We took a 2nd trip to Ba Na Hills this week. This time we didn't go on a tour, just got a ride from someone and bought tickets on the way. The fog was thick on the tram ride up and frankly I was scared. We got some pictures on the bridge but the fog was rolling in and out quite a bit. So we went on up to the French Village and Amusement Park. We went on a weekday and there were fewer people so less waiting than before on the weekend. We did some rides and stuff, then more rides, then the buffet, and more walking around. Last time we ate a different buffet of Asian foods. This time we ate at Arapang. It had a salad bar, soup bar, hot foods, cold foods, you name it! We tried the Indian dishes- delicious, the interesting choices- really good, and the good old fried chicken and smoked chicken…because Ga is my jam! Finally in the afternoon the fog burned off and we got some great pictures of the fall decor. We headed down to Golden Bridge and found the view much clearer, so more pictures. Then back down the cable car, this time in the clear. It was a great day and a lot of steps!
We of course walked to the beach a few days this week. Sunday afternoon we hung out as night fell and it was beautiful. The colors were amazing and I was so happy to sit and enjoy the calming sounds of the waves. There were more people than we normally see, due to the weekend. It was interesting to “people watch”. That was one of Granny Cricket's favorite activities. I remember going to the Greenville Mall with her just so she could watch people and we would make up stories about them. We stopped by and got a nighttime snack of lemon velvet cake. So good. We almost took an apartment in that building, and I am glad we didn't because that coffee shop calls me too often.
We also went to Mega Mart. Think Sam's or Costco. I finally found rice...but the bags are jsut a little bit too much for us to handle.
I am headed to Hanoi Friday and will hopefully meet more teachers, then to Singapore for EduTech Asia. I am excited to learn more…if you know me you know I love a good conference! I keep checking things on the agenda I want to go too and there is not enough time in the day! While in Hanoi we will also be touring sites and getting to know the city and its history. We are planning a Halong Bay cruise, deciding on a day trip or overnight, so many options. Some of it I am leaving up to Konstantin because it becomes overwhelming after a bit.
I cut Konstantin’s hair this week and am about to go line up the back. I do this at home too, so this isn’t new but it is always an adventure. We also found a delcious spot to eat...again. Dirty Fingers is a BBQ smokehouse and it is so good. He got steak and I got 4 sliders to try different meats. The pulled pork and brisket were good, but the pastrami and roast beef were PHENOMENAL. I even ordered an extra pastrami to bring home. I made eggs and pastrami for breakfast and pastrami sandwich for lunch. YUM.
My cousins Ki and Bryson have been keeping up the next generation family sports business. Ki is playing soccer in South Carolina and my parents have been going to cheer him on and play with his brother and sister. Bryson is playing football in Texas and his mom posts videos to Facebook to keep us updated. Their brother and sisters (Isaiah, Hadassah, and Adalyn) keep everyone on the sidelines entertained, too. Each year at Christmas the kids get a book and something to play with based on the book from us and my parents. This year they are getting Vietnam themed gifts this year, books about this area and stuff from here. I don’t think I am ruining a surprise…I am sure they have figured it out already…and then some are babies and they won’t be reading this anyway. My Duncan kids are growing up and that makes it a bit harder to shop for them…but they are readers and creatives so that helps.Rose is quite the designer and seamstress, Sky is a great cook, James is into fantasy, and Ysa is a sparkling unicorn kinda kid. Not sure what that will mean for their gifts but it makes it fun to find! I can not wait to see my Princess and buddies at Christmas this year! So many new babies! I get to meet Everest (who was born in the car last Christmas), Eleanor, Khalani, and I am not sure that Ember and Haven would remember since it has been a while since we have played together. I know Scientist Tula, Princess Katie, and Princess Willow remember but Jackson was little before so he probably doesn’t. I just got to see Winston and wish him a happy birthday. I video called mama and diddy and he was with them! I never know what he will look like when I see him, but I am always glad when he comes to town. It makes my Aunt Jackie and my mom very happy to see him. My sweet Macie is going as Elsa for Halloween. Her mom Emileigh sent pictures this morning and she is so cute! Last year she was not a fan of Santa so not sure how that will go this year. Last year she would just look away and say NO. Her fighting to get away is one of my cousin Sandy’s favorite pictures, mine too. At some point I have to get to the Ohio branch and meet all those beautiful babies, Sophia, Ellen Po, Niko, and Caroline. Aunt Ellen would be so proud of me and all of those great grands!
I am creating my PD in SAMR for the school. I worked on lesson plans for STEM classes I am going to teach later this week also. It's fun to try and figure out what I can teach and explain. I'm going to use some sketchnoting, a little bit of tech, and hopefully a lot of fun. I have to alter my language to meet the needs of the students. I have lots of videos and images to share with them too, hopefully we can understand each other. I am doing natural and man made with 2nd grade, Drag and Parachutes with 4th grade, and Water Cycle in 5th grade. I always overplan, but that is how I work best. Here are my plans and slideshows, feel free to use and share!
The Fulbright Alumni Bus Tour came to visit me today, I was pretty excited to share what I'm working on and encourage more people to get involved. We did a sit down interview. We gave them a tour of the school and showed off my favorite room, the STEM room. The teachers showed off many of the projects and I got to share how I observed classes in Vietnamese, but knew everything going on because it is just like my class at home. I told them how important connections are for me and how I try to make those connections with students and teachers. I told them how my first grade teacher Ms Tutt (now Mrs O’Shields) dressed up as a scarecrow for Halloween and when we were out for PE she removed the hay from her shirt because it was itchy. I still remember that and we are friends on Facebook and she keeps up with me and what I am doing. I told them I had a wonderful music teacher in Mrs Hughes who continues to encourage me, and of course Coach SUmmey who kept telling mama to let me go. Coach, I don’t think she appreciates all the encouragement but I do! I told them about my DuncanChapel kids who I bought socks for and how we took off our shoes that day and walked around in the socks. I told them how I listened and gave advice to Lorin about grad school and how I am so proud of all of my kids throughout the years, like Esther who came back at the beginning of this school year and I got to learn all about her new life in DC. And of course I mentioned our Global Maker Day event and how I came to join them through connecting with Jaime Donally. Connections are what make our lives more meaningful and I am forever grateful for all of my education and life connections. They said I did well with the interviews and they never had to prompt and ask questions, I assured them my Advancement team at Hillel has me do these kinds of interviews so I am used to it! Thanks Ilana, Greg, Avi, and Valerie for all the practice! I also talked about how Monica and Craig encouraged me to apply and believed in me when I wasn’t so sure about this. And how Monica and I were on the phone when I got the email telling me I was accepted and how we both kinda freaked out about it and then Monica said call your mom! You can follow the bus on their Instagram alumbus_crew_2022 or on Facebook you can follow the US Embassy in Hanoi to see the interviews.
I am firming up how to share my observations and learning, but still working through that. I want to create a place where teachers can share ideas and resources that can continue after my time here is complete. I'm wrapping my head around how that would look and work. If you have suggestions I would love to brainstorm with you!