Video: Hallowe’en in the animal world.

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Sibyl’s Travelblog – Issue 8

Things I have forgotten to write about…

A couple of weekends ago we were very cultured and went to visit the army museum which goes through all Vietnamese history. It was really interesting and we had our own personal tour guide, a lovely Vietnamese guy who is one of Craig’s students. His English was really good. We ended up in KFC afterwards [very cultured! – Ed] to get out of the torrential rain. It was so heavy that all the drains overflowed and at some points you had to wade knee deep in water and other things that I really do not want to think about. It was so incredible though! Craig almost lost his flip flop in a stream of fast moving water and it was very funny watching him chase after it. We ended up walking bare foot!  I didn’t imagine that would ever happen.

We are meeting up with our ‘tour guide’ again this Saturday to go to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. He is not there at the moment – his body gets taken to be re-embalmed every September to December but it will be interesting to see where he lived! It was Women’s Day in Vietnam on Tuesday. All women get flowers and presents from the men. All our teachers at the school got heaps of flowers. Craig got me and Emily roses, which was really nice. The Vietnamese guy (I really should find out his name) was asking what our favourite flowers were as well, and apparently we are to expect bouquets on Saturday [hmmm? – Ed]. I love Vietnam!
One of the gappers remarked – why is there only women’s day and not men’s day – suggesting sexism against men, but someone else corrected him saying every day in Vietnam is men’s day. Which looking around is probably quite accurate. The women seem to do everything – most men sit around on their motorbikes topless smoking and drinking.

We met two travellers called Pete and Anna last weekend. They are lovely and have really interesting stories – they have travelled everywhere, they did the trans Siberian railway route. Pete is from Australia and Anna is from England. They fell in love in Australia and have been travelling to and fro and everywhere ever since. They are a really sweet couple and nice to talk to someone who has experienced the long distance relationship thing. We have taken them to all the local spots as well as street BBQ’s and egg-milk coffee. It’s been fun showing people around. We have also befriended a guy called Lennard, he’s from Germany and has been apart from his girlfriend for a whole year and a half while she studies in America. I had a good chat with him about that and about Christianity – I must keep praying for him.

Last Sunday; Georgie, Honor, Seth and Craig came to church, which was so great! It was a good sermon to hear as well; ‘what are your priorities in life?’ and ‘what should be most important?’ – glorifying God. Keep praying – hopefully they will come again this week. I was also very excited because I recognised one of the hymns for the first time! I met a lovely 15 year old girl who is part of the church and has lived in Vietnam since she was 5.

More to come soon!

NO LOGAN! NOOOO!

The time was approximately 09:05 this morning, I was in the kitchen jovially pouring myself a cool glass of Dr. Pepper. The next thing I hear is a shout from Indigo; “NO LOGAN! NOOOO!” immediately after which I hear the indescribable noise of around 300, 000 Rice Krispies falling to the floor (and onto the sofa and in the toybox and in their hair and in-between the cracks in the floorboards)

I walk into the room by now, I’m fuming(ish).

“LOGAN!YOU’RENOTMEANTTOPOURTHERICEKRISPIESONYOUROWN!ASKAGROWN UP!ARRRGH!LOOOOGAN!” or something to that effect.

I stand there glaring angrily at the boy, now out of breath from my outburst.

Then Logan simply replies, in his quietest/cutest voice…

“More… cereal?”

I then begin to start the monumental clear-up. A good ten minutes later, after I have done a fairly good job of clearing all the snaps, crackles and pops into one tidy pile, Logan starts trying to eat the cereal that’s in the dust pan.

AARGH!

This kick starts the third week of my new job; I’m being employed to look after my future niece and nephew (children of Sibyl’s sister Katy). I love it; they do keep me on my toes.

Sibyl’s Travelblog – Issue 7

We have had some very fun nights out in Hanoi and have found some local places to chill in the evenings as well as play Jenga – they seem to have it everywhere here. The Police are very strict about drinking after 12 in Vietnam. Most places close down or shut their doors before then so we have not had many late nights. There is a lot of corruption among the police and military – bribery and other things that I am sure we do not even know go on. It’s when you see things like that you realise you are in a very controlled socialist country.

