Sleepless in Vietnam

Sleep escapes me at the moment, so I thought I would try to update our blog. Although, I’m not sure where to begin! Each day seems to pass slowly, filled with teaching, napping, exploring, and friendship; but the weeks fly by. Emily and I are in our last week here!
This past weekend we were blessed with a Fisher’s staff retreat. We met a lot of the F1 staff we don’t normally see since we teach at F2. To get there we took a scenic ride on motorbikes across the city and through a mountain pass to our beach resort. On the way we stopped for a seafood feast. I personally loved the grilled squid! We also tried shrimp in gelatinous rice that is cooked in banana leaves. A prime example of yummy food that is a bit scary to try. Emotions ran high and fun memories were made as cultures clashed and resolved differences during team bonding exercises and late night girl time. We are exited to be making friends with the VPs (Vietnamese partners that help teachers) as well as fondly discussing the pacific northwest with many of the teachers. We also sacrificed sleep to see the sunrise on the beach at 5am (turns out we missed it, but got to see how busy beaches are in the morning).Our deepening friendships had also made learning Vietnamese, finding delicious food, and street shopping much easier!
Monday we celebrated Emily’s birthday by getting our nails done, sharing birthday cake with our kiddos during snack time, going out for icecream, and receiving vietnamese names.
Tuesday we experienced ANOTHER storm! Even though the power went out a few times we still taught class. Although we loved dancing in the rain, the power outage broke Kate’s computer charger.
Over the past couple weeks, we have been surprised with schedule changes and emergency substitute teaching. Even teaching on the fly like today hardly phases us, thanks to our class observations and accrued experience. It feels as though our team has been teaching for months, not three weeks =)
Personally a lot of my favorite memories are delicious meals with friends. So much cultural knowledge is shared through this act of fellowship. I believe God works through these gathers; just think of all the important meals in the Bible! Whether shoved between sizes of people, or in a peaceful living room restaurant, Banh Xeo might be my favorite. Seafood feasts with church friends or Fisher’s staff were great fun. I will always treasure eating pho with Elissa and Jane, noodles after our snorkling reunion, and 4th of july pizza and cake on the beach. Pork wraps, piles of pastries, late night tea in our hotel room, birthday ice cream, and coffee during karaoke are also a few highlights. Simply eating food turns into a wonderful exchange of language, lifestyles, and laughter.
I hope my tangle of restless thoughts has told you a bit about our trip. If we can get some technological luck, photos in addition to videos from tonight’s karaoke should be posted soon!
~ Charlotte

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