Author Archive

Us versus Them

Living out in Thanh Hoa, we see the same pale faces over and over again–the three of us plus one of the Kaplan teachers. That’s it. We never run into other Westerners at the supermarket or walking the streets of Thanh Hoa. And even though we know we look vastly different, we have stopped feeling…

This Week’s Food in Pictures
Weekend in the Rainforest

Weekend in the Rainforest

Since I’m working five days a week for the entire duration of our time in Vietnam, our chances of seeing much of the country are pretty limited. So I’ve had to come up with a short list of places we want to go. What we’ve decided on, and hoping to make it work, are visits…

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Just a shout-out to my mom who’s celebrating her 60th birthday today. No matter when we’re away, we always miss someone’s special occasion. This time it’s Mom’s birthday. Next will be my sister’s. But we’ll bring back gifts! Not sure that makes them feel much better, but know that we’d be there if we could.

Kitchenware–Vietnamese style

Kitchenware–Vietnamese style

So certain niceties of life in America are missing here. One that’s come into clear focus here is the absence of kitchen tools. There are no mixing bowls; I use an empty saucepan. No measuring spoons, only a large spoon that I guess by. No one-cup or half-cup measure; instead I use a glass cup…

No Look Monkey

No Look Monkey

Last Thursday, a monkey tried to attack me. One of my evening students, Nam, and his wife took the kids and I out for a delicious meal of bun cha and then over to an enormous coffee shop/resort that is tucked away behind the city. The expansive grounds are covered with umbrella-covered tables interspersed with…

Hi-ho Hi-ho, off to work I go

There’s nothing like a lot of work to keep you from being social, whether it’s stateside or abroad. And while my social life these days consists mostly of spending time with my kids and posting on this blog, both have been neglected the past few days. Due to the national exams this week, the company…

Attack of the Mosquitoes

Attack of the Mosquitoes

Since we moved last week from room 211 to 213, our mosquito population has been near zero in our room. Nary a bite for any of us. It’s been wonderful.  But outside our room, there are openings in the sidewalk, close 3 feet by 3 feet wide, where the water sits. Why they are uncovered…

Free Time

It’s all the kids have these days–hours and hours to do as they please. Of course, this often resorts to playing video games, but not always. On Saturday evening, Audrey and I went swimming with some students (past and present) while Stuart rested. He’s had a cold for the past few days. I managed to…

Teaching as a family affair

Teaching as a family affair

Thursday was test day for the students. In the big picture, it’s actually a test for me–a way to have a control against which they will compare the students at the end of my teaching term. So I found a test in a book that I’ve yet to use here (in hopes of avoiding them…

Go Top