Permission to land

The next thing I needed for my work permit application was to have my documents certified. Which, of course, wasn’t as simple as it sounds, just like everything else here! To have documents certified you have to visit the embassy. Lucky for me (ha) the nearest UK embassy is in Hanoi, ONLY a 6 hour drive away. In a bus. Overnight.

The principle wanted me to go as soon as we had agreed on a contract, but it wasn’t that simple.

To book an appointment at the embassy you have to send them a scan of each document needing certified, plus your passport, and some forms, and payment for them via email. Then, after five days processing this (actually was a bit quicker, but it said it could take five days) they will send you a reference number, and with THAT you can book your appointment(s). I sent all these things across but school was pestering me to nag the embassy. I’m sure that is never a good move. “Send them another email.” “Call them asking if they got your email.” “Email them again.” I gave in and eventually emailed them (on the first working day after I’d sent the original email), they hadn’t even received the first one, so back to square one! Anyway the lady from the embassy sent me the reference number to book my appointments, and there were none on the day the school wanted me to go. I couldn’t go on Thursday as I was going to the hospital that day (if you haven’t read my post about that then I recommend you do to get the full picture!), there were no appointments on Friday, so Monday was the day. Continue reading


Do you have Ebola?

After months of working endlessly to try and prove that I am ‘good enough’ for this school, and then another few weeks of reminding people and asking when exactly I was going to sign a contract, last week the day came. FINALLY. After a few questions about it and hesitation before signing it, I did. I have finally signed a contract to work here, until the end of May.

Now things are never all good, of that I’m sure. I was delighted to finally be signing it and to know that I am not about to be slung out of the door by my ear, however, there’s a list of things that have to happen in very close proximity in the few days after signing a contract. And I’m going to tell you all about them. It’s actually quite funny. I have been disgusted to the point of retching but also laughing to the point of tears (and, actually, tears in the other extreme) during these past few days. Continue reading

In my suitcase…

I’ve seen a few people writing ESL blog posts recently asking for suggestions for ESL games or warmer activities so I thought I’d put this out there. I’d like to share a game with you which I have played in the car with my Dad since I was younger. It’s called In my suitcase. It’s great fun and can be played with any age at all really (I play it with my first grade class and also my secondary students). It’s very simple and you can use any nouns for it at all. Continue reading

Vietnamese Road Safety

Two months ago today I arrived in Vinh feeling tired, excited, nervous, anxious and hot.

It’s been a mixed bag so far, that’s for sure!

Around 3 weeks ago I had a meeting with the Principle to sign a contract, except that didn’t happen. She told me that she thought teaching was too difficult for me and that if I didn’t drastically improve within the next week then I wouldn’t get a contract.

I put my absolute EVERYTHING into the following week, and on the Thursday she, along with two or three others, observed my 5A class, (kindergarten – 5 year olds). I wasn’t as terrified as I was on my first ever day but god, the whole of the next year depended on that lesson, and I would have been heart-broken leaving after such a short time. Not only would I have to leave the job, but then I would have to leave the place I live too. I live in the school so the school is not only my work but my home.

Science - learning about seeds

Science – learning about seeds.

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