Oh Vietnam..we’ve had some interesting experiences together.
Cities visited: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Bac Ninh, Hue, Hoi An
I had a rough time in Vietnam. From puking my way out of an abduction to being kissed by strangers for photos, I ended up leaving Vietnam early because I couldn’t take all the attention.
Despite that (or maybe because of that?), my time in Vietnam was one of the most unique experiences I had on my trip. I was lucky enough to stay with a host family during my time in Hanoi – talk about immersive education. I learned to prepare snails, squid, and other unique foods. I ate Pho for breakfast and enjoyed homemade wine at night while we played cards.
My host family took me to her sister’s house in a rural town that obviously doesn’t see many tourists. Her sister has a school there where she teaches. I taught a lesson during my visit and it was a much better experience than when I taught in Thailand.
After the lesson we went back to her house for a family feast. While I didn’t completely follow the conversation, I still felt like I was part of the family. We spent the afternoon napping, eating lychee and talking.
Her sister asked me if I had any ideas for names of her school. We brainstormed a bit and I suggested incorporating “Blooming” into the name. You know, since the kids are growing and ‘blooming’ like little flowers. She loved the idea and the school is now named “Blooming Kids”. If you’re interested, you can check out their Facebook page! I’m so proud to have been a part of that.
It’s memories like those I won’t find anywhere else!
Vietnam also had some of the craziest traffic I’ve ever seen. When you go to cross the street, you just gotta go – they’ll swerve around you. If you try to wait for an opening, you’ll be waiting forever. I almost found out what it was like to be run over by a scooter!
Vietnam, I’d like us to try again and get off on the right foot! In the meantime – keep that traffic moving!