motorbike rides sound like fun!