Christmas has come and gone and in a few hours it will be New Year’s Eve. Jon and I sit around and listen to radio shows on the internet sometimes and this evening was one of them. Or some evenings he translates his book on his laptop and I sit and read. But this evening he was translating and we started listening to “A Prairie Home Companion.” It was a Christmasy show and put me in the spirit a little bit. I heard the song “White Christmas” and we both recalled the half-forgotten lyrics to “Good King Wenceslas”; he sang harmony to “Silent Night.” For the first time I missed home and cold a snow a little bit.

January will be an interesting month for me. Nearly all of the foreigners will be gone from the University and I’ll be here with Jota and Duc, one of my language teachers, will be around. I’ll be forced to go out to breakfast by myself and be doing a little more fending for myself. I just don’t feel very comfortable with my Vietnamese. People tell me I’m pretty good for a beginner, but there are just some sounds that I can’t hear clearly. I’m a child again. It’s an entirely new feeling for me. Being around other English speakers and in my room is like my pre-oedipal stage: I can communicate clearly. Being by myself on the street, that comfort has been severed and I can feel quite lost in communicating. However, I know that no matter what the discomfort, it will be a benefit me in the long run.

3 thoughts on “”

  1. I totaly understand the feeling like a child! When in Senegal this summer our french skills were very, very basic. You come to appriciate and have a greater understanding of those that speak english as a second language here at home. It is very hard but SO worthwhile. After that first long conversation in the foreign tounge you hold a huge sense of acomplishment in your hands and feel very proud. You realize that those situations that make you feel very uncomfortable, the ones where you have to talk a lot or on your own are some of the best ones for you!! Good luck with it, have fun! 🙂 -sarahe

  2. merry christmas eric! i can’t send you a card because i don’t know your address…. and i’m not quite sure what the postage would be to send to vietnam. anyway, wanted to say “hi.” best of luck with the language lessons. can you say hi to Anh for me if you see him? he emailed me, but my reply to him did not go through. thanks.and you shouldn’t miss snow. it is the devil. revel in the heat and humidity.

  3. Hi Eric! Amy here (from First Menno in Sugarcreek)… your weblog was mentioned in the MennoNotes, so I decided to check it out. 🙂 Happy New Year! I just wanted to let you know that we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers back home, and are interested in your reflections on your experience in Vietnam.

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