On Saturday an anniversary past me by. I thought about it. I then realized I should think more about it. Saturday, December 3rd marked one year in Vietnam. I’ve been here a year and 3 days now. I can’t believe that time has gone so fast. I started thinking about what I’ve done here, and it doesn’t amount to much. I like teaching okay, but I’m not sure if I’m a good teacher; if I’m effective. I was never trained in all this stuff and I’m still nervous at times. Language-wise I feel like I’ve barely done anything. I haven’t devoted nearly enough time to studying this language and I wish I would make time for it, no matter what my schedule. I do think that I’ve learned a lot about Vietnam though. I don’t think I could go through and compare and contrast American culture or whatever, but I know how to eat, how to act in some situations, how to drive, etc. Nothing really big, but it seems to be building up inside. Innate knowledge or something. But that sounds egotistical. But I really do feel like I’ve learned a little something about this culture in a year.

I’ve also learned that the old idiom, “Out of sight, out of mind” really applies. I feel like so many of my friends have nearly forgotten about me, and therefore only make sporadic contact with me. All of this contact is random, except for the few letters that trickle over to Long Xuyen and show true friendship. I’m sorta worried about going home now. The way I see it now—however prone to change things may be in my life—I’ll be home in about two years. I’m scared. There will be new things, new cultural references, my friends and family will have new friends, people will be married (luckily only a few of my college friends so far). There will simply be a whole new atmosphere—I’m sure there is one now—which makes me wary of the future, though it does march consistently closer to me.

But now, things here. Tyler and I have marathon teaching weeks this week, but we’ve already booked the bus tickets for Friday morning; Tyler, Sharla and me are making a break for Ho Chi Minh City in the morning and then heading to Da Lat in the mountains in the afternoon/evening. I think we’ll all be staying there until Monday, when Tyler and Sharla will go to Nha Trang for a conference with their NGO and I’ll go back to Ho Chi Minh City to meet my parents on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope I get through the long teaching hours and stacks of grading that remain between me and relaxation.


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