We went to see the band Regurgitator [attractive name] a few days ago which was so awesome but really random that they came to Vietnam! They are an Aussie band and they are actually really good (not implying that Aussie music isn’t) It was just a strange experience to have in Vietnam because it was like being at a festival at home. It was basically a mini festival from 5 until 10 at night. It was outside, they had festival food and there was (of course) loads of Australians there. We could have been in Australia or even England (apart from the heat.) The music was great and their was lots of ‘moshing’. I crowd surfed too! A few of us did. It was very cool and I landed on my feet.

Seth, the other volunteer teacher at our school, has left because he became frustrated with the situation (they mess us about quite a bit.) Glen and Craig are going to take his place at the school, and be paid as much as me and em earn in a month in two nights work! (But never mind.) At least we have some extra help at the school and will be cool teaching with people we know. We met up with Seth today to talk about it, he’s a really nice guy and is going to cook us mac and cheese to apologise for leaving us behind. Hopefully the school will realise that they should treat us better now.

I wonder how many Obama voters are just like this…

I found this on Ebaum’s World.

I am totally unsurprised. So many voters are swayed by looks. That famous story about the Kennedy and Nixon debate; polls taken after it
showed that most people who listened to it on the radio
felt that Nixon had won, while most who watched it on
television declared Kennedy the victor.

Obama most definitely gets my vote on looks.

Who would you pick in a beauty contest?
Who would you pick in a beauty contest?

Sibyl’s Travelblog – Issue 6

Yay! I have finally managed to write.

I have not written a blog in weeks! I have been so busy. It get’s overwhelming when you have not written for ages. There is lots and lots to write about. I can’t remember everything, which is probably a good thing. I don’t want to send you all to sleep.
So last time I wrote a blog I hated teaching. I think I have been too negative about everything here in my writing. I hope I have not given that impression. I am loving it here. I’m missing home and all of you but Vietnam is AMAZING and all the people I have met are lovely and so supportive. I get on really well with Emily my room mate which is such a blessing, I love her, she’s hilarious.

Teaching has got a lot easier as well. I am more used to getting up in front of the kids and winging it. I love them as well, they have a great sense of humour and they are so lovely when they are singing and excited about games and stickers. They all grab onto my hands and all say “good bye teacher, see you later” in cute little Vietnamese accents when they leave.

I have been offered two other jobs as well, one of which, (if everything goes to plan) I shall start today! I am very scared. It’s at a kindergarten, teaching and entertaining 18 month to four year olds. I am looking forward to meeting them but I am worried I am going to get too tired. I will be teaching them for 90 minutes and then doing another three hours at The Children’s Palace. It will be fun though. God is providing for me here. I was really worried about money (especially after my purse was stolen) but I know God is looking after me. The other job is on a saturday afternoon tutoring 6 students.

Since my last entry I have been to a place called ‘Halong Bay’, which was the most beautiful place I have ever seen [apart from Rhodri’s face*]. So gorgeous! We had to leave at four in the morning though. It was too early for me to go to sleep and wake up again so I just didn’t – that resulted in me being awake for 48 hours. It rained the whole of the first morning but we left but as soon as we got onto the boat and out into the bay, then sun came out – it was perfect! We sunbathed, saw caves and dived off the boat into the most amazing clear warm water. Little women in rowing boats came up to our boat trying to sell beer and oreos. We stayed the night on the boat which was very fun – we danced lots and some people jumped off the side of the boat at midnight (of course.) I was incredibly tired though so ended up passing out before that. It was such a good nights sleep – the beds were so comfy. We got up early the next day for breakfast and kayaking. The food on the boat was also great – lots of fresh seafood (not for breakfast though.)

The following weekend I got to go to the church I was originally going to go to! Finally. ‘The Hanoi International Fellowship’, I was so happy to go to a service again. There was a visiting preacher but the sermon was so good and the message so clear and strong – it was on ‘the fragrance of Christ’ and how if we are trusting in Jesus our lives should reflect this and that it will spread (2 Corinthians 2:14-17). It was so good to hear people pray again. The singing is really cheesey and they encouraged dancing during the collection but they do say it’s for the glory of God and that you can worship God in different ways. It is very American. I took communion also which was done in the way I actually recognised! Everyone together. They are very welcoming but it is hard to meet and talk to people properly because it is a huge church with loads of visitors.

More blogging to come really soon. Sorry again for being so slack with writing.