I undertook a Lattitude placement in Vietnam for five months last year as an English Tutort. During my time there, I was able to understand and appreciate the diverse culture in which the amazing and wonderful locals live.
When I first arrived at my primary school in Hai Duong, I was amazed to see the entire school waiting outside for me on a freezing cold morning to greet me. They kept asking me about home and why I came to Vietnam to teach.
I often wondered afterwards why they went to so much effort in freezing weather to welcome me; I’m not that special! I was curious and asked one of the students one day why they waited for me outside in the cold, stormy weather that morning. He said “Mitch you have come all the way to see us and help us get a real job, to help us succeed in the future and to help us have a good life”.
From then on I knew that what I was doing in Vietnam was worthwhile. I think I finally found myself that day and realised that I was making a difference in a developing country. Hearing those words come from a local child was the most amazing feeling in the world. I have so many memories of that student as I knew he was the one who would help me through my placement. I wrote down what he said, and any time I doubted myself afterwards I’d look at those words and feel reassured that my efforts were worth it.
That was one of the most amazing experiences I had in Vietnam.
Submitted by: Mitch Gray