Well, it’s week six for Kate and I (Christine) and although we are having an amazing time, it still feels weird without Emily and Charlotte.
At this time, we have completed most courses for the summer program, meaning our class-time has decreased. At the moment, we are now working with students who are 7-12 years old. The change in our schedule has given us the opportunity to branch out and find other means of service. At this time, we are hoping to volunteer at Bread of Life (a western-style restaurant run by an American family that employs deaf and mute Vietnamese- to read their story, go HERE) and hoping to volunteer at a local orphanage. Kate and I have both enjoyed serving on the worship team at Da Nang International Fellowship (DIF) and forming relationships in the church community.
As far as adventures go, we haven’t gone anywhere new since Emily and Charlotte left, but we have had the fun (and slightly nerve-wracking) joy of riding around the city on motorbikes. The day after Charlotte and Emily left, we had the tremendous blessing of being in the hospital when Hai and Teresa had their daughter, Arizona. From the start of Teresa’s pregnancy, she was told the baby would not survive. Despite the doctors’ warning, Hai and Teresa trusted in God, and nine months later, Arizona was born. Arizona means “little spring;” they chose that name to symbolize how she has survived conditions thought to be impossible- like life in the desert. But even in the most barren desert, there is beautiful life created by the heavenly Father. Arizona is a testimony to their family’s faith and trust in God. Arizona is truly a blessing! She is currently still in the hospital, but she is doing very well.
One of the highlights for this week was spending time with a group of Fisher’s students known as East Meets West. These students come from seven provinces of Vietnam to Da Nang for the summer to study at FSEC. They all live together not far from the school, so the teachers all went out for a visit on Sunday. This three hour stay consisted of frisbee, soccer, basketball, water balloon fights, ice-cream, hair-braiding, heartfelt conversations. Our time spent with these students greatly impacted us–it is most definitely something we will remember for the rest of our lives! These students are going home soon, so we hope to spend as much time with them as possible before they leave.
Two of our students, Leon and Nelly, took us to dinner for one of our conversation classes a few weeks ago. Since that day, we have been back to the restaurant three times because it is SO good. We had four dishes- Mit Tron, Banh Tran Kep, Ram Cuon Cai, and Yaourt Muoi. To this day, we’re not really sure what we’re eating, but it is delicious… Hao, our Vietnamese Partner at FSEC, tells us we’re eating their version of “fast food,” but we’ll take that kind of fast food over KFC any day.
The weather has been significantly cooler, with a lot more rain, lately. We have spent our downtime exploring new coffee shops and experiencing different aspects of city-life here in Da Nang. As we enter into August, we are reminded of how short our time is here, and we hope make the most of the remaining 19 days we are here! Until next time, blessings and peace.
Love, Kate and Christine