Volunteering in Vietnam – Wednesday, June 24, 2009

volunteer teachers in Hanoi, Vietnam

“I am an old man and I have known a great many trouble but most of them never happened”
-Mark Twain

Today we taught the older kids (13 – 15) at the SOS Children’s Village. Dividing the class into teams was a big hit. The students love competition, as it turns out.

Another fun and successful activity was singing “YMCA” lead by our own North Carolinian, Ruth. There’s nothing quite as endearing as hearing sweet Vietnamese voices singing “Young ma-an, there’s no need to feel down…” Before they actually sang, Mary wanted to review the lyrics and asked them to listen and just read. They weren’t supposed to sing, and yet, all around the room we could hear the song being sung ever so softly. They simply had to sing.

After lunch and a siesta in the cool, quiet guest house, we had a meeting with Mr. Dung, the school director. Because we are the first volunteers to work for SOS, there was some confusion for both parties about our expectations. Warren, our team leader, explained graciously the philosophy of GV, that we purchase materials and supplies for the project on which we work. It was a mutually respectful meeting in which we laid the groundwork on which future projects can be built.

We went to furniture row, and after some serious negotiations in a cabinet shop, we bought four lovely book cabinets for the school library.

The day was rewarding and we all felt some pride and satisfaction with this first program with the SOS community. They expressed their gratitude for our work with the students and we in turn expressed our pleasure for having this opportunity to contribute. We all expressed our hopes for future global volunteer programs with the SOS Children’s village.


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