Vietnam Team Journal

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Today, our last day of class, was bitter-sweet. We reviewed everything we had covered and had students sing the songs connected to each unit. They love singing. We played games re-enforcing the vocabulary and they did drawing and designing activities, specifically making menus and drawing articles of clothing with descriptions. We took lots of pictures of the whole group. Singing “It's a Small World” was a perfect way to end this two week experience. Mr. Dung, the director of SOS, gave a warm good-bye speech. Then one by one we said a few words to the students. When my turn came, I couldn't say much as I started to cry. The secretary and interpreter, Mr. Long, told us the students wanted to shake our hands. It didn't take long for volunteers and students alike to cry in earnest. We hate leaving and the students were sad to see us go. “I will miss you” many of the students said. They gave each of us a gift that they made in the summer and Mr. Dung gave us a SOS Children's Village pin and book on the SOS programs in Vietnam.

After saying our good-byes, we were treated to the best meal we have had yet. The main dish, BUN BO NAM BO, was Mr. Long's specialty and it was only one of several delicious dishes. He poured each of us a glass of wine from a bottle he had received as a gift from an Australian. We toasted to the success of the first Global Volunteer project with SOS. We all agreed that we had done a good job and that the students and staff appreciated the work we have done. It seems a sure thing that SOS would like more Global Volunteers in the future. It's been a memorable experience that we will not soon forget.

A note from Mr. Long

As a conversational English class, I personally found that the class has achieved:
1) Child’s self-confidence in speaking English.
2) Good contact and interaction between the volunteers and our kids.
3) Kids had accessed to the new way of teaching such as: singing a song, doing “moving exercises”, playing puzzle games, reading funny story.
4) Furthermore, our kids had developed their skills of working in group and “onstage/board” presentation.

* Things to be improved for next classes (conversational one.)
It would be excellent if the volunteers could have a “photo” instruction in showing vocabulary to the kids. I find it wonderful if they could get a copied image for illustration from THE OXFORD PICTURE DICTIONARY. Thanks for taking time to read these comments.

Sponsorship Secretary
Language Assistance to the Class”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday July 2, 2009

Thought for the day: How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie

It’s hard to believe that our time in Hanoi is rapidly coming to a close! We had our last class with the older group today and managed to cover a lot of ground. Several of us even learned the correct spelling of “rhinoceros,” though the group that came up with it was not rewarded in Mr. Long’s strict spelling bee. The theme for the day was animals and we quickly discovered that today’s group was copying yesterday’s vocab. list; I don’t think it’s a coincidence that “water-python” and “pearl” came up among both groups. But I suppose that the fact that they’re comparing notes outside of class can be considered a good thing. Team competition also continues to elicit an enthusiastic response and the students’ voracious search for new English words is fun to watch!

Another of many wonderful lunches from Ms. Tam: corn, chicken and mushroom soup; chicken, broccoli and cauliflower with ginger; Warren’s favorite fried spring rolls; and “soya cake” with tomato sauce, topped off with some kind of melon that tasted like a cross between cantaloupe and honeydew. We also got a short, but very interesting political lesson from Mr. Long.

After coffee and a final (and very efficient) lesson planning session in the Chica restaurant, the team separated to wrap up various shopping trips, etc. Ruth and I finally visited the Dong Xuan market, but were disappointed to find that most of the vendors were very eager to rip us off. Patrice revealed at dinner that she had a very productive encounter with our American professor friend at the hotel, who might have set her up with a teaching job for the next year!! Hope she won’t mind visitors!!

We enjoyed another fabulous dinner at the Green Tangerine. Overall a great second-to-last day for the team!