After having spent 5 days of more training at the Vresort in Hoa Binh (a resort with nice pool but very cheap rates), where I also got all my take-home exam papers done (yeah!), we took the bus back to Hanoi, got all our luggage from the storage, and then hopped on a van (sent by the university) and headed for the school in Kien An, a district outside of Hai Phong. It was a 2-hour drive from Hanoi to the school. The pictures show our new living quarters (dorm room) for the next two years. The whole thing smaller than our living room back in the States. We got here yesterday afternoon and started cleaning the mildew and dust and dirt and whatever else... It's as hot here as in Hanoi, but our room has working AC. Yeah!
Some staff from the International Relations Dept of the school took us and our teammates out for a welcome dinner. Then they took us out for smoothies after the dinner. We've been cleaning and arranging the furniture so that everything would fit in the room. It's hard, and last night we were wondering why we're here!? Caleb missed his home in SJ. Grace cried.
Sept 2 is a national holiday in Vietnam, so the campus has Monday and Tuesday off. At first I was told that I would be teaching Reading to 1st year students who will not start school until a week after next. So I thought I would have a week to settle in before preparing for classes. But today, our teammate looked at the postings outside the office and saw my name assigned to teaching Speaking to 2nd year students, who have already started school over a week already! We have not heard anything official from the English Dept yet. I assume they will talk to us on Wednesday after they come back from the long weekend, and tell us me to start teaching the same day. I have no clue how to teach the class, whether or not there are text books,...We'll see. Welcome to Vietnam!
This morning, our teammates took us on bicycles to the open market nearby. We were out for only 2 hours, but it was tough. The heat, the dust, the noise, the smell, the pollution,...We bought 2kg of rice and some fruits. Our teammates were very nice and bought stuff to make lunch and dinner for all of us. They also introduced us as new foreign teachers to the sellers at the market so that they wouldn't cheat us tomorrow when we start grocery shopping.
Just a quick update to let you know we are done with hotel living and have arrived to our final destination and are trying to settle in. We don't have DSL here, only slow dial-up, so updates won't be too often and won't have too many good pictures. Thank you for all your thoughts for us--we've been kept well because of them.