Follow my Existential Exile. . .

Monday, December 13, 2010

a letter to Trinity,

Xin Chao from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Good morning this snowy wintery day. I thank God I am in the tropical weather right now, but I am in for a rude awakening once I return to my family's current home in Atlanta, GA. You can not see it, but Ho Chi Minh City has been turned into a fake "winter" wonderland full of lights, trees, ornaments and North Pole displays. However, I have not seen a nativity set, as of yet. So I pray that, though this culture celebrates the commerce of x-mas, those here that do acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior will remember that He is the real reason for this great gifting season.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

when you can't communicate

I need to vent. Feel free to share your advice.

I don't think I'm a person who is never satisfied. I think I'm a realist, there is good and bad, trials and tribulations in every event in one's life. But I do find it frustrating that I can't seem to find the good in any job I have. Maybe I need to work for myself? I know there are frustrations in everything but it's getting ridiculous. Looking on the positive side, at least I have no one "telling" me what to do or dictating my future opportunities in this field, and at this company. In fact, they like me, a lot. Which is causing the problem of too much work and responsibility. Along with the fact that this organization is soo not organized, and I feel that what I say is usually taken in vain. I truly feel I'd be more effective and comfortable and have more fun talking to students/young designers that speak English, for one, and two, speak with African American kids that have probably never seen a Black teacher a day in their life, and three, not doing it professionally, but as an after school extra-curricular activity for students that actually WANT my advice. Obvious frustrations were to be expected from this international teaching experience, but the frustrations are becoming unwelcoming. It is getting old and tiresome. I do not feel effective. It is irresponsible for this school to allow students with no design skill into the design program. No person and no thing can make you a great designer (not me, not Adobe Creative Suite, not Steve Jobs and his fleet of high polished titanium) you either have it or you don't. It is irresponsible for the school to hire lecturers with no Vietnamese language competency. Yes this is an international school, but 99.9% of our students are Vietnamese. Are staff 85% Vietnamese. Would it really cost that much to provide a language course to your lecturers whom you have recruited from all over the world except Vietnam?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

If there is one thing I love about Ho Chi Minh City. . .

aside from the warm weather, the southerners really love music. Although quite tone def, the Vietnamese love their kareoke. So much so my new apartment comes equip with a kareoke machine, surround sound speakers in the living room, 4 speakers in the office and a subwoofer system. In other words, I'm over here jammin'.

Summertime sleepy

Since I was up late, I figured I should say something in the blog that I have neglected for the past couple of weeks.

To give a quick update: I moved into a new apartment, and finally have internet, yes! It took 3 men and 2.5 hours to get it running plus the help of my IT friend from the states. . . Wow Vietnam, reaaaaal efficient! And that was only DSL, no wireless yet. The new landlord is quite efficient though. Speaks great English and has pretty much done everything he said he would. This has made moving more pleasant, but my issue with security still lingers.

Last weekend, I was almost robbed, and I have been extra sensitive about being alone, traveling alone, and coming home late at night. Knowing that this apartment complex has a team of security guards who know my face has eased my concern, slightly. But, I still remember the force that was used to attempt to take my personal belongings, and it scares me that people can be so boldly violent. In a country where the average monthly income is $200-300 USD and the people face constant oppression from the government directly and indirectly, how can I as a foreigner from the largest economy in the world ever feel safe? How would you feel if foreigners came into your country taking jobs away from you and getting paid triple or quadruple what you make in a year? I know I'd be angry.

It just cracks me up when I hear Ex-pats speak of this country with such adoration, "Oh I love it hear, I feel soo much safer here than in the States." Umm, didn't you just get your necklace snatched from your neck a few months back? How many times have you replaced your phone? Yeah, I see the warmth and sun shine helped you forget about that!
Wake up.