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  • at5203 4:49 am on December 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , vietnam   

    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
    Tags: vietnam,   

    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

     
  • explorewithasmile 4:23 am on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: vietnam   

    A New Home 

    The unfamiliar alleys have become known.
    The daily oddities of living have become normal.
    This foreign land, language and people have become Home.

    Home is a special place that make’s one’s heart sing.
    Home is where one grows into a flower from a pile of rocks.
    Home is where the soul finds prosperity in passion.

    Passion will bring me Home.
    Adventure will bring me Home.
    Love will bring me Home.

    Home will never let me forget.

    Viet Nam, 2012

     
    • at5203 4:52 am on December 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful poem Taylor I can’t wait to hear about your time in Thailand!

    • Ellen 1:06 am on December 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Perfect!

  • at5203 4:17 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , vietnam   

    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
    Tags: , , vietnam   

    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.

  • explorewithasmile 4:31 pm on November 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , vietnam   

    Giving Thanks 

    I am thankful for my parents who support me through all the twists and turns my adventurous spirit takes me; moving mountains so I can explore them.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

    : )

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  • appelsina7 7:09 am on November 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , vietnam   

    Connected 

    When I entered the Asiapod program, I was given an iPod touch which I could use to send my blog entries and take photos with. I named this new device, “Temptation.” One of my interests is how technology affects our lives and what we gain but also what we lose when we adopt new technologies. I know many Americans who have the latest technological “toys” which helps them stay connected to many people but they often miss out on face to face conversations and more meaningful relationships when they are busy cultivating their “Facebook friends.” I try to be conscious of my use of technology and the experiences I may be missing while I am playing a game on my iPod instead of looking out the window at the Vietnamese landscape. I have used my new iPod to record an internship event that I had to use for a project, to listen to music, for maps to give taxi drivers directions, alarms, notes of things to do, weather and record my workouts but I do not use it in ways which inhibit m experiences in Vietnam but to enhance them. The iPod I had before I only used for music. I don’t find myself texting at dinners or playing games instead of being immersed in Vietnam. I don’t use it to take pictures unless I forget my camera and I don’t use it to write blogs or to get on the internet at all. I am on my computer enough, I don’t need to be connected to the internet every second of the day. I am beginning to worry what the Vietnamese are losing on their new quest to acquire wealth. I notice that my roommate spends more time on her computer and her cell phone than I ever do, or have done, even when I was at home in the states. I never see her studying or doing work, which greatly surprises me as I always have a list of the things that I need to accomplish during the day.

    With the rapid change from poverty to modernity, the Vietnamese have had to adapt quickly to new technologies. When we traveled to the Mekong Delta, I was very surprised to see that the people had very long antennas so that they could have TV. As we went on a bike ride through the area, passing each house on our tour, we had different theme music as it screamed out of the televisions in their homes and out into the humid air of the Mekong. These TVs, sound cranked up, bellowed that these people are experiencing wealth and abundance as they never have before and they want their neighbors to know. Their displays of wealth are very public, often the flat screens and sound systems in the cities are situated right in front of their open doors so that everyone can see that their family is prosperous and thriving.

    The young people have become addicted to their devices which are attached to their palms, reflecting the Americans I left at home. We have become their example of prosperity and wealth. They want to be like us with our cars and technology because they want to get ahead. My Vietnamese roommate here in Hanoi, gets text messages and phone calls late into the night, I never see her without her cell phone. We went to dinner the other day and throughout the meal she was on her phone. When we left we were walking down the four flights of stairs to exit the building, she fell down the stairs trying to walk and text at the same time. Her message was more important than her safety, her answer had to be instant and she could not wait even a few minutes to send the message. She was not hurt, laughed it off and continued to text as we walked, often crossing busy streets, to our building.

    I see countless men and women every day on their motorbikes and calling and texting at the same time. Urbanization has caused a rise of people moving to the cities and the roads are often over crowded. The effect of the newer law that people must wear helmets on motorbikes has made people wear helmets but they are inexpensive and do little for protection. I have seen many accidents while I have been here and my Vietnamese buddy in Ho Chi Minh City’s aunt was a fatal one. These incidents are not uncommon but there are not any laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while riding motorbikes.

     
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