Saturday, August 24, 2013

Playing Catch Up

The past few weeks have been packed full of the last few days of summer and the first few days of an exciting new school year; my first outside of the US.  The move to Hanoi has been filled with a million and one new experiences that continue to surprise and amaze me.  

Apartment Update: I was really surprised that no one picked apartment #3...but I did.  I wish that I could report that it looks much different today than it did in the original photos that I posted, but that's not the case.  I'm supposed to move in next weekend, but I'm not thinking that it's going to happen. We just came back from checking in on the progress and nothing has been done.  Guess who's going to be sending a strongly worded email in a bit?!  

Hong Kong
Before my Dad headed back to the US and before I started school, we took a quick trip to Hong Kong.  It's been my favorite part of moving to South East Asia so far!  What a vibrant and modern city.  Here are a few of my favorite memories.  
The view from the top of Victoria Peak
The view from our hotel room!  It was absolutely beautiful.

The view was crystal clear from the top of the peak.
Daddy at the top of the peak with the harbor in the background.
We had such a nice time, but boy was it hot!
We took the Peak Tram back down the mountain. You ride down backwards and at its steepest point, the tram is at an angle of 27 degrees.

Our view from the cable car overlooking the South China Sea
We rode the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to the Ngong Ping Village.  The bottom was glass so that we could see the mountains and waterfalls below. 

We were 12,968 Km away from the Statue of Liberty, USA.  I really should have paid more attention in math class when the metric system was being taught.  Thank goodness for my convertor app.  
Daddy and I in front of the arch at Ngong Ping Village.
This is the Tian Tan Buddha.  The largest seated Buddah in the world.  There were 238 steps up!

The view on the way up to the Ngong Ping Village. The view of the South China Sea was awesome.
We found a really cool garden on afternoon.  Yes, I'm wearing a's beyond hot here.

Another Buddah picture...this was my favorite thing.  It's massive!

School Starts
I knew all along that moving to a new country to live and work would be an amazing life experience.  After month and months of looking at pictures online, I was excited to begin the school year.  I'd already met most of the other teachers as we're all staying in the same hotel.  Everyone is incredibly kind and excited to begin the year.  So far, we only have about 50 students enrolled, but that is expected to increase throughout the course of the year.  This year we will have students in grades Pre-Kinder to 5th grade and will expand to 6th-11th grade next year.  These first few days of school have been great!  We've planned curriculum, ordered materials and started setting up our classrooms. Now all we need are some kiddos to turn our beautiful building into a school :)  

Top 5 New Things I've Learned
1.  Crossing the street isn't nearly as scary on day 26 as it was on day 1!
2. A taxi is not the best place to practice the new direction words you know in Vietnamese!  (I'm really good at turn left, turn right and go straight)
3. In Vietnam, nearly everyone is a millionaire!
4. Almost anything will fit on the back of a motorbike!
5.  Living in a hotel for a month isn't all that it's cracked up to be!


  1. LOVED the pics! Mom and I can't wait to visit!! Keep the updates coming!!! Your adventure is amazing so far!!!

  2. Hi B,
    I love the update. Looks like you're settling in and enjoying yourself. I hope the apartment is done soon so you can have your own things to make it more homey. Vic is doing great and getting into her own little routine.
    I'm glad you are able to get the EAGLES. I know you are happy about that.
    Everything here is great. The leaves are starting to fall off the tree in the front yard and the mums are on sale everywhere. I know it's hot there and you miss the cool weather right now, just thing XMAS. Everyone is waiting.


  3. Hoi there. Wow what great pictures!!! sounds terrific . Oh by the way I have turned your house into a sushi disco rave party house. the kids from all over do not mind the 20.00 cover charge.. Larry is of course recovering slowly and yelling alot. Miss you so much!!!!