Crazy, cool, go!

Friday morning was the talent show! It was so cute watching all the kids sing and dance! I was walking
around taking pictures with little kids following me around, grabbing me and hanging on me - I kept doing the motions to sit down, watch and be quiet but they just kept saying "Low-rah!" and speaking to me in Vietnamese. My class was last as they are the oldest. I stood right in the front of the "audience" singing along, cheering them on and motioning the movements. They did great! The kids wanted me to dance so I did "Cool" which was interesting for a few reasons - 1. The soundtrack version I have on my phone is way faster than the stage version and the counts aren't the same, 2. I had no boy for the partner work section, 3. I had a very small amount of space in a dusty concrete basketball court to dance in and 4. I haven't danced that hard in weeks! I forgot how tiring that number is! The kids were cheering at certain parts like the poses in the beginning and giggling at other parts like "atlas" (one of the iconic moments in the number when everyone is shaking in an atlas-like pose) and the snaps at the end (I went around snapping at the kids). There was a cheer after and a little "Lau-ra! Lau-ra! Lau-ra!" (Thanks Victor). The little girls brought me flowers after. It was questionable by New York standards but it seemed to go off just fine here :) After that all the teachers danced around together, then my students and I went to get sugar cane juice. I was sweating like crazy and so tired! There are videos below of my students performing and me dancing.

Only a few students returned in the afternoon and most of them wanted to go swimming, so we studied for an hour and then I let them go. We learned "for fun" words like "to swim, to read, to play, to dance" etc. I went to sit by the pool and some of the little girls were tickling me with feathers - sticking them in my ears, putting them in my hair, on my face, in my armpits - just everywhere! Most of the time I don't mind having the kids hanging on me and constantly touching me - I think it's cute. But sometimes I think to myself "Ok! Personal bubble! The insides of my ears are off limits!" My TA Le had to leave the program Friday afternoon to go back to Ho Chi Minh City for school (she only found out on Thursday) so that will be an adjustment. I'm bummed because Le is awesome and we got along so well and were really starting to get into a rhythm with our class, but that's ok. Another lesson of this trip: you can figure it out! Anything goes! 

In the evening we took motorbikes to a nearby town to do Karaoke. It was an interesting experience! We did a few English songs but most of them were in Vietnamese - it was cool to follow along as they were singing, trying to hear how the words are pronounced. It's so, so different from English; I'm amazed at the people here who can speak both languages. When I was in Italy it was so much easier to pick up some Italian - I think partially my ear was used to it from hearing my family speak it, but also the way of producing sound is the same as in English. Same goes for Spanish - granted, studying both of those languages definitely helped. When my superstar Puerto Rican friend Michelle says a phrase to me in Spanish, I can repeat it back to her, accent and everything. Vietnamese seems to require an entirely different set of muscles. Someone will try to teach me a word, I will repeat it back, then they will say it again, then I will try again - to me, I have no idea what the difference is in how I am saying it, but eventually they say "yea, good!" and 30 seconds later I completely forget what the heck I was saying. Looking forward to a much needed weekend of rest after weeks of traveling, teaching and not sleeping that much! Two weeks of classes down!

 There's Map dressed as a crocodile
 The crocodile

 The Vietnamese teachers!

 "Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, if you see a crocodile don't forget to scream - AHHHH!"

 The kindergartners from next door came to watch!

 Little girls all dressed up

 My student Huy! There are a lot of hats and clothing with funny English phrases on them. This one says "good girl" under the bill. A lot of hats say "BOY" or "GIRL" on the top and ironically usually a girl is wearing the "BOY" hat and a boy is wearing the "GIRL" hat. I also saw an older male food vendor wearing a "PINK" (as in Victoria's Secret) baseball hat
 Trang rocking out with her class!

 My class!

 The girls dancing

 My little gals brought me flowers! These ended up in my hair (they stuck them in my sweaty bird's nest bun, Huy took a photo and put it on Facebook, I look crazy) and now are sitting in a cup of water in my room
Looking into my classroom in the afternoon



  1. OMG! That was so awesome Laura! It "raised me up"! xox