Incognito

I’ve been a little incognito on here for the past month or so now and as a result, I feel I’ve let my friends down, my family down, my loyal WordPress fans down and (even worse!) myself down…

Actually, I don’t feel that bad, but man I’ve missed writing.

So, the short version of the 1000 page novel that has been my life over the past 3 months is:

I left Vietnam (boooo!) It wasn’t a decision made lightly and had been in the offing for a while, but the time had come for me to return to my friends and family in England. The beautiful Cheshire countryside just didn’t have that same appeal to it without me there apparently … I left Vietnam at the beginning of December (allowing time for a bit of travel before Christmas) and arrived back into Heathrow at dusk on 22nd December (how romantic…)

The events that have happened since have been somewhat of a whirlwind, catching up with friends and family, celebrating both the calendar and lunar New Years and then embarking on a short internship to keep my CV ticking over nicely. But you don’t really want to hear about all that. And, to be honest, I don’t really want to write about all that.

I originally started this blog as a means of recording memories of my time in Vietnam and I’m going to continue it along these same lines. I still have bundles of stories from my 2 years living in Ho Chi Minh City that I’m dying to share with you all and I only hope that some of them may actually prove as useful to anyone who’s thinking of doing a similar thing and expatriating to Vietnam, or any of the countries in South East Asia.

I also like to think of it as a way of keeping in touch with all those friends I’ve met (both directly and interactively) along the way.

So, I’m going to say a short farewell now, but I’ll be back tomorrow with one hell of a riveting tale about sewing and tapestry in Ho Chi Minh City (I can just feel your bubbling excitement at the prospect…)

Oh how I’ve missed you!!

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới

2014: The Year of the Horse

Happy Tết Holiday to all my Vietnamese friends, students & colleagues and to all my other friends from the Asian continent a very Happy Lunar Year to you all!

I’m gutted not to be in Vietnam to celebrate this year, so to all my friends out there, please send me photos and updates of your celebrations. I miss you!
 
To mark the occasion from here in the UK though, here are a few of the photos I took during the  Sài Gòn celebrations last year, enjoy!
 

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For anyone who is in the UK, more specifically in Cheshire, for the 2014 Lunar New Year – head to the streets of Chester at 9.30am tomorrow (Saturday 1st February) for a Chinese parade full of dragons, cat walks and traditional musical performances – it promises to be a spectacular day out. Organised by Wah Lei, a non-profit Chinese Association: http://wahlei.org/

CEFALT on TV!

Check out this new profile about CEFALT which was aired on HTV yesterday:

Happy Teacher’s Day!

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20 November 2013

Feeling very blessed today. They should definitely have a Teacher’s Day in the UK to boost morale! Here are some of the treats my students had in store for me today …

From my wonderful students at HDC Security:

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From some previous students:

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And from CEFALT:

Unfortunately I was knee deep in oral exams when this photo was taken

Unfortunately I was knee deep in oral exams when this photo was taken 

 

 

Party Time

I could hear the music pumping the moment I stepped out of the lift. Secretly hoping it was my students having the party, I skipped down the hallway.  Sure enough, as I walked into my classroom, I was presented with balloons, food and drink on the tables and a huge bouquet of flowers on my desk. Not to mention the handful of students having a good old Karaoke session. I just manage to take in a breath before all my students noticed my presence and burst into a round of applause. Never a huge fan of being the centre of attention (*cough cough*) I actually felt nervous as I walked down to the front of the room.

I’ve had final lesson celebrations before and I’m no stranger to the odd gift or card from a student (as I talk about here in a previous post) but I’ve never had my students go so out of their way to make a fuss. It was so thoughtful of them. What made this act of kindness particularly special for me was the fact that this was a beginner class. Just 8 weeks ago I was teaching this bunch of teenagers how to say their age and nationality and now, here they are writing notes like this to me:

Lets ignore the mis-spelling of my name for now ...

Lets ignore the spelling error of my name for now …

But really, it shouldn’t be me that takes the credit for their achievements, they have come such along way in the past 2 months and it is solely down to their hard work and determination. As I’m sure teachers all over the world will agree, it’s a rarity to find a dedicated class of teenagers. But these guys were just that; they made my job a breeze. As they shouted “thank you teacher” and offered me some Jollibee fried chicken, fries and ice-cream, I couldn’t help but think, “it should be me that’s thanking you guys”.

**Although, my stomach did beg to differ a short 4 hours later (Vietnamese fast food is the work of the devil)**

Teaching is tough, even at the best of times, especially with a youngster class like this one, but its moments like this that makes the late nights, lesson planning and exam marking totally worth it.

I am one lucky teacher!

I am one lucky teacher!

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