Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What I have been doing!

This is a post for my family with no jokes or attempted funny stuff, just facts. Now that I am settled into life in Vietnam I thought I would give you a bit of a run down on what makes up my days at the moment. We are still living with the Vietnamese family however that is coming to an end soon (a month drifts by quickly!) On the tenth we are moving into our own flat which is not to far from where we are now. The flat is a level of a house owned by a wealthy Vietnamese family. The family live in the first two floors and rent out the remaining two. We are taking one level and very much looking forward to moving in. The setting will be very different to the one we have now and we will have complete privacy; something that just isn’t possible in our current environment. On our floor we have a kitchen, bathroom, big lounge room and bigger bedroom. We have a small balcony and access to the roof where there is a pool, albeit empty and a view of the city. In short we are happy with our choice.

As mentioned in a previous post I am tutoring two American kids. I am waiting on a syllabus to arrive from the states which I will use as the basis for my lessons. I am home schooling so will be teaching all subjects. In the meantime, close to two weeks now I have been preparing my own lessons. They are staying across the road (literally) in a modern apartment designed for expats living in Hanoi. I start at 8am in the morning and usually work with the kids for four hours. That leaves the afternoon to spend time with Celine, work on my blog and enjoy Hanoi.

For the first week with the kids I concentrated on Vietnam and Vietnamese history. This was extremely interesting for me as I was learning new things as well. We have visited many of the sites in Hanoi as I incorporated these into my lessons, including; Hanoi Prison, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the One Pillar Pagoda. We have explored a lot of the city on foot checking out a number of different areas. In my lessons I have concentrated on Vietnamese culture as well as their history. In particular we have looked at the French Colonisation of Vietnam, the Vietnamese fight for Independence and the subsequent Vietnam War.

This week we have concentrated on the geography of the world paying special attention to South East Asia. We are looking into the relationship of Vietnam with their neighbours and also understanding how colonialism has impacted many other countries around the world. Tomorrow we are looking at Africa. My lesson is prepared and at 11.15pm on the night of the Vietnamese Independence Day (already covered in my lesson) I am sitting in my bed writing this blog to you :)

So in short I work with the kids for four hours everyday and have been given creative control to decide the lesson content. I take them anywhere I feel beneficial and assign homework accordingly. I usually grab breakfast on my way, a fruit roll or chocolate croissant (still find the French influence) and head to their apartment for the lesson. I finish at 12 and as I mentioned will head somewhere for lunch. Sometimes we stay local, other times jumping on the motorbike and exploring the city. In the afternoons I will work on a new lesson and update the blog. I am enjoying my reading and have some great books; recommend “Fire in the Lake” by Francis Fitzgerald. Night time will either be with the family at home or at any number of great places to eat in the city. Sharing a meal on a street corner with the locals or in an air conditional restaurant with city views are both common ways to end the day for us. Both are inexpensive and thoroughly enjoyable in their own way. Grabbing a beer could not be easier and we will enjoy one or two before calling it a night.

I feel relaxed here. I enjoy my job at the moment which definitely beats the 9-6 routine. I am meeting some great people, seeing some wonderful things and learning each day. No complaints from me but wish my poor little wife would get better. She is definitely on the mend but this allergic reaction has dragged on and has consumed her for close to ten days now. Once she is back to her bouncy self we are both looking forward to searching deeper into what Hanoi has to offer and when we do, you will be the first to know.

Dan parle de ses journées types au Vietnam. Il explique que nous vivons toujours chez la famille vietnamienne: Tuan, Dzung et Grand-mère, mais seulement pour quelques jours. On a trouvé un appartement dans la rue juste derrière, et nous avons signé un bail de trois mois. L'appart est très joli, avec déco Vietnamienne, télé avec cable et adsl wifi.... et même une piscine sur le toit de l'immeuble, construite pour les enfants de la famille vietnamienne qui vit au rez de chausée et à qui l'immeuble appartient.
Il est toujours prof à domicile, tous les jours de semaine de 8.00 a midi, pour les deux garcons américains qui vivent à trois pas de chez nous. l'un des garcons, Jed, vient d'etre accepté dans une école, donc maintenant Dan sera seulement le prof du petit, Zick. (les noms complets sont Jebediah et Ezeckiel. Quand même.) il attends toujours que le cursus arrive par courrier, en attendant il leur fait visiter les musees d'Hanoi et leur apprend un peu d'histoire-Géo, et la civilisation et culture du Vietnam. Il décide du contenu des lecons lui-même et des devoirs à donner. Il est libre de pas mal de choses, ne travaille que 4 heures par jour, du coup il est content de son boulot. Pas de stress.Quand il termine, à midi, il rentre à pied (les garcons habitent une grande tour moderne juste a coté de notre maison a nous) et on va manger quelque part tous les deux. Moi, la plupart du temps, j'ai passé ma matinée à dormir et préparer mes lecons pour le soir. Avant que je ne commence à travailler, j'etais malade pendant 10 jours et passais mes matinées à faire des recherches sur le "new hanoian". le site web de prédilection pour l'expat à Hanoi. Donc à midi on va manger quelque part, puis on se ballade un peu, on rentre se reposer et vers 17h00 je pars au travail: dans la semaine mes classes sont à 17.30 et 19.30: je termine a 21h00. Dan lui profite de ses fins d'apres midis pour lire et écrire le blog. Le soir il vient me chercher a l'école et on va manger quelque chose ou boire un verre en ville. On rentre toujours avant 23h30, parce que c'est l'heure ou Grand-mère se couche et on ne veut pas la réveiller.
Il dit qu'il aime beaucoup la vie ici, qu'il relaxe et se détend, et que au fur et à mesure ou on découvre le Vietnam, on vous racontera tout.

1 comment:

  1. That's a pretty easy life! good on you mate.