(Note: SisterGeeding is really HusbandGeeding’s cousin from Vietnam.) She was adopted back in 1994 by MomAndDadGeeding and that’s how she became SisterGeeding, and it’s her immediate family we are visiting. They are also HusbandGeeding’s real aunt and uncle.)
Today was a very special day for me because we got to visit a Vietnamese school. For those of you who don’t know I am a kindergarten teacher so this really meant a lot to me. It is very different from American schools. First of all it is a very tall open building. There is a courtyard in the middle where they have recess. When we arrived at the school a bell rang and all the children in their uniform came running out of their classroom. They saw Americans and got very excited. They were precious! I wanted to take them all home with me! They all started coming up to me waving and smiling. I was surrounded by children. They were precious. A few of them would say hello in English and wave. Once they settled down they got into lines to exercise. HusbandGeeding got in line too! Music came on and they all started to do the same stretches or a dance, not really sure. The older students stayed upstairs to do their exercises. Once the music was over the students all started screaming and smiling and coming up to me to look at an American! Once I got through the crowd we went into the principal’s office (no we weren’t in trouble!). We sat around a table and visited with the principal. HusbandGeeding and I really didn’t have much to say, but SisterGeeding and her family visited with the principal. The principal poured us some hot water which I thought we were going to put a tea bag in, but we never did. I think we were supposed to drink it, but no one else did and HusbandGeeding and I were following their lead. While we were visiting with the principal all the kids were out in the courtyard eating their snack and supposedly playing. There really was anything to play with and it was all concrete. There is an open door into the principal’s office and all the kids were trying to get as close as they could to see us. The principal had to “shoo” the children away a few times. She told them they needed to leave or they would be coming in to her office! Recess lasted maybe 15 minutes and then they returned to their classroom. SisterGeeding, her family, HusbandGeeding, and I then went up to SisterGeeding’s sister’s room (that sounds confusing). When we entered the room all of the student’s stood up and the class leader said something then all of the students in unison said “Hello Sirs and Ladies” in Vietnamese of course. They sat down and then I had the teacher tell them that I was a teacher in America. I asked her to ask the children if they had any questions for me. One girl stood up and in English asked me what I liked. I told them dogs and they started laughing. I also told them I loved to read and that reading is very important. We didn’t stay too long in the classroom because the teacher needed to get back to teaching. This school went from kindergarten to fourth grade. School begins at 7:00 and is over at 11:00. The older students, I guess middle school and high school have to go back after lunch. It was a wonderful experience for me and I am very grateful to SisterGeeding and her family for me to get to do this.
After the visit to the school SisterGeeding, her mom, and I got on boat to cross the river and go to the market. I got one of those pointed hats with the scarf under the chin. We also looked at material and went to a seamstress because I’m going to have an “au dou” custom made for me, I really don’t know how to spell it or say it correctly, but this is my best shot. An “au dou” is a traditional Vietnamese dress and SisterGeeding’s mom insisted on giving me a custom made one since they could not attend our wedding.
Please check out the pictures that were taken at the school on HusbandGeeding’s flicker account or the slideshow of the pictures. There are also some small video clips he’ll upload when he finds some high speed Internet access.
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