October 11, 2010
The day started with a 5am run in the pouring rain with soggy streets from the constant downpour beginning yesterday afternoon. As I headed out it was still dark and the reflection off of the oncoming traffic made the puddles blend in to the road perfectly. So I was completely soaked head to toe in a matter of minutes, and thinking this is what the PDX marathoners must have run in while I was sleeping. The rain did make the air quality better so that was a nice benefit. I went out to the river and headed north from there up to the international schools and neighborhood. I started doing loops around the neighborhood that is about 2 miles out from my hotel because there is no traffic and it runs right along the water. As I was doing the loops I noticed that I was being approached by a security guard. I slowed to a walk and he greeted me with a good morning and then opened with “do you run every day?” LOL and here I thought I was about to get busted! Ken introduced himself and told me “running is good for fat,” which I couldn’t agree more with! We had a nice chat and then I headed back to the city center. Along the way back others said hello and the group of guys on the corner that sit and smoke and drink the iced coffee every morning smiled waved and pointed up to the sky and said “it’s raining!” I laughed and said “gotta run” which they promptly repeated back to me and laughed. It was a soaking wet memorable morning run in Vietnam today and the perfect start to our ultra teaching day!
After a quick shower, finally found the hot water by turning the faucet the other direction, duh, and a quick hotel breakfast (cannot get enough of the Dragon fruit!), it was off to the Binh An Center for our third and last day teaching there. We did our last lesson on proper touch typing- using the home row ect. as well as finding specific information on the internet. They also worked with typing in Vietnamese and formatting. The girls in the morning session did an awesome job!
Due to the rain we could not get to the planned meeting spot for lunch so we stopped at an impromptu restaurant along the way. This was the most authentic Vietnamese cuisine we have eaten so far. The fish that were on the menu were floating by and the chickens were, unfortunately, really fresh, and living right behind us. Being a vegetarian this was really hard for me, I literally feel physical pain for the animals in my core and I had to hold back tears and the urge to free the creatures. (laugh I know, but I am serious, guess that’s why I am the vegetarian) So I sucked it up and ate my veggies and tofu and tried to be a good sport for the team, I think I did reasonably ok. Some of the dishes we enjoyed below.
After lunch we were on to the Binh Trieu Center where we would be working with 35 or so kids. The rain was not stopping, and this orphanage experienced a power outage last night and was still without power when we arrived. So we worked on our back up plan which was to use only the lap tops that had 4 hours of battery still and hope for the best. We actually did get power about 30 min into the 3 hour session so that was very lucky!! We did the first 90 minutes with one group of jubilant kids and they were off and running. Their faces lit up when they started working with paint, got even more excited when they started typing in Vietnamese, and were really blown away when we worked with the “capture” function and they were able to take pictures of themselves with the camera. One of the girls with “bling” in her ears was just a doll and asked me to join her in all of her pictures, lol, she is a little diva up and coming! I brought a bag of candy to share with the kids and that is how we ended both sessions, I think they are big fans!
After a grueling 90 minute cab ride through rush hour traffic we arrived to teach our last session back at Binh An. We started the kids with more online typing activities and they jumped right in and picked it up very quick. They did really well with online searches, and then put the information into presentations. The kids went through many other online activities and the 2 hour session flew by. It was a long day overall from 7am to 9pm, but exciting to see the kids learning. I feel so very lucky to be here with an amazing team being able to do the work we are doing.