Vietnam has a wonderful holiday each year on the 20th of November: Teacher's Day! It is a day off for teachers and students... and a day for students to honor their teachers. There is a major sense of honor for teachers in this culture. So it actually began the evening of the 19th- with an evening of performances... traditional dances, not-so-traditional dances, Vietnamese songs, English songs, etc. It was so fun to see our students perform! And of course, we also had to perform... so we sang, ahem, and I'm glad that's over ;) I must admit I kind of just smiled during the song. I tried to sing, but couldn't hear myself, and the students were standing and waving their hands back and forth like it was an Elton John concert or something, and it just was one of those really out-of-body experiences. Ha, ha. They gave all of us teachers flowers and afterwards my students bombarded me for pictures- it's funny sometimes how you start to feel famous as a foreigner. Oh my. We also wore our Ao-Dais (traditional VN dresses) for the first time! Everyone commented on how much more beautiful we looked in our Ao-Dais :)
Then on the 20th, students came by our apartment with flowers, small gifts, words of thanks and well wishes- especially through text messages (such as "I wish you happy, lucky, healthy, and successful in your life always"). During the afternoon I went to a student's one bedroom apartment and learned how to make "sweet soup" with her! Maren and I both taught these gals in the photo below, and they gave us a set of mugs. Their gift couldn't have been more perfect because we only have two mugs, and we are always washing them for hot chocolate and tea on these cold Dalat nights! We felt a lot of love and honor from our sweet students, and definitely chose the right country to teach in :)
The evening of Teacher's Day we were invited to two dinners- one by the Foreign Languages Department and another by the International Relations Department. So we decided to go to both :) Oh, man- we were stuffed by the end to say the least! Here's a photo of the new outfit outside the first place we ate dinner.
The next adventures include a visit from my teammate Jenny's mom and sister this weekend, a very full teaching schedule of 12 hours on Monday and Tuesday, and then a trip to visit our closest neighbors in our organization (9 hour bus ride away) to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with them. We leave Wednesday morning the 26th and come back on Sunday the 30th. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Please know that YOU are definitely on my list of "thankfuls"... I know I wouldn't be here without your thought support, financial generosity, and encouraging notes/packages/e-mails/etc. From the bottom of... Vietnam... and my heart,