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Robbie Hey everybody!! This journal was set up to keep everyone up to date with my travels through China and Vietnam. I will be volunteering in China up in the north west part of the country in a city called Urumqi for 13 weeks, helping out (hopefully) with teaching english. I will then have some time in Beijing to explore the sights. I then move on to Vietnam to meet up with my mum for a few days in Ho Chi Minh then fly up to Hanoi to volunteer with a local volunteer agency SJ Vietnam for 10 weeks. Then I fly home just in time for my 21st birthday. This journal will keep you up to date with all my volunteering adventures!!

Living in Hanoi!!

VIETNAM | Sunday, 2 September 2007 | Views [3868] | Comments [3]

Hi everybody.  Sorry I have not updated my blog page in a long time, its a case of laziness and also I have been very busy.  So Wow I waved good bye to mum, Jan, Georgie and Aunty Jane and have moved onto my next volunteer project.  Hanoi what can I say....

Its crazy its loud its frustrating its disorganised its beautiful its peaceful its full of people only to willing to help and its my home for the next 7 weeks.  My attitude has been going up and down and all around.  I am having both the time of my life and also the most stressfull and crazy experience of my life.  I am learning so much everyday. 

So my next project is working with the volunteer organisation SJ Vietnam. It runs many projects in and around Hanoi.  The director of the project is the most genuine and lovely person, she has so much experience in Volunteering and just has so many stories and knowledge.  It has been great meeting her.  The rest of the team is also really funny and crazy and everyday is a surprise.  The team consists both of international and Vietnamese volunteers working together, all helping out in the office and also with all of Sj's projects.  People are always coming and going and I have meet so many people, its really good for making contacts through out the world....only kidding its great and theres always something to do and someone to talk to.  The time is going so quick.  So at the moment I am working at a Phonetics centre, teaching to mostly students older than me...I was told about the VIetnamese way of doing things and so avoid my age and also avoid the fact that I am not a qualified teacher...Its all about talking things through in a round about way, so in actual fact you never really answer the question and end up talking about a totally different topic, thus avoiding my age and qualifications.  So its been a very frustrating experience getting used to their way of doing things and also the teaching, I HAVE KNOW IDEA WHAT IAM DOING...I have know idea about the phonectic alphabet or the theory behind it.  So its been hard, I am learning a lot but very quickly and ahhhhhh somedays I just want to scream...But everybody has been really good and helpful and listened to my complaints and I think finally everybody is understood and clear.  So I will continue teaching and also learning at the same time.  So thats my teaching, I teach at night for three hours sunday to friday.  In the day I help out in the office, each week we all have a meeting which I will be running as of next week,  hahaha this is going to be fun.  Then I also am a co-ordinator for one of the short term projects, which runs for 2 weeks..Then on the weekend I also teach english to the vietnamese volunteers but this is just a bit of fun and informal. Its very busy, but its all such a great learning experience for me, I really am loving it.

Wow so thats what I have been up to work wise.  Living in Hanoi is crazy.  The traffic is nuts, but going on the back of the motor bike is soooo muchhh funnn, though I wouldn't risk driving one.  The other day I got driven to work on the back of the bike, in the pouring rain, the roads were flooded and water was going every where, but sooo much funn, I wanted to go on the ride again.  Also I have lots of interesting room mates from all over the world, we all go out to eat together and go exploring the city, so its great.  Its different from china where I was living independently.  Also I'm used to it now but the weather is so humid, sweat sweat sweat.  So also the food, dog meat is the specialty, but I have yet to try it, I was saved by the lunar calender...But living here is really comfortable, we have everything we need all close by the house.  I catch the local buses everywhere which are easy to navigate and so I am finally settling into my new location.  I have sorted out my work situation and I am working with a really nice bunch of people.

I am so thankful that I got to have this oportunity.  Even if Mum and dad and megan had to put up with a lot of complaints from me, I would just like to say thank you, this experience has been so eye opening and a great learning atmosphere.  Also thankyou to everybody for all the comforting messages, its really nice to read when you are missing home a little.  So wow I can't believe its been 5 months, so  much has happened.  I can't wait to see everybody.

So ok funny moment just for you Meg, just imagine me in front of a class teaching, having no idea what I'm doing, bullsh**ing my way through it, and a student asks me a question, I do the blank dumb look, and say WHAT, like I can't hear and quickly keep talking...So many fun moments.  Also the picture attached with this story, I was standing with Jan in Hanoi waiting for mum, watching Aunty Jane and Georgie bargaining and laughing as a woman walked up and dumped this basket on Aunty janes shoulder, next thing I know its happened to me and a hat is being shoved on my head...ahhhh thats karma for yah.  So loving Vietnam and my new volunteer project.  Thanks again to everybody and I hope you are all well.

I will be home sooo sooonnnnnnnnnnnn.  Missing you all, especially HENRY.  Lots love KatieXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tags: Adventures



Great Blog Katie. The next 7 weeks will fly

Travel safe
Love Mum & Dad

  katie_rose Sep 2, 2007 9:37 AM


wow katie u have so many aventures.Can t wait to see u again when ur back and catch up for real and hear it in person.Keep treckin through it.Its not all that long now Miss you;) xox Jo

  joanne Sep 4, 2007 8:46 PM


Hi Robbie,
So good to hear everything is working out well now.I love your photo,mum printed me a copy and its on my fridge!!!!Not long till you get home....counting down the days.Missing you so much!!!!!Looking forward to mum and dad coming down to sydney this weekend with henrey.
Sending lots of hugs to vietnam for you XXXXX Lots of Love Megan

  Megan Sep 5, 2007 3:51 PM



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