Saturday, December 20, 2008

Countdown: 3 Weeks

Everything is pretty much coming along fine. Today was my last day of work. I can now focus my energies on packing my stuff and making last minute arrangements. My room-mate Jasmine's boyfriend will be moving in for the four months I'll be gone, and so I'll have to clear out some stuff from my bedroom.

I'll also be able to come up with my 'volunteer's work plan'. Basically, because I've organised this all myself, I have a lot of freedom in terms of what I'll actually be doing. I'll be looking at all their activities on their website, as well as some documents that they've sent me. I've found a couple old volunteer offers on their website, and so I will structure a sort of proposal that will outline exactly where I would like to help and what my capabilities are in those areas. I really have to look at where I want to be in 5 years, and how this experience can help me achieve those goals. Not as easy as it sounds.

I found this awesome resource from, the International Volunteerism Resource Centre. They have a whole section on the pros and cons of joining a volunteer organisation, or going it alone. And there's a whole section about tips and advice on organising it by oneself and on fundraising. It would have been helpful had I come across it earlier, but I feel like I've done a pretty good job.

I have still to organise a place to stay while I'm there, but I've decided not to stay with a Vietnamese family that I've been in contact with. I think that I would enjoy it a lot more if I stayed with expats who are experiencing the same thing.

Learning Vietnamese is going alright. I've kind of been stuck on lesson 6. I soaked up the first four lessons like a sponge, and now I find myself repeating the last couple lessons over and over again. The lessons have been getting more and more bizarre. I now know how to ask a woman if she'd like to eat at my place... no wonder I'm having a hard time learning, I have no interest in that!

1 comment:

Rebel said...

I had the same experience with the 'Learn Thai' CDs. Every dialogue started "You are an American man, speaking to a Thai woman..." and I was like, actually I'm NOT. Don't worry, whatever you've learned will probably be more or less useless... and you will fumble along and pick up new (and more important) words and phrases, then eventually some of the things you learned on the CD will come back around and you'll start sort of understanding things sometimes. In any case, you'll be fine.

I urge you to learn food vocabulary though and something basic like "I want to eat." Just trust me.