Orientation started today. We met all the other newbies in the program and hung out in DaNang for a while. The most interesting part came when Viet, the organizer told us of why he started the program in Vietnam. His father was a soldier in the war, and one year after Viet was born, his father passed away, leaving him to his mother who had mental challenges. She left him in the middle of some farmland, where a farmer found him and took him to an orphanage. His mother stayed in a hospital for a year and a half before she recalled that she actually had a son. He says he doesn't remember anything about the orphanage but is very grateful for what they did for him. He wanted to help make orphanages a better place for future children.
After a few hours of stories, rules, language training we hopped on a bus for Tam Ky. I sat by the window as Mr and Mrs Smith played with Vietnamese subtitles (somehow the bus was run-down but also had a TV?). Of course we got some stares, but it was not as uncomfortable as I expected. It was pretty entertaining seeing the people on motorized scooters weave around our big bus.
**I just jumped out of my seat because a bug the size of my middle finger just flew by my face. We have some interesting creatures here in Tam Ky, including geckos running up and down the walls.
Our house is beautiful. I am rooming with Rosie, while Patrick, Catrina and Jenny are all in another room together. We spent some time exploring the house and standing up on our roof at the gorgeous view. The cooks are very friendly but get very upset if we do not finish all of our food. This isn't TOO hard as the food is pretty darn good. The best pineapple I have ever experienced was served after supper this evening. Sooo juicey and sweet, it blew my mind.
I was invited to our cook's house (Mrs. Haun) for a beer and to see her place. It was very nice. She did a wonderful job with her small, traditional Vietnamese house and had a beautiful bed and very comfortable furniture. The kids from across the street came over for a visit and there were thumb wars and very messy braided hair by the time we left. It was interesting driving a bicycle again, something I haven't done in years. I was a little nervous biking along those busy streets, but by following Carrie and Kyle (people with a ton of experience) I got there safely, along with the help of a few hand signals.
Well, I'm off to bed, or at least lie on the kitchen floor with Rosie as she squashes a rubber lizard against the wall. Nighty night!