Life in Vinh, part four
Second week of real volunteering for our Brunei volunteers. To read the first week click here.
Monday, 9th March 2020
Getting into the second week after the school reopens with a new energy. We spent two hours in the morning at the Reading Center. During the morning session, a student came to have a conversation with us. His name was Hoang, one of our students. However, one of the teachers informed us that the school had to close. Classes were cancelled. We spent the afternoon to discuss about our plans for the upcoming days with the teachers. In the evening, the teachers told us that we were going to teach the students online via Zoom application. It was a good idea and we agreed. We spent the evening to prepare for the lessons we will be teaching the next day.
Tuesday, 10th March 2020
On Tuesday morning, we had an online class with Ms Luong’s class at 7:00am. This was our first time teaching English and surprisingly, a lot of students showed up. Some students were responsive to us, but I realized that most of the time, the same students were active. At the end of the class, I made sure that everybody understood the lesson.In the afternoon, we went to do some activities in front of our dorm and at the sports complex. We played Da Cau and went for a jogging before taking a rest.
During the evening, after our dinner, we reviewed our lesson for Ms Thao’s class. We spent time on planning how to teach. It is important to make the lesson simple and easy to understand for the students.
Wednesday, 11th March 2020
Ms Thao’s morning class on Wednesday was our second online class. The students were great and showed a positive attitude. In my opinion, sometimes it is hard to teach online compared to teaching in class. There are many factors that resulted in some difficulties such as internet connection and speaker volume. Also, we were not able to see everybody at the same time. However, the class went very well, and the students also informed us that they understood the lesson.
Thursday, 12th March 2020
In the morning session, we were teaching Ms Thao’s class and Ms Luong’s class was in the afternoon. It was fun and we had a great time teaching them. The Zoom application only allows us to have video calls for 40 minutes. Due to that, we wasted time waiting for the students to join the call. That is one of the cons of online teaching, time limitation per session. Both classes that day showed responsive students and we had the chance to communicate with them as well as introducing ourselves again. We will see them in class once the university reopens again.
During the evening, we met one of our students, Hoang. We went for a walk from the university to the Vinh Center. Hoang decided to treat us some Iced Lemon Tea drinks from the shop nearby our university which cost 10.000 VND. The drink was good and cheap.
Friday, 13th March 2020
On Friday morning we had our breakfast and when it was almost time for mid-day, I spent some time listening to online radio of people praying in Brunei because there is no mosque here in Vinh. Later in the afternoon, we invited our Ghana friends to play football again but this time, there were two Laos students joined us playing football. We get to know each other after finished playing football and one of them is taking Politics for his course. Both of them were friendly and kind to us.
In the evening, we went to buy some Banh Mi Lo near our university but this time, it was an elderly woman at the front desk selling to us. It was not a good experience as before because we felt that the woman was being racist and insulting us. After we told her that we are from Brunei, she immediately told the customer next to us not to get close to us and to wear his mask and she was also talking to us in high voice that sounds rude to us. That was one of the bad experiences that we experienced so far during our time here.
Saturday, 14th March 2020
Weekend has come and we went out with our friends from Ghana to buy football shoes. We walked around the city and look for a shop. After some time, we found shoes for only 80.000 VND. The shoes were very cheap, and the quality was not bad. We then brought them to visit the Ho Chi Minh Square where we got the chance to take photo together in front of the statue.
Sunday, 15th March 2020
On Sunday, after having our lunch, I spent some time to clean the toilet and the room. That is part of our weekly routine. In the afternoon, we played some sports to release the lactic acid in our body. We had muscle pain after playing football.
In the evening, we just had to review again the textbooks that we will be using to teach the students next week. We received the information that the university will reopen next week. We felt relieved after hearing that news.
Report by Syakir (LMTV from Brunei Durassalam)