Vietnam, off to the land of friendly locals, cheeeeaap food and gorgeous surroundings!!!
And like all exciting journeys, the airport was the place where I put a face a name and met up with Rodney – the Director of Studies. He has been a great pillar of support throughout my stay here in Hai Phong, Vietnam. His cool, calm easy-going personality, eased the transition into the Vietnamese culture.
As a first time traveller and teacher, I came to Vietnam on a summer contract. And for the too-short-a-time being here I feel like I have learnt so much and been on some unforgettable adventures.
The Vietnamese children for starters will most certainly crawl into your hearts, as cliche as that may sound. Their dedication to learning paired with their big beautiful smiles will make you feel right at home in no time, not to mention their eagerness for a high-five and a bear hug, whilst happily sharing their sweets and snacks with you.
And even though there will always be those rowdy few kids/classes – they are a minority in comparison, and let’s be honest we were not all saints at school, I know I certainly wasn’t.
DTLC has been nothing short of supportive – from walking into the centre and greeted by friendly smiles to the ongoing assistance I receive from the lovely TAs. Not to mention the flexible working hours that allow for much weekend travels- yes that is what weekends are for- from the bustling Hanoi within arms reach (just an 1 hour north) to the beautiful Cat Ba Islands and Ha long Bay (just over an hour North East) makes Hai Phong a good happy medium, a sanctuary of calm.
Onto the lifestyle in Hai Phong – As said in the other Blogs, the beer is fantastically cheap, not to mention the food.
For beer lovers- grab yourself a beer from any one of the Beer Hoi spots scattered around Lach Tray (just look for the yellow and red chairs and you’re set) and let’s be honest- 5 000 VND is a real WIN compared to back home (South Africa)! Then there’s the delicious Banh My (French Buguettes with an assortment of fillings from 12-20k VND, and if you’re a real discount-seeker then crack on down after 12 PM and you might score yourself lucky).
Not only on the streets do you feel the excitement but on one particular event (“my farewell”) at Rodney’s house, we got to swim in his pool and drink Coung’s famous Mojitos (in the pool ) along with a buffet of fruits and cheese and the works. Amazing!
With all being said, I could have not picked a better company for the introduction to kick off my teaching and travelling adventures and get a real taste of Vietnam.