A day at the zoo

We learned about animals today and it got crazy! There was a lot of noise and acting out including
some tapping and ballet to demonstrate penguin and swan. I would ask questions like "what sound does a duck make?" and they would make the sound, but many of the animal sounds they made are different than in English - when I said "quack quack" they looked at me funny and made their Vietnamese sound. We played a game of charades and I had them pick team names. The first team picked "goat," then one of the priests screamed "no no!" and came to the board and wrote "white" in front of "goat" - they were all hysterically laughing and screaming on that side of the room. I gave them a weird look, walked to their side of the board and wrote "crazy" in front of "white goat" - eruption of laughter from the whole class. At another point they did some crazy acting out (climbing up the wall to demonstrate monkey) and I went over and underlined "crazy" - applause and laughter. They got really into charades and sometimes I couldn't hear who guessed first so they did Rock Paper Scissors. Vietnamese style is with a fourth element - well. Well beats scissor and rock but not paper (the scissors and rocks fall into the well, but the paper covers it). There was a lot of drama and screaming! Little Bao and Chi came in and out of my classroom to say hi. Bao jumps all over me and hugs my leg while I'm walking so it's hard to move! 

We spent some time working on a dialogue about going to the zoo. I walked around the room listening to them speak with each other and explaining words like "incredible" "warn" and "exploiting" in simple words. We went out to the basketball courts to rehearse for the talent show tomorrow and some of the little kids were there playing - they were imitating the big kids while we practiced our number. After, the students started singing a Vietnamese folk song and doing a funny dance. They ended up making up an entire second dance together by themselves (I sat there watching and laughing) that they will do tomorrow in addition to "You Raise Me Up." They were teaching me some of the words and moves and laughing when I did them. It was awesome to watch them work together - they choreographed formation changes and everything! One of the kids took my place as rehearsal master, standing in front making sure everyone was doing the right moves. Check out the video below of them rehearsing! Later in the afternoon Huy attempted to teach me the song - that was rough! A lot of giggles.

In the afternoon we wrote about our favorite animals. It was a bit frustrating. My students were being wild, they weren't doing their work, and the little kids were running in and out making a ton of noise so when I finally managed to get someone to the front of the room to read aloud I couldn't hear them! After an hour and a half I sent the kids out for swimming lessons and to get their hair cut by Le. The little girls and Bao came in and brought me little presents - they made bracelets out of flowers and twigs and were putting them around the bun in my hair and on my wrist. Chi and Bao made me a special little kite that says "Happy Birthday" with our names in hearts - they wrapped it up in a little box made of paper. So cute! The girls drew on my board - they would draw something, point to it and say "Low-rah" for me to tell them the word in English. They are so good at drawing! Chi is so smart. She has been opening up and saying phrases, pointing to things and saying "bike! motorbike! teeth! smile!" Some of my students and Map came to hang out with us outside. Map said "my name is Nghia…no, my name Map!" My students were asking me about what I do, and I told them "dancer, singer, actress, model, photographer" and Huy said "oh man! You are going to be millionaire!" I was cracking up! First of all, yay for using vocabulary we learned last week! And second of all, I wish!! The kids were working on saying my last name - there's a cute video below of Map saying it while Le and I were out for juice and snacks with him. Lots of photos today! I have little plant wreaths hanging on the wall and a paper kite tucked away in my notebook of lesson plans. Excited for the talent show tomorrow! On another note, thrilled to be mentioned in the New York Times today. So many gifts!

 My students! The guy on the left is one of the priests - he's the one who was climbing up the wall to demonstrate "monkey"


 The kids dancing along with the big kids! So funny

 Le the hairdresser! One of my students with my flower wreath on his head…so sad

 They put the wreath around my bun

 Our Australian friends giving swimming lessons
 My gift from Chi and Bao!
 So cute
 Look at Chi copying Hello Kitty onto the board
 One of my wreaths - there's a photo of all of them on my wrist on Instagram
 Little artists!

Chi drew this!


  1. More beautiful photos! I love the videos too! Are you going to be in the talent show too? xo