Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ring out the old, sing in the new.....

This year, we decided to spend New Years in Hanoi. It was a lovely way to begin 2010. On New Years morning, we headed off to the Blind Association to meet up with the students and staff at the centre.

We dragged some of the family along with us to enjoy the festive cheer and to see first hand what it is Rose and I do when we head off on our trips to Hanoi. And why their wife/mother is attached to a computer 24hrs a day.
We received a very warm welcome, including a lovely spread of fresh fruit and sweets. Everyone was immediately at ease. The students proudly announced that they had a gift for us, and promptly broke into song! They had rehearsed and practiced “Jingle bells” in English, it was really special!

The positive environment that has been created here is really wonderful. It's quite a privilege to be a part of it all. The students are all very happy with their new lives. I think the social aspect to the classes has been even more beneficial for them than the academic side of things. Cheerful banter and sing song amongst friends was the order of the day.

Our teachers weren’t present this visit, both Birgit and Jennifer were off enjoying a very well earned Christmas break. But the results of their dedication and hard work were clearly present for everyone to see. The students are really progressing well. This time the English greetings flowed very naturally. They are all very keen to continue with their studies and made a point of asking when they can start their English classes again.

And the answer is very soon. Classes will begin again within the next couple of weeks. These students are on their way, there's no holding them back now.

Toan and our wonderful Teachers aides, Khanh and Trang were on hand to help out and enjoy the fun. They gave the students a good prod and told them to really practice their English language skills while they held a captive audience. And they did indeed.

I’m sure I don’t need to explain the joy involved, as I watched my own children chat away to the students. Some of my favourite people on the planet, getting to know each other. Quickly bridging huge gaps and just being young people, having a laugh together.

It was a great first day of the year!

Kind regards
Alison & Rose



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