Finishing Up our Work in Hanoi

Millennium Development Goals

Achieved by this Team:
720 hours of classroom instruction by
14 volunteers, six hours/day
140 hours of preparation time
One high school;Two universities
4,100 students impacted

These excerpts from our team journal provide a brief glimpse into unique volunteer opportunities in Hanoi, Vietnam. We’re all very grateful to be able to serve in this way, at this time, in this city. If you’ve ever considered visiting Vietnam, please contact Global Volunteers to learn how you can provide a truly needed service at the high school and university levels. Who knows? You may end up teaching a future leader of this developing country!

Thursday, Dec. 4
This being my second trip with Global Volunteers, after one month I’ve become a true “Hanoian.”
The pandemonium that is the streets and daily life of Vietnam is actually a controlled chaos, and finely tuned orchestra. From our vantage point above the street, we watched as the various performers played their parts…sometimes solo, sometimes in group, with the occasional cymbal crash….all without a conductor. In the school, we’re teachers….not in the sense of the tenured nine-month professionals back home, but as the old-time storytellers, passing down wisdom and knowledge to the next generation. We’re grandparents and uncles and aunts teaching what cannot be found in books….our life experiences.
Sometimes I get frustrated with the excitement and noise which follows the children from the streets through the gates and into the classroom, but I keep in mind that my main objective is to help out, and our grass-roots diplomacy provides lessons and memories that will last all their lives. – Leo Pyzynski

Friday, Dec. 5

(With apologies to Dr. Seuss): Our trip is done; Our trip was fun; Let’s hope to do another one!
Leo and Ruthanne approached their morning with a rambunctious gang of first-graders with some trepidation. With mixed feelings, we spent the last morning with the smaller first-grade class, which was fine for all. The children colored and sang songs. Leo and Ruthanne joined with them in a rousing rendition of the Hokey Pokey. We’ll miss them. After dinner, the 6th graders threw a surprise “party” for Leo and Ruthanne, complete with confetti, beautiful gifts (framed pictures and edible goodies) and undeserved adulation. Very special. Finally, our “Last Supper” as a team we began two weeks ago as individuals and now we truly have become a team. We are all very sorry to say good bye. Really “au revoir,” certainly not “adieu.” Ciao,
-Ruth DeWolfe
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