I had a local coordinator traveling with me. He was born in the village, but now lives in Halong City. He is a member of the committee that helps the village. All people I met were very kind to me. I was given a towel, a toothpaste and a toothbrush, even though I had everything on my own and didn’t ask for it. There was no hot running water, but Hong brought some hot water in thermos, so that I could take a shower. More about the village is here http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/nsevers/4/1262548687/tpod.html
I planned to do a lot of teaching that day for all teachers and children (two shifts). Around 7AM I received a phone call from Mr. Tuyen, who said that I had to go back in 2 hours… If I missed 9AM boat there would be no boats to take to the main land for the next three days.
I hadn’t started teaching yet… but I still had two hours to perform my teaching duty. I ran to the school and met two teachers. Hong was translating. At first, I showed digital books to them and how to share books among XOs. Out of 10 XOs, only three had books, which was good for testing book sharing in class. I asked the teachers about the books they want and they made a list: Harry Potter, comics, any tales in Vietnamese…
Next, we opened Geography Activity. Girls liked it a lot. Boys switched to other Activities like Trains, Traffic and Planes. They asked me questions about the rules of all new games: Missing letter, Memory, Chess, Paintings, Hanoi, etc. Children were eager to use the XOs and try new games. I showed TamTamMini to Mai, who is 4 years old. Within minutes she was experimenting with sounds (see pic).
I asked the teachers:”When do children get to use the computers?” The answer was almost every day at 10AM, but I sensed the teacher’s hesitation. It looked like both teachers and pupils would greatly benefit from a solid Sugar training. I wish we could have a volunteer to work with them for at least several weeks! There is no Internet in the village, but I’m sure it is coming soon, as they already have phone land line and cell phones, which work perfectly.
At the end of my stay, my coordinator presented me with a framed picture of the boats in the village. Even though my visit was very brief they valued it. While on the big boat, I learned from the tour guide (former fisherman) that life in the fishing village is very tough. He is glad he learned English from TV and now has a better job. Vung Vieng is a big village and has a school, other small floating villages (like his own one) don’t have any teachers. In a couple years he wants to bring his children to Vung Vieng to study.