Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface

Last weekend, I went scuba diving for the first time. It’s something that I’d been wanting to do for a while. I was almost certified when I was younger, but unfortunately I caught a cold when I went to get my open water certification, and never found another opportunity. But then, the opportunity presented itself … Continue reading

Why Not Eat It?

Why Not Eat It?

Last time, I talked about some common Vietnamese foods. This time, I’ll talk about a few … less common foods. I said that I’ve adopted a “Why not eat it?” attitude towards food. For example, why is it acceptable to eat pig, but not dog? Why is it acceptable to eat the muscle and fat … Continue reading

Food, Glorious Food

Food, Glorious Food

Wow. So much has been happening over the past few weeks. Things are wrapping up, plans for the future are falling into place. Endings and beginnings, and still so much to experience in between. It’s been a little overwhelming for me to process internally, let alone channel those thoughts and experiences into blog posts. I’m … Continue reading

Pretty Please?

Pretty Please?

I have had the amazing opportunity to accompany Heifer Vietnam and the College of Rural Development on many trips to the field, which have never failed to be enlightening and exhilarating. We have undertaken two community assessments (and will do two more before I leave), interviewed farmers, Heifer project families and local authorities, and sought … Continue reading

Weather-Wise, It’s Such an Excessively Hot Day

Weather-Wise, It’s Such an Excessively Hot Day

So typically, we fly away into the welcoming arms of an air-conditioned room or cafe to escape the suffocating heat. While attending university in Florida, people used to joke, “Well, there are two seasons: the hot season, and the hotter season,” or more accurately, “The hot and wet season and the hot and dry season.” Now take … Continue reading

Passing on the Gift

Passing on the Gift

A few Heifer Vietnam staff members and I pulled up to Dong Thang Commune’s community building at 8:00 a.m. last Friday. Fleeing the oppressive heat, we walked quickly from our air-conditioned car to the shady auditorium, which was already crowded with representatives of 40 project families for Heifer’s Passing on the Gift ceremony. I’ve been … Continue reading

Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies.

Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies.

Do you have that Maroon 5 song playing your head now? Good. I’ve succeeded. There are a lot of great things about living abroad: new food, new faces, new experiences, new ways of thinking, new perspectives. Independence, self-exploration, global exploration, experimenting with paradigms, and all that jazz. However. Not everything is positive. Not everything is … Continue reading

A Bit of Bittersweet

A Bit of Bittersweet

Here’s a little look into what my life as a teacher is like, and the goodbyes that accompany the end of every class. As I’ve mentioned before, I work at Can Tho University’s Center for Foreign Languages, and I teach daytime and nighttime classes. Day courses are much different from night courses. For one, day … Continue reading

Whatever Floats Your Market

Whatever Floats Your Market

My student called me at 10 minutes to 5:00 in the morning. I answered the phone around a mouthful of toothpaste. “Hello?” “Teacher! I am outside. Where are you?” “I’ll be right there! You’re early!” We zoomed through the dark streets, which were slowly filling up with people exercising, arranging their fruits and vegetables for … Continue reading

What a Pity

What a Pity

Take a look at these pictures: (I wish I could say these photos are mine. But they’re not.) What did you feel when you saw them? Did you feel your heart drop or your stomach clench? Did you feel grateful for your own privileged life? Did you feel … pity? I’m currently reading The Fountainhead, which … Continue reading