experienced goodness

Vietnam Volunteer Diana Swansen notices the “simple things” in life that remind her of  humanity’s goodness. She offers her optimistic perspective with us, and her teammates, when teaching conversational English on a Vietnam Service Program in Hanoi.


What is good taste? For most people, taste is simply a matter of flavor.

But how do we experience goodness? For me, this time with you, in Vietnam, represents goodness. I experienced goodness by finding my stride as a “teacher” by not only teaching about the world map, and locations and places, but by actually taking off into the sky, in order to teach the concept and aviation words of “AIRWAY and Airways.”

“I believe the taste of goodness is about making conscious and thoughtful decisions about the places we travel to, up on the planet we share as global volunteers, as well as through the relationships we have at our daily projects.”
~Diana Swansen

Jay experienced goodness at the Foreign Trade University through the warmth and generosity, both of goods and spirit, of the students and the faculty.

And Karen experienced goodness through the helpfulness of NBK primary teachers – as well as finding a teacher shorter than she!”

experienced goodness

Vietnam Volunteer Diana Swanson says everyone experiences goodness in different ways if you seek it.

The way the day unfolded for Jane in the NBK classroom was clearly a sign of goodness, because it was fabulous compared to the chaos of the previous morning. 

As Karen watched me in my element, teaching the middle-schoolers about location and navigation, I’m convinced she experienced the goodness of the students.  And also by watching Ken bond with all the children in his attentive and engaging classes.  Karen also experienced goodness when she walked into the Blind Link class and saw Carole’s students gathered around her, lovingly.

And goodness was expressed by Ken through the “Stop the Bus” game because he stumped the children, (though he was stumped, too) on the letters X, Q and Z. And not to be forgotten, Ken was told not once, but TWICE (and sincerely) how handsome he is and, for once, he said, he did not know what to say!

How about this for goodness?  Judy’s students took her and Anne to the Temple of Literature during the lunch hour to enjoy the lovely grounds and buildings there.  Wendy witnessed true goodness in the way her two teachers made her communication with the students easy and enjoyable.  And, when she and Jay took an unexpectedly long ride in a taxi back to the hotel, the goodness was in getting to see a lot more of the old quarter in Hanoi!”

experienced goodness

Children are naturals in leading us to the goodness in the world.  In teaching English, Vietnam volunteers have opportunities every day to experience their goodness.

Anne’s students were so thoughtful and kind in helping her cross the streets and by bringing her coffee, that you can’t ignore the goodness in that.  Their goodness radiated in their sparkling and smiling eyes when they participated enthusiastically in the lessons. And at Blind Link, Carole’s adult students’ eyes lit up when they (for the first time) understood the word “professional” as well as understanding that massage therapists are healers.

The way Gail experienced goodness through her students is their eagerness to teach her about Vietnam, including all different aspects of their culture and industry.  It really helps them in speaking, and understanding, English.

We as a team experienced goodness (and humor) when our waiter recommended the type of Vietnamese beer that’s good for the “Old People,” like us!  And it was fun to hear how the waiter dug himself deeper, before digging himself out, through lots of group laughter!  It’s all goodness!”


Find goodness on a Global Volunteers service program.  People of all ages and backgrounds fulfill their volunteer goals through worldwide programs. Learn more about how you can make a difference in Vietnam. Or Chat Online with a Volunteer Coordinator to get started today! 

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