Thursday, December 15, 2011

Phu Quoc, Hoi An and Hue, Oh My!

I can't believe it has been a month since I have written. I keep thinking about writing and have been collecting a list of subjects. I can't wait for a new camera so I can be more efficient with photos to supplement. Stay tuned for more visuals coming soon! The past month has kept us pretty busy. Asher has had a big project for school - Change Agents of the 20th Century. He focused on The Beatles and how they altered music history. I have been kept busy subbing at SSIS - 4th grade, 4 year-olds, and back in the middle school. Subbing continues to be fun and I am so grateful for this opportunity to explore all the different age groups. I am focusing in on the 4th through 8th grade range. Old enough to know what they are supposed to be doing, but still young enough to listen attentively and enthusiastically. I flirted with a PT art teaching job for the early childhood classes at SSIS, but found out this week that they offered it to someone else. It would have been fun and also difficult. The steady schedule and income would certainly have been nice, but hopefully they found someone who might be a longer term solution to this position, which I guess has been difficult to fill. Andrew has been through his first round of finals with his high school students. There have been Holiday extravaganzas and Staff parties and plenty of late nights. We are all looking forward to a little down time.

We are also super excited to see a little more of this Country that we are living in. Tomorrow, SUPER early in the morning, we fly on a little plane (trying not to think about it!) to an island off the south coast of Vietnam. Phu Quoc, "is everything a tropical island is supposed to be" (Lonely Planet, 2009). 70% of the island has been declared a National Park by the Vietnamese government and 90% of the island is forested. The rest is supposedly white sand beaches with the blue-green tropical waters that we have not yet seen off the coast of Vietnam. We'll probably visit the Pearl Farm, but other wise, we are looking forward to lounging and teaching the kids about the wonders of snorkeling.

Then we are back with a day to spare to await the arrival of Andrew's mother, Barbara. We are so excited to have our second visitor and can't wait to see her ---- and NOT just because she brings with her a suitcase full of our Amazon shopping! With Barbara, we will take some time to explore the history of Vietnam with a visit to central Vietnam. Hoi An and Hue have been the seats of power for almost all regimes claiming Vietnam. We'll travel back as far as the 2nd century and the Champa Dynasty at the ruins of My Son and visit the Imperial Palace, home to the last Emperor of Vietnam, who peacefully handed his reign to the French in order to avoid a war which would have devastated the people and country which he so loved. Also in this region is the divide between North and South Vietnam and one of the areas that was heavily fought during the Vietnam-America War.

We return to Ho Chi Minh City in time to bring in the New Year. In our last days with Barbara, we look forward to exploring some of the sights our own city has to offer - none of which we have yet done! Stay tuned for more pictures and detailed posts about our travels in the weeks ahead.