This morning, at 7:30 a.m., I had my speaking exam with my second-year students. This was after a semester of studying the IC3 teaching materials. I was amazed with some of the students. Some of them were talking about their ideas about how to alleviate poverty in Vietnam, others were talking about how to protect water in the Mekong Delta area… it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in two years here. Also, the confidence level seemed to be way up. Less than six months ago, one student was talking with a partner, and she got nervous and asked me a question in Vietnamese. Today however, this same student was talking to me one-on-one about her difficulties studying English.

This week has also been marked by the tragic passing of Dr. Xuan’s wife. I didn’t know her well, but I heard stories that she was an amazing woman. The funeral procession stopped by An Giang University today and some of the other foreigners and myself went to burn incense and pay our respects. Dr. Xuan and other family members were clad in white. There was a large procession of cars that were headed out to the border town of Ba Chuc, where she will be buried.

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