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  • at5203 4:49 am on December 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Last Day!!! 

    The day has come and I cannot believe how fast this semester flew by.  Taking a look back I still remember how scared I was to cross the street and try the food.  However 12 weeks in and I am crossing the street like no ones business, eating dog, snake, and rat! The beauty of Vietnam is astonishing and it is never ending.  I recommend everyone and anyone to come to Vietnam and enjoy the busy life of Saigon and the traditional life of Hanoi.  In the future I plan on visiting Vietnam and hopefully working here for a year or so

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    • camoy1 3:31 am on December 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The last day was so sad!!!! It was so difficult to say goodbye to my friends. But I remember how scared we were to cross the street. Those were some funny moments! I agree that everyone should visit Vietnam

    • sallyintaiwan 12:34 pm on December 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      My last day was very sad too! the one thing that kept me from not getting on the plane was the fact that I knew I’d be come back.. I’m so glad to have made such great friends in Taiwan, connections I know will last, with people I can reach out to next time i’m there whether it’s for work or for just a stop on the way to another place in Asia.

  • at5203 7:45 am on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    A day at the beach 

    My time in Vietnam is coming to an end and although I am looking towards seeing my friends and family I am dreading the idea of leaving this place.  For six months I have been in tropical weather and am in no rush to feel the cold again.  Yesterday the group went to a beach. I was so happy to tan in the sun and enjoy Vietnamese waters especially in December.  Vung Tau beach in Vietnam was probably the most beautiful beaches I have seen.  Christmas is right around the corner and this year no present can top the gift of coming to Vietnam!

    Beach

     
  • at5203 4:17 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Challenge eight 

    Before coming to Vietnam I tried to find videos on youtube that could help me say basic phrases.  At first it took me an hour just to say simple things like, “thank you, no problem, your welcome, and where is the bathroom”. However, once I came to Vietnam I realized that there are at least three different Vietnamese dialects, the northern, southern, and central accents. I was watching a youtuber named “Learn Vietnamese” and she does a great job in pronouncing words, slowly.  She teaches her subscribers the Northern dialect which is considered “the original” accent and it was also the dialect that I learned in class.

    An app that I found useful was “Vietnamese dictionary box- Tu Dien“.  This particular application is great because it has pictures and clear definitions.  In addition, Vietnamese is a tonal language that has 6 different tones that are extremely hard to type in your ipod.  There are many words that are spelled the same but have different accents that change the definition.  For example, ban can mean friend, table, busy, or dirty depending on your pronunciation.  This app does a good job incorporating the different tones without confusing the reader.  Once, this app helped me communicate with a lady across the street my guesthouse and I managed to have a decent conversation about her kids and husband.

     
    • Judy 11:34 am on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      TAylor I have enjoyed reading your posts. This particular entry is beautiful. It made me smile. Judy.

  • at5203 1:14 pm on November 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Challenge Seven: Giving thanks 

    While being in Vietnam I have realized I am privileged in so many ways. For starters being able to live abroad is probably one of the most rewarding experiences in any ones lifetime. The friendships I have developed and the experiences I’ve had are truly unforgettable. I want to start off by giving thanks to my mother who not only emotionally and financially supports me but also has the patience to deal with such an impatient child. My family and friends mean the world to me and although this Thanksgiving we were apart I am thankful that they are healthy and doing well. But most importantly I am thankful that no one in the Vietnam program eats as much as I do!

    But in all honestly I am thankful for the food. I come from an extensive Ecuadorian family where turning down a plate of food is a sign of disrespect. Probably one of the main reasons I love Vietnam so much is because it reminds me of my home. Food is definitely a universal unifier of all races, gender, sexuality, people, and animals.

     
    • DougReilly 6:25 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Great to hear from you Adrian! Have you universally liked the food in VIetnam, or just found the culture surrounding the food comforting? What’s your favorite food so far?

      Oh–you earned your Vere sandals this week. We’d love to see you around these parts more often! 🙂

      cheers
      doug

      • at5203 3:08 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I have universally liked the food and found the food comforting. The food is just so great here because it different in the sense that the Vietnamese use different spices and eat different types of meat. But when it comes to eating everyone eats as a family because filial piety is strong in this country

      • at5203 3:12 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I have universally liked the food and found the food comforting. The food is just so great here because it different in the sense that the Vietnamese use different spices and eat different types of meat. But when it comes to eating everyone eats as a family because filial piety is strong in this country. My favorite type of food is this noodle soup that is call pho. It may seem simple but it is delicious and takes hours to make.

  • at5203 8:57 am on October 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    First Blog 

    Hello world I sincerely apologize for the absence of my blogs. I will promise to keep posting on a weekly basis. So far my journey in Vietnam has been such a beautiful and enriching experience. Vietnam is a country deep rooted in folklore and spiritual energy. Personally I have always been attracted to the mystical and spiritual side of the world. The Vietnamese are strong believers of good fortune and good luck and that is why they have shrines in their houses and stores. The shrines are suppose to bring good luck and also avoid the presence of evil. The picture below shows as shrine inside a temple.  Most people pray to the shine and wish for good grades, good fortune, and good health. I hope my prayers for good grades have kicked in!ImageImageThis picture is the shrine inside the house of a Vietnamese buddy.  Her family’s hospitality was amazing and the food was delicious.ImageI have to warn you that before you guys judge this meal was probably one of the best that I have ever had. Although this is not a picture of a shrine it is meal eaten only at the end of the year because it is suppose to bring good luck.  However if you eat it at the beginning of the year you will receive bad luck.  Can anyone tell what it is yet? It is dog meat! Yum. 

     
    • DougReilly 3:30 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Adrian,
      Glad to see you up and running on the blog. I applaud you for being open minded and in this case, culturally relativist. The distinctions we make between pet and meal, companion and nourishment, is culturally bound and varies from culture to culture to a huge degree. I look forward to more daring and insightful posts from you! Doug

    • Tatianna Jasmine 5:29 pm on November 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Adrian!! Kudos to you for trying dog meat. While I was in Vietnam I could never get pass the idea of eating a dog. I am so glad you are being adventurous. Keep it up, i’d love to see all fo the other cool things you have been up to

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