Today is March 8, International Women’s Day! :) I planned to have a surprise for the girls – to take them to the nearest coffee shop that has WI-FI Internet. When Yen and I came, only 4 girls were present, we all wished each other a Happy women’s day!
I announced that we’ll go to the cafe to browse the web; Hanh and Yen laughed as they thought it was a good joke! Yen explained that in Vietnam teachers never invite students to go to cafes instead of studying and it is expensive. I said that it happens in other countries. We’ll study there and I’ll show them the Internet. They were extremely excited. I showed the address to the cafe that I looked up earlier on-line. They have never been there as it is expensive, although it is very close.
We walked to His Café 5 min from the Shelter
. We came in and went upstairs to the second floor. There were only two guys there, working on their computers.
We ordered milk shakes and smoothies and started the lesson. First, we connected to the Internet, the connection was called linksys-g. Then they created yahoo accounts. I asked the girls to write letters to me as a test. All four of them managed to send me letters in English with Yen’s help.
Then the guys came to us and asked about our computers, we showed them the XOs and explained that it is a computer class, so we can’t talk to them for too long as we need to study.
Then we checked vi.wikipedia.org and found Sochi, they read in Vietnamese about the Olympic Games in 2014. I also showed them vi.wictionary, but they were more interested in looking up their favorite actors/singers. Three of them searched for Kim Bum (a Korean actor) and only Hanh typed in Westslife. They found photos of their stars and I immediately knew they were hooked. Then we tried YouTube, which didn’t work because we didn’t have media flash player. We couldn’t use Facebook either, as its full version is blocked for use here in Vietnam. Truc browsed some Vietnamese sites to search for music. It turned out that Hanh already had an account and she had some new mail. Yen had to translate it for her. Hanh’s former teacher from NZ wrote her a long letter telling about her life back home, wishing Hanh Happy Birthday on Jan 1 and asked to say hi to all the girls.
When I told Truc that she is famous, as well as other girls, they didn’t understand me. I gave them the link to my blog. The girls couldn’t believe their eyes, when they saw their pictures on the web. They screamed and laughed.
The guys also checked the blog and asked me if I work for a non-profit organization and if there are any jobs available for them. I told that we are just volunteers, who don’t get paid, but if they is interested they can ask Yen for the details and she’ll hook them up. They exchanged info.
I asked the girls if they want to have internet at the shelter. They answered in unison: “Yes!” I paid the bill, which was about $9. Then since we couldn’t take all the girls from the shelter with us to the cafe, we promised to bring them cookies. We bought a big box of cookies and brought them to the shelter for the rest of the girls, who were watching TV.
I talked to the head teacher and asked her if it is Ok if we set up wireless Internet at the shelter, and I pay for the router. She gave her approval. As we rode back Yen thanked me for today, it was so much fun to go to the cafe with the girls - so different from all other classes! I enjoyed it myself a lot.