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Thứ Hai, 15 tháng 8, 2011

After one month and a half working at Bloom, now I:

- am addicted to the scent of rice field
- am used to having back pain and sore arms from driving too long on a motorbike
- can drive at 80km/h on highway
- at least 3 shades darker than I was back in Canada
- can translate simultaneously Vietnamese - English
- know basic stuff about agricultural activities, especially animal farming
- go to the countryside 2-3 times a week
- still have a terrible sense of direction and constantly lost
- think "going through the traffic in Ha Noi is a pain" twice a day on my 1 hour-trip from home to work
- have a lot of time to think (when I am on roads), but no time to read and write
- go to bed at 11, sometimes 9pm, if I am too exhausted
- meet people from different countries every Sunday
- have some cultural exchange every week
- learn something new everyday
- work from 7am - 7pm some days, and do nothing some other days
- don't have a 5-9 job, thus, don't have a fixed schedule, thus, don't know beforehand what is coming the week after
- speak more English than Vietnamese sometimes
- haven't been out in the evening much because by then I would be too tired of being on a motorbike already
- start feeling a bit too comfortable and less excited to go through similar stages of a tour
- feel like lying about my age when asked, because people always comment I am too young
- discover that I share a lot with some teammates, especially family's disapproval of decision to join Bloom
- less likely to eat at the "right" time, because when I eat depends on where I am at the moment
- have been teased, mocked and harassed for being with a group of Tay
- have a few more heated "discussion" about jobs with family
- love Vietnamese rural women more
- feel helpless, angry, frustrated, inspired and happy, depending on how the borrowers are doing
- can appreciate ordinary beauty better, thanks to the excited eyes of foreigners I surround myself with
- have been learning to deal with different people, from drivers to local People's Committee
- haven't really been able to use the theory I learnt in university effectively
- wish I have more time to reflect on things
- am not very creative or innovative
- still haven't made a lot of friends, and find myself a bit lonely at times
- aware that my teammates, tour guests and myself are in the position of power in the interaction with the borrowers as we have money in hands to give out loan, and the sheer facts of being foreigners (or being with foreigners in my case), but not at all the same when it comes to local authority
- am annoyed sometimes how the government staffs, directly or indirectly (by being uncooperative or just difficult) demand money (from Bloom) for their supposed-to-be free service for their own people
- hate seeing men sitting around drinking their lives away while women work at back-breaking jobs all day long
- find the women I've talked with optimistic, accepting, strong, helpless, content, poor (of course), hopeful, desperate, in pain, struggling, confused, and so much more
- was told by one of my teammates (technically my boss because he is the highest and I am the lowest on hierarchy) that I have the ability to relate to many different kinds of people, which I was glad to hear
- can enjoy moonlight spread on a field and sunset over mountains, something I used to imagine wouldn't be possible once I come back to Vietnam
- am doing what I've always wanted, namely go into villages, sit down and listen to stories. Quite amazed at that because I've thought that dream won't happen anytime in the near future. Now it has become true!
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