Vietnam Team Journal

Friday, December 2, 2011

Last Day

Mixed emotions always accompany the final day of any extended experience.  Was it what we expected? Did we need our host’s expectations?  What can we take away from all this and what is best forgotten? In any case, our last day began with a rare brightness from the sun shining through clear skies, an uplifting omen perhaps.

The teams set out for either the Foreign Trade University or NBK school this morning wondering about such things while looking forward to the next leg of their journeys whether they are on to further touring or jut heading home.

Joe, Mary and Sim  began the morning with their usual classroom assignments but prepared for an interesting afternoon judging an English contest for the primary grade students.  Pam was expected to participate as a judge but previous commitments at the University precluded her attendcance.

Following morning classes, we met Mr. Quy and Sophia, the new Chinese language teacher, for coffee across the street from the school, then waited in the teacher’s lounge for the contest to begin. Soon Mr. Quy appeared and led us to the auditorium at the rear of the main building.  There the 300 or so primary school students were assembled.  An audio system amplified noise and music.  Soon, the NBK team plus Sophia were anointed judges and seated on one side of the room while Mr. Qua and his wife, Mr. Quy and others sat at a table across the room from us.  The contest began with students making individual presentations in English.  That was followed by a talent contest involving skits, poetry, recitals, etc.  Your team rose to the occasion assessing the performances with critical but merciful, even generous, eyes and ears.  The winners were chosen and rewarded.  We were thanked and honored for our services and sent on our way with expressions of gratitude which were sincerely reciprocated. We returned to the hotel by taxi anticipating dinner and music with the full team, together one last time.

- Sam