BIRTHDAYS, PARTIES AND CRAZY WEATHER
At the present moment I am sitting on my little balcony here in Mui Ne, with my gin and tonic trying to catch up on my blog. The sun is somewhat glaring at my computer screen (poor me) hence, the typos. Yes I am on my way home….I will be there in 7 days to enjoy the -50 degree weather, (NOT). My last day working at the Centre was December 28th and I left Quang Ngai on December 30th. I won’t get into all the details about that right now, but just to let you know it was and still is an emotional rollercoaster and very similar, and probably really is, a grieving process….but let me tell you about September and October and some of the events that took place during that time period.
As mentioned, earlier, Mrs. Thao’s partner, Leah joined us at the Centre. It seemed that she was there to provide us with professional development…yeah!!!!, set up policies, procedures and language benchmarks which would include tools we could use to test students such as an oral fluency test. Well, somewhere along the way, Leah has ended up teaching 33 hours per week and there is no time for all of the above. But with that being said, I can tell you that in our daily conversations I have already learned so much from Leah, and I know there’s a ton more I could learn. Her and I had some great discussions and because of her, I had the opportunity to learn more about education and technology and in a relatively short period of time I got somewhat familiar with some technological tools for learning and managing the classroom such as Edmodo, Glogster and Prezi. In spite of the fact that many of the original duties that Leah thought she whould be performing have be sidetracked for the present time, we did do one huge event and that was the first ever Halloween party in Quang Ngai, and definitely the first for the City of Quang Ngai . Leah had organized a few Halloween parties for the International school she worked in in HCMC, so we had someone who could guide us along the way. I estimate that in addition to our regular teaching hours and lesson planning each of us put in at least an additional 100 hours of our own time to put the party together.
September and October were also the months when the temperatures shifted a bit and the weather became cooler, but for me it was not freezing, but at times I did feel the need to put on a light jacket at night and sometimes a long or short sleeved blouses/dresses to my classes. I was told that it was the beginning of the rainy season and indeed we did have more rain. In fact, the school shut down a couple of times because of typhoons heading our way. One of the typhoons was Haiyan which had hit the Phillipines. but missed us. In fact the first time the school shut down was the day after Iris’s 30th birthday. But the crappy weatherthe day of Iris's birthday did not hamper our celebration time for Iris. On the day of Iris’s birthday, Iris and the other teachers made a great luncheon consisting of Philipino foods. Arnold, our friend from the oil refinery and also from the Philippines came over and brought a bottle of wine. Since the weather was so dismal, we decided to brighten up that day by doing a fun thing at the Centre and that was wearing fascinators which we had purchased at a local store for about $2.50 each. So here we were in our raincoats and umbrellas walking in the pouring rain to teach….and what a welcome we got. I did not teach my first class that day because I went out celebrating with my students because one of the students I had taught was heading to the United States, California I believe to complete her high school …and then onto University. After that celebration the 700 p.m. classes were cancelled due to the weather but we did have time to have a few pictures taken afterwards and to enjoy a piece of birthday cake that Mrs. Thao had bought for the occasion. So here are some pictures of that fab meal, the fascinating teachers (hee, hee) and the delicious birthday luncheon.