It’s that time of year where I’m used to packing up my life and moving out east. However, instead of moving east to Clinton, New York to go back to Hamilton, I’m heading straight to Cambodia and then on to Vietnam. Instead of packing sweaters and heavy wool socks, I’m loading up on sunscreen and swimsuits.
I’m as prepared as I can be: I know how to ask “is there gluten in this?” in Vietnamese, I’ve packed my own toilet paper, and I have packed not one but yes four separate compasses to aid my directionally challenged self. Besides that, I have my book picked out for the 17 hour flight over the pacific and am ready to bounce.
I have personal reasons and aspirations for keeping a blog during my time in Vietnam, however, I also want to paint a clear image of life in Vietnam for all you beautiful people out there. This includes separating the glorified image of Southeast Asia from the reality in addition to examining the impact that French colonialism, communism, the Vietnam war, and Buddhism play in molding social interaction, education, and culture in a rapidly developing globalized market. On the other hand, I will be given the unique opportunity to pass along my own background, education, and social knowledge to my very own classroom (This should be at the very least entertaining) and am very much looking forward to the collision/collaboration of mixed histories, ideologies, and expressions.
This blog is meant to stand as a canvass for the things I’ve learned about Vietnam, education, capitalism vs. communism, the impact of war on a country’s spirit and growth, perseverance, religion, the dichotomy between rural and urban, the environment, cultural customs, individual resilience, but most of all it will ultimately depict what I’ve learned about myself.