As I’m sure we have mentioned, we have been really busy with our three night classes at Fisher’s Superkids English Center and many other teaching opportunities with kids here in Vietnam. Our count of children we have met has now gone up to about 277. I have now finished uploading all of my pictures so far onto my Facebook, so have also decided to share some of those with all of our lovely followers of this blog!
While teaching the seven different classes at Than Dong Viet Kindergarten, we have been able to teach children emotions and end each class with the song “I Love You”. Although it is a Barney song, it is a nice reminder to all of the children that they are loved, and they seem to enjoy singing it with motions! Here is a picture of our first class at the kindergarten, the one that loved to dog-pile us with hugs! We are teaching here every Tuesday and Wednesday.
We have also helped out with some mini camps and the first “Unforgettable Summer Day” of the two we will be leading while here. During this time we teach games, songs, baseball, English, snag golf, and details about the United States while also learning about Vietnam. We start the first half of the day in the school, then have a break before meeting at the park for outdoor games.
This past Sunday, we visited Hai’s church. The children performed their VBS songs, which we were constantly told was not a normal thing. Apparently, in the Vietnamese CMA church, people are kicked out for being too excentric. In other words, they are not allowed to clap or raise their hands into the air during the worship service. This is one thing we all noticed that is definitely a cultural difference. It was really interesting because even though the entire service was in Vietnamese, we were able to recognize and sing a lot of the hymns in English. They even ended the service by singing “The Doxology”!
We also get the opportunity to visit and teach at an orphanage twice a week. It is great playing with all of the kids aged 4 – 18 and teaching them fun games and songs. Two of the girls are actually part of the ACCESS class at Fisher’s Superkids, which is a program that sponsors students to learn English. They made sure to come hug us and say hello when they saw us at the English center, which just made our love for them grow even more. It is encouraging to see that they care for us as much as we care for them and that they remember us even in a different setting.
Our actual classes at Fisher’s Superkids are very interesting. They are ages 4-6, so it can be very difficult trying to communicate to teach new information. The first few classes were very trying to say the least, but we are definitely learning new activities that keep the kids interested and learning. We have already taught our classes how to say hello and goodbye, as well as the words for different emotions. Now, we are moving on to teaching the colors. One thing that has been really fun about our classes and some of the other activities is that we get to make up English names for all of the students! We constantly joke about how we will be good at naming our own kids in the future 😉 Since we are always busy teaching during our classes, we don’t have any pictures of our students, so instead I am including a picture of our classroom at the newly opened F2 buidling. This is the second of the two Fisher’s Superkids Centers, where each room has a different theme. This is the Safari Room!
Just for fun I am including a picture of the Beach Room at F2. The floor is actually covered in sand!
Through all of these adventures, we have also had time to be shown around Vietnam by the locals! Hai took us to Monkey Mountain to see a famous tree that is believed to be over 1,000 years old.
On the way, we even stopped and saw a few amazing sites (including the picture Lauren took that is currently at the top of this blog). The following picture is of what is called basket boats. They stay on shore so that people can take them out to their boats that are anchored in the water. I asked if there is any problem with theft of boats, but the reply was that there is not any theft because the people look out for each other.
Through all of this and more, we have been learning about the Vietnamese culture and exploring possibilities for our future. We have been told that all of our majors would qualify us to be full time teachers at Fisher’s Superkids if we decided to come back in the future (seeing that Jane just graduated with a Linguistics major, and Lauren and I are both Elementary Ed majors). God is definitely opening our hearts and showing us that we have a lot to learn about Him, ourselves, people, and life in general. Please pray for more opportunities to share our faith with our friends here in Vietnam, as well as our individual relationships with God as we strive to grow nearer to Him.