Thursday, February 19, 2009

Listening Homework

Students, please click here. And please don't look at the answers online. Have fun.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Glimpses of life in Kien An

Our university is in the little town of Kien An on the outskirts of Haiphong. There happens to be a local place a few blocks from our university within biking distance that we go on sunday mornings. Here's a pic of what it looked like at Christmas. You can see Andy, his "twin brother," and Caleb getting seated.

Here are a few pics of where I shop for fresh produce. First I park my bike at the "parking lot" for 1000VND. The guy in the white cap (sort of hidden) is really nice and always watches out for me.

Next are my tofu lady, chicken lady, and veggie lady.

ATC addendum

As Andy mentioned we were blessed with a very encouraging time at ATC. Imagine being with families and individuals serving here in Asia with similar convictions as well as struggles, witnessing amazing testimonies in their lives, learning about what is happening on other campuses and communities, encouraging and uplifting one another, ... etc. Here are a few more random tidbits...

Caleb's dental visit in Thailand revealed his erupting molars. And his dentist is also a balloon artist who made a balloon sword for him with one of her dental tools that blows out air.

Here's a picture of Caleb and Ella at ATC. Ella and her parents serve in Quy Nhon. We just had dinner with them here in Saigon as they are also en route back to their university.

Here are ones on Team Vietnam with our "ao dai's" on. My "ao dai" (including shoes) was my birthday present from our teammate Ruth. She took me to get the fabric, to the tailor, and to get the shoes.

Caleb had McDonald's for one of the off-site lunches during ATC. He had a pineapple pie for dessert! We have yet to see a McDonald's in Vietnam.

For those interested, here's a map showing where we live in Vietnam. Haiphong is that little red dot to the right of Hanoi, in the northern part of Vietnam. Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City), where we are right now, is way down in the South. The conference was held in Chiang Mai in the northern part of Thailand.

Heading back to Haiphong tomorrow... and starting school on Monday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


The Annual Thailand Conference is over. We just flew back to VN this evening. The conference was refreshing, but traveling can be a little time consuming and tiring. Also, it's expensive and we missed the opportunity to spend Tet with our students. So, some of us were discussing whether or not "the juice was worth the squeeze." Ongoing debate...

There's no doubt some of the teaching and encouragement was good and we needed them. Also it was good to see some familiar faces again, finding out how their semester went, whether or not they're returning next year. There's something to be said about being at a conference with several hundred other teachers, all being in different places throughout Asia but doing roughly the same thing. There were good stories, and there were sad stories. Some had a discouraging semester and some had a very busy semester. But there we were, listening to each other's stories, sharing both joys and burdens. And then by the time we knew it, it was time to say goodbyes, not knowing whether we'll ever see some of the people again. Ongoing sense of temporalness, temporariness, fleetingness, short-livedness, transitoriness, briefness, ...-ness

(Are the mango juice and the pomelo juice worth the squeeze? Ongoing question...)

A book store brought in some books during the conference, so I also bought some text books on Listening and Reading, hoping that they will come in handy in helping me reduce the lesson prep time. I need all the help I can get in this area. I attended a workshop on how to teach Pronunciation in class and was exposed a little bit to Phonology and some of the technical terminologies involved in producing different English vowels and consonnants. Very interesting. I didn't know there was a whole science behind speaking English...

Since we don't have dental insurance anymore, we were advised to get any needed dental work done in Thailand because it's a lot cheaper there than in the US. So all three of us went to a hospital downtown Chiang Mai to see the dentists. I got two fillings and cleaning, Grace got two fillings and cleaning, and Caleb just got some cleaning. We paid $160USD for everything.

Anyway, here are some pictures.

We took the "Red Truck" from the airport to the hotel for 80Baht. A real taxi would have cost us 100Baht. We sat in the back of the pickup truck, and the driver picked up two other passengers along the way too. So it took him a while to get us to the hotel.

Here, we're taking a "Tuk Tuk" to the hospital to see the dentists. Also 80Baht. We were glad the driver's driving skill was better than his photograhy skill.

Caleb and his dentist.

Conference hall

Conference hall

On the stage are some of the kids of teachers serving in Asia. Some of them were born in Asia.

Michael Card in live concert. Awesome guitar skills and voice!

People eating at an open Sunday Night Market nearby the hotel.

Sunday Night Market

Caleb playing with his best friend at the conference

With Bryant, teacher in Cambodia, and Berkeley and Melissa, teachers in Laos

Team Vietnam

Looking out hotel room window

Back of a Tuk Tuk

People getting foot massage for 80Baht/30min at the Sunday Night Market

Food stall at the Sunday Night Market