Wanderlust Wendy

Bonjour, Madame!

Time goes by quickly now that I am keeping busy with teaching, spending some time at the bank and continually looking for new work opportunities in the village. Teaching continues to be interesting and challenging. How do I teach these kids to follow the curriculum given to me when they can’t read the alphabet in English and only 4 out of a class of 30-40 have books?

I do my best and make up lessons each time, and have asked my mom to send me the English grammar book I had from my time of learning English in Taiwan. I wonder if I ever thought I’d be on the other end of the picture 10 years ago sitting in those English classes in Taiwan… Anyway, one of the greatest things about teaching is that now when I walk down the street, kids greet me with, “Bonjour, Madame.” So freaking cute!

I met with a women’s GIC on Monday and they’d like me to also teach them English. While I have other projects in mind that I’d like to implement with the GICs, teaching English is a good avenue to start. So my days are now filled with healthy dose of work. I fill the rest of the time doing daily things at home: laundry, dishes, fetching water, etc., also reading and coming up with different ideas for projects; oh and of course, cooking and entertaining the Frenchies. Last night, we made pizza and it was o-so-fantastic!

There has been an interesting phenomenon with entertainment at my house. The screensaver of my computer is a slideshow of all of my pictures, and anyone who hangs out at my house is continually entertained by this slideshow. Myself included. Just earlier, I was eating lunch and looking at these pictures; suddenly, I was hit by a wave of missing those o-so-familiar things.

I miss coffee dates, happy hours, wearing heels, dishwasher, landscaping, one-stop-shopping, Sunday lunch at my parents, high-speed Internet, 20 kinds of everything at the store, cereal, Thai food, sushi, Vietnamese food, bubble tea, Forest Park, people watching at a café, and more. But these things also remind me of things I don’t miss: rush-hour traffic, the boredom with the mundane daily life, the need to get out (of the US), paying bills, earning money, petty stress, uninteresting conversations, not able to decide what to eat for dinner (too many choices), not able to decide what to do for the evening (what do you want to do? I don’t know, what do YOU want to do? Ugh.), getting mad about stupid things (omg, my broadband Internet is down for 2 hours!), excessive consumerism (agonizing whether to buy this pair of shoes I don’t need), etc. etc. 

This is only month 2 at post. I can’t even begin to imagine how I will be in 22 months!

1 thought on “Bonjour, Madame!”

  1. seriously! … you’re going to have to plan in quite a long time for adjustment back to 1st world country living in 20 months … I’m so glad you’re there – wish I could be too. Wouldn’t it be crazy if everyone was required to work in the peace corps or in a volunteer organization for two years of their life – away from their home and daily amenities? – like as part of a college degree or something – i dunno – like Mormon’s have to do a “mission”.


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