The journey so far – Darcy’s experience in Vung Tau Vietnam
Not too long ago, 24 lucky volunteers landed together at Hanoi airport to surprisingly cold weather.
Our very first step, the drive to our hotel where we were staying for orientation, was a big eye opener. Straight away we could see how this country differs from home, and other developed countries. For example; the traffic is insane! People constantly honk their horns, which is their way of saying “I’m here!” or “I’m passing you!” It’s really the Vietnamese’s way of traffic courtesy and general safety. At one time you’ll see a whole family on a bike, including at least two to three adults and a baby – It’s quite a charming sight to see.
Our first meal consisted of sitting on tiny blue stools out the front of a building, eating of course, the famous Vietnamese Pho soup. We loved it! The soup was so fresh and yummy and we got to experience Vietnamese culture first hand on our first day.
The orientation was perfect in helping us volunteers develop bonds with each other. We now have a big friendship circle where we can relate to each other and share our individual experiences. The teaching course played a major role in improving our confidence and our ability to improvise and cope with different situations that may arise during our time teaching. We all agree that thanks to the course and John’s teaching skills, we were able to begin teaching with much more confidence.
It’s only 3 weeks into my placement here in Vung Tau, which is the South of Vietnam on the coast, where it’s warm and sunny every day. I can already say that I feel at home here. My teaching partner Laura agrees that, even by the end of our first week here, we found it easy to settle into a routine and make this foreign country into something of the norm to us. We are already conforming to the culture as if it were our own.
Teaching has been so rewarding, a challenge that I have been able to conquer. I am also learning so much myself every day. It’s nice to know that I’m directly involved in the intellectual development of my students, as it makes me want to give them as much as I have to give!
I’m so excited to see how much more I can learn and develop from this experience and to be more and more proud of what I’ve achieved.