Vietnam Volunteering – Monday September 27th

By Seija
The 11th Hanoi Global Volunteer group assembled Saturday evening for an “introduction/meet/greet” evening. Must say, we have a rather eclectic, well traveled, highly educated troop here ….. quite extraordinary, really….. should make for a very scintillating two weeks! Who would have thought even a short year ago, that I would be here in exotic Hanoi, about to embark on my second volunteer journey. What the heck took me so long?? Our group leader and host, Francoise made us all feel very welcome, appreciated and comfortable with each other in no time at all. Hoa Binh Palace put on a very tasty typical Vietnamese feast for us in their charming Chica Restaurant, on the 8th and top floor of the hotel…..lovely place to gather, as we continued getting to know each other, while wining and dining in fine style 🙂

Sunday morning, with a hearty breakfast under our belts and very very strong coffee to jolt us all into wake mode, We hit the meeting room for a further information session with Francoise on policies, philosophy, safety and health issues etc. Seems we have many repeat volunteers in our group—for some, this is their 11th time volunteering! Wow, amazing! With our imaginations fully engaged, a back wall was soon filled with colorful cards, listing all manner of goals and objectives for the weeks ahead. A common thread seemed to be both a desire to share and learn, while having a good time together.

After lunch, we had the pleasure of meeting staff from both the Nguyen Binh Khiem Secondary School (NBK) and the Foreign Trade University. They gave us a bit of a break down on what was to be expected of us during our time here, making us feel very welcome and appreciated while doing so. They assigned our schools and classrooms, at which point we broke off into two separate groups for further discussions. We decided to more or less wing it our first day and feel our way around the system ……listening, learning and helping when and where requested.

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